How to Make Homemade Cocktail Bitters

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Learn how to make homemade cocktail bitters with bitters recipes for both orange bitters and peach bitters plus free printable labels for your finished bottles!

Learn how to make homemade cocktail bitters with two easy cocktail bitters recipes. Following you’ll find bitters recipes for both orange bitters as well as peach bitters. I’ve also included a PDF of free downloadable cocktail bitters labels that I designed for your final bottles of bitters. Just for fun they say “Orange you bitter!” and “You’re such a (bitter) peach!

Learn how to make homemade cocktail bitters with bitters recipes for both orange bitters and peach bitters plus printable labels for your finished bottles!

These homemade cocktail bitters are perfect not only for your home bar but also for gifting to friends who love cocktails or simply bartending in general. (Or even as a gag gift for your favorite grump!) They’d make a great homemade gift paired with a cocktail recipe book – I’m keen on “Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails” and “The Craft of the Cocktail” – and a mason jar shaker. Or even a large 2″ square silicone ice cube tray.

Learn how to make homemade cocktail bitters with bitters recipes for both orange bitters and peach bitters plus free printable labels for your finished bottles!

To create your own homemade cocktail bitters you’ll need organic fruits and spices – I purchased my organic spices from Mountain Rose Herbs – and Gentian Root Extract which I bought on Amazon as I couldn’t source this anywhere locally. As you use orange peel and lemon zest in these recipes as well, I chose to buy these organic and used fresh zest and peels. You’ll also need 100 proof vodka to make these homemade cocktail bitters. I specifically used Smirnoff 100 Proof Vodka. One  750 mL of vodka will make about eight 1 oz. amber glass bottles (or four 2 oz. amber glass bottles) of each of the bitters.

Learn how to make homemade cocktail bitters with bitters recipes for both orange bitters and peach bitters plus free printable labels for your finished bottles!

 Orange Homemade Cocktail Bitters Recipe

Ingredients:

375 mL Smirnoff 100 Proof Vodka
4 oz. organic orange peels (from around two fresh oranges)
1/2 teaspoon organic fennel seed
1/4 teaspoon organic coriander seed
2 organic cardamon pods
10 drops Gentian root extract

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and tightly screw on the lid. Keep in cabinet (out of light) for two to two and a half weeks, gently shaking once every other day. After two weeks strain the contents using a coffee filter. Use a small funnel to fill about eight 1 oz. amber bottles with glass droppers. Print out my homemade cocktail bitters labels here, if desired, onto a full sheet sticker label, cut out and then affix each jar with the “You’re such a (bitter) peach!” labels. To protect your labels from moisture you can first cover your labels with clear packing tape before cutting them out and adhering them to the bottles.

Learn how to make homemade cocktail bitters with bitters recipes for both orange bitters and peach bitters plus free printable labels for your finished bottles!

Peach Homemade Cocktail Bitters Recipe

Ingredients:

375 mL Smirnoff 100 Proof Vodka
2 peach pits from fresh peaches
zest from 1/4 organic fresh lemon
1 organic sweet (true) cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon organic whole allspice
1/4 teaspoon organic coriander seed
2 whole organic whole cloves
10 drops Gentian root extract

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and tightly screw on the lid. Keep in cabinet (out of light) for two to two and a half weeks, gently shaking once every other day. After two weeks strain the contents using a coffee filter. Use a small funnel to fill about eight 1 oz. amber bottles with glass droppers. Print out my homemade cocktail bitters labels here, if desired, onto a full sheet sticker label, cut out and then affix each jar with the “Orange you bitter!” labels. To protect your labels from moisture you can first cover your labels with clear packing tape before cutting them out and adhering them to the bottles.

Learn how to make homemade cocktail bitters with bitters recipes for both orange bitters and peach bitters plus printable labels for your finished bottles!

Now that you’ve completed your homemade cocktail bitters it’s time to put them to good use! One of my favorite cocktail recipes is for a French 75 with a local twist. This cocktail recipe calls for orange bitters and is a bit sweeter than the more traditional French 75 cocktail. Gin of course goes in a French 75, however if you prefer bourbon that works as well. It’s simply called a French 95. You can find my favorite French 95/75 cocktail recipe here. (For the French 75 I use New Amsterdam gin which isn’t mentioned within that particular cocktail recipe.)

