Tidy Hot Toddy with Aromatic and Orange Bitters

The presence of mulling spices in a drink is no big thing, except when the spices are actually mulling in the drink. Adding cloves and lemon peel to hot alcohol results in lightning-fast extraction of flavors that at first sip are delicious but can quickly become overwhelming. By the time you’re done, you feel like you need to dip yourself in alcohol to extract all the clove and limonene from you. Let bitters do the heavy aromatic lifting, and enjoy the stability of balanced bitter sweetness as it supports the boozy, spicy warmth at the heart of the drink.

Serves 1 (you)


  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon Demerara sugar
  • 1½ ounces whiskey, bourbon, rye, Irish whiskey, or Scotch
  • 5 dashes citrus bitters
  • 2 dashes aromatic bitters

Pour the boiling water into a heated mug. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Sit, back, relax and enjoy!


    Bitter Boozy Coffee (aka Irish Coffee): Follow the recipe for the above, using freshly brewed hot coffee for the boiling water, Irish whiskey, and chocolate or cinnamon bitters for the citrus bitters. Top with a spoonful of softly whipped cream and drizzle the aromatic bitters on top.
    Hot Buttered Rum: Follow the recipe for the recipe above, using dark rum instead of whiskey and cinnamon or other spiced bitters for the citrus bitters. Top with a thin pad of unsalted butter and drizzle the aromatic bitters on top. 

    Recipe from Bitterman's Field Guide to Bitters and Amari written by Mark Bitterman.


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