While some recipes for bitters call for gentian and other hard-to-find aromatics, you probably have almost everything you need to make this recipe on your spice rack. Round out your next Manhattan or Old Fashioned with a few dashes of this potent concoction.
Game plan: Simply straining the alcohol through a fine-mesh strainer will leave a few cloudy particles behind (which aren’t harmful). If you want completely clear bitters, strain through a coffee filter nested in the strainer.
The bitters will last indefinitely when stored in an airtight container in a dark spot.
This recipe was featured as part of our Bringing Bitters Back project, as well as our DIY Holiday Gifts Advent Calendar. Serve this in a drink beside our cherry clafoutis for a really impressive nightcap.
- Yield: About 3 cups
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: Under 5 mins, plus steeping time
- Active: Under 5 mins
- 1 (750-milliliter bottle) 100-proof rye whiskey
- 6 vanilla beans, split in half lengthwise
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 star anise pods
- 2 teaspoons anise seed
- 1 whole juniper berry
- 1 whole clove
- Combine all ingredients in a quart jar with a tightfitting lid. Close and store at room temperature. Let steep 14 days, shaking the jar every other day.
- Strain alcohol from spices and store in a jar with a tightfitting lid in a dark place.