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Orange Bitters

Makes 5 cups (serving size: 1 tbsp.)

Total Time
1 hr

Infuse Time
21 days

Total Time
21 days 60 mins

The bitter component is gentle here; what comes through is a warm, sweet spice infusion that's excellent in an old-fashioned cocktail or stirred into a cup of mulled wine. (Note: It's illegal to ship spirits in the U.S.)

su-Orange Bitters

Photo: Yunhee Kim; Styling: Kelli Ronci
 2 oranges
 1 bottle (750 ml.) Everclear* (grain alcohol)
 10 cardamom pods
 2 whole star anise pods
 3 cinnamon sticks (each 2 1/2 in.)
 1 teaspoon whole cloves
 1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. chopped fresh ginger
 1 cup sugar
Step 1

Preheat oven to 250°. Remove zest from oranges with a vegetable peeler and put zest on a baking sheet (save fruit for another use). Bake until zest dries, starts to curl up, and begins to brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool.

Step 2

Put all ingredients except sugar in a 1-qt. glass jar and seal tightly. Let sit in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks.

Step 3

Strain liquid through cheesecloth into a 1 1/2- to 2-qt. glass jar (save flavorings) and set aside. Put flavorings in a small saucepan with 2 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Set aside.

Step 4

Cook sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, lifting and shaking pan occasionally, until sugar caramelizes and turns deep amber, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour caramel into liquid in pan (it will bubble furiously and may firm up). If needed, return pan to medium heat and cook, stirring, for a few minutes until caramel melts again.

Step 5

Set pan in a bowl of ice water until liquid is cold, about 10 minutes. Pour into jar with first infusion. Seal and let stand in a dark place 5 days.

Step 6

Strain final mixture through cheesecloth into a glass measuring cup and discard flavorings. Divide bitters into small jars and seal tightly.

Step 7

*Find at liquor stores.

Step 8

Make ahead: Up to 1 year, chilled.

Step 9

Bottle it: 5-in. clear glass bottle, $99;

Nutrition Facts

Servings Makes 5 cups (serving size: 1 tbsp.)

Amount Per Serving
Calories 36Calories from Fat 0.0
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0.0g0%

Saturated Fat 0.0g0%
Cholesterol 0.0mg0%
Sodium 0.1mg1%
Total Carbohydrate 1.3g1%

Dietary Fiber 0.1g1%
Protein 0.0g0%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.