Orange bitters add a hint of citrus flavor and round out any cocktail. Enjoy this homemade version in your next Elder Fashion.

What to buy: We used Everclear 151 grain alcohol in these bitters. Its lack of impurities and sugar allows it to pick up the flavoring elements much faster than vodka.

Dried orange peel is the key flavor note in these bitters. It can often be found in the bulk tea or dried herb section of grocery stores.

Gentian extract is taken from the root of the gentian flower and is used to aid digestion; it packs a potent kick.

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.

  • Yield: 2 1/4 cups
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: Under 5 mins, plus steeping time
  • Active: Under 5 mins

Ingredients (6)

  • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle grain alcohol, such as Everclear 151
  • 1/2 pound orange peel pieces
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 20 drops gentian extract


  1. Combine all ingredients in a 2-quart jar with a tightfitting lid. Close and store at room temperature. Let steep 14 days, shaking the jar every other day.
  2. Strain alcohol from spices and store in a jar with a tightfitting lid in a dark place.