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.


  • 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


  1. Pour the boiling water into a heated mug.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients.


TODDY VARIATIONS BITTERED BOOZY COFFEE (IRISH COFFEE): Follow the recipe for the Tidy Toddy, 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 BITTERED RUM (*Pictured Here*): Follow the recipe for the Tidy Toddy, using dark rum instead of whiskey and cinnamon or other spiced bitters for the citrus bitters. (I like to use Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Christmas Bitters and Miracle Mile's Toasted Pecan Bitters.) Top with a thin pad of unsalted butter and drizzle the aromatic bitters on top. 
Recipe is page 80 from Bitterman's Field Guide to Bitters and Amari written by Mark Bitterman.

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