For more homemade cocktail recipes be sure to follow my Cocktail Hour board on Pinterest. Or keep up with all of my new posts by Tumblr and Blog Lovin’. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, G+ and Instagram.


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Homemade DIY Gin Recipe and a Simple DIY Gin Kit

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Homemade Gin Kit and DIY Gin Recipe

I’ve been trying lots of new DIY projects lately and one I’m super psyched about is this homemade DIY gin kit. It’s available for sale at Amazon (Amazon Prime eligible) as well as Darby Smart, where I’ve been purchasing a lot of my DIY craft kits lately.

I’ve been tempted for a while to buy the entire kit, but I instead opted for simply purchasing the homemade gin refill kit available from Darby Smart which is essentially a tin of the botanicals you need to infuse vodka to taste like gin. It’s $15 with free shipping and makes sense if you want to try this out before buying the botanicals in bulk for your own recipe blend. And since you have to buy the vodka anyway, you can simply re-use the same vodka bottle for the gin without having to fork out a lot of extra money for fancy vintage styled bottles. (Or if you want to get fancy, use a Bormioli Rocco Giara Bottle With Stopper.) Then simply use cheesecloth to drain the botanicals out of the final product.

Running your homemade gin through a Brita Everyday Water Filter Pitcher five times will remove any remaining sediment. (Be sure to start with a new filter and soak it in water for fifteen minutes before using.) This is optional of course depending on the end product you’re looking for. If you used cheap vodka I highly recommend not skipping this step.

Now use your homemade gin to make a classic French 75. (A French 75 is the same as the French 95 but it’s made with gin instead of bourbon. (Check out this popular recipe here.)

If you’re ready to make your own botanical blend – and get more bang for your buck – give this DIY gin recipe a go. Then feel free to punch it up with other botanicals of your choosing.

DIY Gin Recipe

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons juniper berries
1/2 plus 1/4 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons dried chamomile flowers
1/2 plus 1/4 teaspoons dried lavender flowers
5 cardamon pods, broken into pieces
6 whole allspice berries
1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon dried grapefruit peel

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in large glass jar with 3 cups of vodka and tightly close lid. Shake well then allow to steep for 36 hours. Strain through cheesecloth and then use a funnel to fill up your final bottle of choice.

Experiment with making your own homemade DIY gin recipes by adding or subbing some of the ingredients with a small amount of other herbs and botanicals such as but not limited to Star Anise, whole cloves, Thai basil, cherrywood, whole nutmeg, and cilantro leaf.

Also be sure to follow my new-ish Cocktail Hour board on Pinterest for homemade cocktail recipes for all occasions. Or follow Soap Deli News via Blog Lovin’ and never miss a post!


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Ginger Lemongrass Martini Cocktail Recipe

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Ginger Lemongrass Martini Cocktail Recipe

While the fourth of July has come and gone, it did inspire me to try a new vodka. I’ve been on a huge gin kick lately but after seeing the Spud Ginger Lemongrass Vodka at the ABC store I just couldn’t resist. A fifth of this flavored potato vodka was a reasonable $20 and it’s distilled five times so I decide why not. In the end I was pretty pleased with this vodka though I wish they had more recipes on the Spud Vodka website for this one as I’m not a great mixologist. I generally go out for my drinks but I did really enjoy the one Spudtini recipe they had.

The original recipe for this martini cocktail recipe called for honey syrup. However, I had no idea what honey syrup is or where to find it so I subbed this ingredient for some mighty delicious agave syrup instead. I hope you like this one. I know I did. And please, if you have other ideas for this awesome vodka, share them so I have more reasons to keep it in the freezer on a more regular basis. I’m kind of also wanting to try their pumpkin spice vodka come fall as well for a grown up Halloween treat.

Ginger Lemongrass Martini Cocktail Recipe

The Ginger Lemongrass Spudtini Martini Recipe

Adapted slightly from Spud Vodka’s Spudtini Recipe

Ingredients:

2 oz. Spud Ginger Lemongrass Vodka
1 oz. lemon juice
.5 oz. Madhava Light Agave Nectar (or other light agave syrup)
1 egg white
dash Angostura Aromatic Cocktail Bitters

Directions:

Combine all ingredients but the bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a martini glass, add a dash of bitters and stir. If you’re using a whiskey glass simply double the recipe.

