Bitters, as the name indicates, are merely tinctures of bitter roots and barks, with the addition of spices to flavor, and depend for their effect upon their tonic action on the stomach. Taken too frequently, however, they may do harm, by overstimulating the digestive organs.

The recipes for some of these preparations run to great lengths, one for Angostura bitters containing no fewer than 28 ingredients. A very good article, however, may be made without all this elaboration. The following, for instance, make a very good preparation:

Gentian root (sliced)..   12 ounces

Cinnamon bark......   10 ounces

Caraway seeds.......   10 ounces

Juniper berries......     2 ounces

Cloves..............     1 ounce

Alcohol, 90 per cent..     7 pints

Macerate for a week; strain, press out, and filter, then add

Capillaire........... 1.25 pints

Water to make up.... 2.5 gallons Strength about 45 u. p.

Still another formula calls for Angostura bark, 2.5 ounces; gentian root, 1 ounce; cardamom seeds, 0.5 ounce; Turkey rhubarb, 0.5 ounce; orange peel, 4 ounces; caraways, 0.5 ounce; cinnamon bark, 0.5 ounce; cloves, 0.25 ounce.

Brandy Bitters

Sliced gentian root...     3    pounds

Dried orange peel....     2    pounds

Cardamom seed......     1    pound

Bruised cinnamon....       0.5 pound

Cochineal...........     2    ounces

Brandy.............   10    pints

Macerate for 14 days and strain.

Hostetter's Bitters

Calamus root........ 1 pound

Orange peel......... 1 pound

Peruvian bark....... 1 pound

Gentian root........ 1 pound

Calumba root....... I pound

Rhubarb root........ 4 ounces

Cinnamon bark...... 2 ounces

Cloves.............. 1 ounce

Diluted alcohol...... 2 gallons

Water.............. I gallon

Sugar.............. 1 pound

Macerate together for 2 weeks.