Recipes

Matt Sayer’s Bitters

StockBar2 LindseyAMiller
Photo by Lindsey A. Miller

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    Ingredients
  • 10 oranges, rind peeled and dried in oven
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 cups grain alcohol
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
steps
  1. Place spices and orange rinds in a mason jar and cover with grain alcohol.
  2. Seal the jar and let the mixture stand in a cool, dark place for 15 days. Give the jar a good, vigorous shake once a day.
  3. Strain the alcohol into a clean mason jar through cheesecloth to separate the liquid from the dry ingredients. Once the majority is strained, gather the cloth into a ball and squeeze it to release as much liquid as possible.
  4. Muddle the strained dry ingredients to break all of the seeds and create a fine mixture.
  5. Place this dry mix into a saucepan and add 4 cups of water.
  6. Bring to a boil then cover and lower the heat and allow it to simmer for about 5-7 minutes.
  7. Pour this mixture into the original jar, cover and allow sitting for 5 days. Again, shake vigorously once a day.
  8. Strain the water through cheesecloth, discard the dry ingredients and add the water to the jar containing your original alcohol infusion.
  9. Place the sugar in a small pan over medium to high heat.
  10. Stir constantly and let the sugar become liquid and dark brown.
  11. Remove from heat and allow cooling.
  12. Add the sugar to the alcohol and water mixture (the sugar may solidify for a minute, but will dissolve).
  13. Seal the jar and allow the mix to sit for 5 days.
  14. Strain again and pour into a bitters bottle or small decanter with a lid.
  15. Cut the bitters with water by measuring how much bitters you have, then add half that amount of water.
  16. These bitters should be able to be stored for up to 12 months.
  • Courtesy of Mixologist Matt Sayer of The Willcox Hotel in Aiken, South Carolina

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