The term "bitters" is applied in the liquor trade to a class of compounds prepared by steeping vegetable bitters in weak spirit for somedays, with the addition of aromatic flavourings, syrup, and colouring matter. The following are the chief kinds: -


90 gal. plain proof spirit; 3 1/4 lb. red Peruvian bark; 3 1/4 lb. calisaya bark; 1 1/8lb. calamus root; 4 3/4 lb. orange peel; 3 1/2 oz. cinnamon; 3 1/2 oz. cloves; 3 1/2 oz. nutmeg; 2 oz. cassia buds; 6 1/2 lb. red sanders wood. First mash all the ingredients, put them in the spirit, and let them infuse 14 days, stirring the mixture well twice every day. Rack off and colour with 11 pints brandy colouring, to get a dark red tint. Stir 1/4 hour. Dissolve 30 lb. white sugar in 30 gal. water; add, and again stir 1/2 hour. Let the mixture rest 4 or 5 days, and when bright, bottle. If the sanders wood is not used the colour will be a bright amber. Compounded according to the above directions, will yield 120 gal. 25° below proof.


4 oz. gentian root; 10 oz. each calisaya bark, Canada snake-root, Virginia snake - root, liquorice root, yellow bark, allspice, dandelion root, and Angostura bark; 6 oz. cardamom seeds; 4 oz. each balsam of tolu, orangetis, Turkey rhubarb, and galanga; 1 lb. orange peel; 1 lb. alkanet root; 1 1/2 oz. caraway seed; 1 1/2 oz. cinnamon; 1/2 oz. cloves; 2 oz. each nutmegs, coriander seed, catechu and wormwood; 1 oz. mace; 1 1/4 lb. red sauders wood, and 8 oz. turmeric. Pound these ingredients and steep them for 15 days in 50 gal. proof spirit; before filtering, add 30 lb. honey.

Aromatic - Macerate 2 3/4 lb. ground dried small orange apples, 1/4 lb. ground dried orange peel, 2 oz. ground dried calamus root; 2 oz. ground dried pim-pinella root; 1 oz. ground dried cut hops, for 14 days, with 10 gal. of spirit at 45 per cent.; press, and add 2 1/2 pints brown sugar syrup. Filter. Colour dark brown.


I 1/2 oz. quassia; 1 1/2 oz. calamus; 1 1/2 oz. catechu (powdered); 1 oz. cardamom; 2 oz. dried orange peel. Macerate for 10 days in 1/2 gal. strong whiskey, and then filter and add 2 gal. water. Colour with mallow or malva flowers.


Grind to coarse powder 3 lb. gentian root, 2 lb. dry orange peel,

1 lb. cardamom seeds, 2 oz. cinnamon,

2 oz. cochineal. Infuse 10 days in 1 gal. brandy, 8 gal. water, and filter.


40 gal. proof spirit; 1 dr. oil of anise; 1 dr. oil of caraway; 1/2 dr. oil of cloves; 1 dr. oil of lemon; 1 dr. oil of oranges; 1 dr. oil of cinnamon; 1/2 dr. oil of bitter almond; 1 gal. sugar syrup. Cut the oils in 95 per cent, alcohol, and mix. Colour with brandy colouring.

French. Cognac

1 1/2 lb. each red Peruvian bark, calisaya bark, bitter orange peel, and sweet orange peel; 2 oz. calamus root; 4 oz. cardamom seeds; 1 1/2 oz. each cinnamon, cloves, and nutmegs; 4 oz. caraway seed; and 3 lb. wild cherry bark. Pound all these ingredients to a coarse powder, and steep for 15 days in 45 gal. proof spirit (or 60 gal. spirit 25° below proof), stirring occasionally. Then rack it off, and mix sufficient caramel to make it a dark red; add 15 lb. white sugar dissolved in 15 gal. water; let the whole settle, then filter. If the bitters are required to be of an amber colour, omit the wild cherry bark and the caramel colouring.


Grind to a coarse powder 2 oz. agaric, 5 oz. cinnamon, 4 oz. cassia buds, 1/2 oz. grains of Paradise, 3 oz. quassia wood, 3/4 oz. cardamom seeds, 3 oz. gentian root, 3 oz. orange apples dried, l 1/2oz. orange peel. Macerate with 4 1/4 gal. 95 per cent, alcohol, mixed with 5f gal. water; add 2 3/4 oz. acetic ether. Colour brown.


Grind to coarse powder 2 oz. Peruvian bark, 1/2 oz. sweet orange peel, 1/2 oz. bitter orange peel, 25 gr. cinnamon, 25 gr. cloves, 25 gr. nutmeg, 15 cayenne seeds. Infuse 10 days in 2 gal. 65 per cent, alcohol, then filter.


(1) Macerate 6 lb. orange peel for 24 hours with 1 gal. water, cut the yellow part of the peel from off the white, and chop it fine; macerate with 4 3/4 gal. 95 per cent, alcohol for 2 weeks, or displace; then add a syrup made of 4 1/4 gal. water and 16 lb. sugar. Filter through Canton flannel.

(2) 1/2 oz. Seville orange peel; 1/4 oz. lemon peel; 1/4 oz. gentian root; 1/4 oz. ginger, all bruised and put into a jug; pour a pint of boiling water on it, and cover up with a cloth; let it stand 1/2 hour, strain, and add 2 tablespoonfuls of brandy as preservative.


8 oz. red Peruvian bark; 8 oz. orange peel; 1 1/2dr. each cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg; and 75 cayenne pepper seeds. Infuse them, well bruised, in 8 gal. proof spirit, for 15 to 20 days, stirring every day. Draw off and filter.


Grind to coarse powder 5 oz. polypody, 6 oz. calamus root, 8 oz. orris root, 2 1/2 oz. coriander seed, 1 oz. centaurium, 3 oz. orange peel, 2 oz. German chamomile flowers; then macerate with 4 3/4 gal. 95 per cent, alcohol, and add 5 1/4 gal. water and 1 1/2 oz. sugar. Filter, and colour brown.


Grind to a coarse powder 1/2 lb. cardamom seeds, 1/8 lb. nutmegs, 1/4 lb. grains of Paradise, 1/2 lb. cinnamon, 1/4 lb. cloves, 1/4 lb. ginger, 1/4 lb. galanga, 1/4lb. orange peel; 1/8 lb. lemon peel; then macerate with 4 3/4 gal. 95 per cent, alcohol, and add a syrup made of 4 1/2 gal. water and 12 lb. sugar; filter.


(1) To 12 lb. dry orange peel, 3 lb. Virginia snake-root, 1 lb. American saffron, 16 lb. gentian root, add 1 lb. red sanders wood. Grind all the ingredients to a coarse powder, and macerate for 10 days in 20 gal. 65 per cent, alcohol, then filter.

(2) 2 lb. ginseng; 2 lb. gentian root;

1 1/2 lb. dry orange peel; 1/2 lb. Virginia snake-root; 1 oz. quassia; 1/4 lb. cloves, 3 oz. red sanders wood; 3 gal. alcohol 95 per cent.; 3 gal. soft water. Grind all the ingredients to coarse powder, infuse 10 days, and filter.

Wild Cherry

Wild cherry bark, 4 lb.; squaw vine (Partridge berry), 1 lb.; juniper berries, 8 oz. Pour boiling water over, and let stand for 24 hours; strain, and again pour boiling water on the ingredients; let macerate for 12 hours, then express and filter through paper, so that the whole will make 5 gal., to which add 3 1/2 lb. of sugar, 11/2 gal. molasses, 6 oz. tincture of peach kernels, 3 oz. tincture of prickly ash berries, 2 qt. alcohol.