Bitters: To Make or not to Make?

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Bitters are potions that, with just a few drops, add backbone to a cocktail: The Sazerac wouldn’t be what it is without them. The best-known commercial bitters are practically household names: Peychaud’s, angostura, Regans’. Most were created during the golden age of the cocktail, at the turn of the 20th century, so it was high time for CHOW to try our hand at some. (We’ve also thrown in a couple of wild-card mixes for good measure.) But because the makers of the commercial varieties have kept their recipes under lock and key for over a century, and because they use such varied, hard-to-find ingredients—uncommon barks and dried berries among them—we can’t claim to have re-created them faithfully. Instead, consider these our own riffs. And rest assured they’ve been road-tested in a cocktail or two.

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