Also be sure to check out this great recipe for a French 95 from my favorite local bartender. You can find that bourbon cocktail recipe here. Or for even more great cocktail recipes follow my Cocktail Hour board on Pinterest.


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Hunter’s French 95 Cocktail Recipe

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Hunter's French 95 Cocktail Recipe - A delicious custom version of the 1920's cocktail made with bourbon and champagne!

Bourbon has never been my drink of choice, however, Hunter – the man behind the scenes and behind the bar at a local restaurant called Lucky – was able to bring me around.

Hunter is without a doubt the best mixologist I know. While he’s only been bartending for 4 1/2 years, he has a unique knack for not only mixing drinks to perfection, but has also mastered the skill of inventing his own great cocktails. Key ingredients are house made like the lemongrass infused tonic, simple syrup, maraschino cherries and even smoked apple ice cubes that are paired with small batch bourbon. Other ingredients are simply fresh from the source like the shaken egg whites that go into my favorite drink, the Silver Fizz, and seasonal drinks made using fresh watermelon or cucumber. Finally, you’ll only find top shelf liquor behind this bar.

How to Make Hunter's Version of the French 95 Classic Cocktail

Of course, with such devotion to the drinks, you can’t leave out the food. The menu at Lucky is also chosen and invented with the same care as the cocktails as Hunter strives to bring the best of both worlds – food and drinks – together for a phenomenal experience.

DIY Homemade French 95 Cocktail Recipe

The drink that brought me around to bourbon is the French 95. Hunter of course has put his own twist on the recipe that has fans around the city asking bartenders at other bars, both locally and while traveling, to make a French 95 like Hunter does. I’ve yet to find another local establishment that can meet the expectations that Hunter has set, but then not everyone stocks the same bourbon or creates their simple syrup and garnish from scratch.

How to Make a French 95 Cocktail

Still, Hunter was kind enough to share his love of bourbon with us, by sharing his cocktail recipe for the French 95. First created in the 1920s, the French 95 is quickly rising in popularity in Roanoke much in the way Cosmos took off again after Mad Men first aired. Here’s his version of the recipe.

French 95 Cocktail Recipe

Hunter’s French 95 Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients:

1 oz. Evan Williams Black Bourbon
1 oz. lemon juice
1 oz. simple syrup
2 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters
3 oz. Cava Sparkling Wine
Maraschino Cherry

Instructions:

Combine the bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup and orange bitters in a shaker with crushed ice and shake well. Now strain into a champagne coupe – a delightful glass rumored to have been patterned after Marie Antoinette’s breasts for all of you Jeopardy fans – then finish by pouring the champagne or sparkling wine on top and adding a cherry.

Should you live in Roanoke, VA or are simply visiting, I highly recommend you add Lucky to your “to do” list. It’s definitely an experience you’ll love to have again and again. You can find Lucky online and on facebook. They are open six days a week Monday through Saturday for dinner starting at 5pm.


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Banana, Chocolate and Coconut Vodka Smoothie Cocktail Recipe

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Homemade Summer Cocktail Recipe - Creamy Banana, Chocolate and Coconut Vodka SmoothieYou know when you only have a flavored alcohol in your freezer and nothing to really mix with it? Well, that was my dilemma. I had a bottle of Coconut Chocolate Stoli Vodka that I bought on a whim not thinking of what I’d actually mix it with. However, genius struck when I noticed the bananas on the counter were so ripe they probably wouldn’t make a it another day. And it was too hot outside to make banana bread. So I created an improvised smoothie cocktail with ingredients I had in my fridge.

Homemade Cocktail Recipe - Banana, Coconut and Chocolate Vodka Smoothe

Banana, Chocolate & Coconut Vodka Smoothie Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients:

1 ripe banana, peeled
3 ice cubes (or 3 ice cubes of frozen coconut milk made in an ice cube tray)
1 shot half and half
1 1/2 shots Stoli Chocolat Kokonut
touch of honey

Optional Ingredients:

a swirl of chocolate syrup
a taste of vanilla ice cream

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour and enjoy! What are some of your favorite summer cocktails? (Mine is a gin fizz.)


Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.