Posted on by David Dienger

Bitters make everything better ...

We are often asked at ZYN what bitters are. Simply think of them as the mustard on your hotdog. In other words, they are the flavouring agents used in cocktails. Bitters are packaged in small bottles with droppers and flavours range from celery to raspberry to chocolate.

Bitters came into fashion before prohibition as a natural medicine. Traditional recipes contained alcohol, herbs and spices. The Canadian palate wasn't primed for the bitter part, as we tend to prefer sweet and salty, so back in the day, alcohol was added to improve the flavour. Eventually bitters in cocktails became the norm and many classic recipes call for them, such as a Manhattan and an Old Fashioned.

Bitters are not the sort of thing you want to sit around and sip. As the name implies, they are bitter and they're best used sparingly, as a supporting actor, not the star. When made and used with care, bitters can elevate your cocktail to a new level.