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What Are Chocolate Bitters?

Chocolate bitters are a type of cocktail bitters that add a rich chocolate flavor to drinks.

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bottles of Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters chocolate bitters

They are made by infusing cacao nibs, spices, and bittering agents in high-proof alcohol. While bitters are typically used in small amounts, they can make a big impact on the overall flavor profile of a cocktail.

Chocolate bitters can be used in a variety of classic cocktails, such as the Old Fashioned, Manhattan, and Martini, as well as more modern creations. They add a depth of flavor and complexity to drinks, and can complement or contrast with other ingredients. Chocolate bitters can also be used in non-alcoholic drinks, such as hot chocolate or coffee, to add a unique twist.

While chocolate bitters are becoming increasingly popular, they are not as widely available as other types of bitters. However, they can be found at specialty liquor stores or purchased online. Making your own chocolate bitters is also an option, and allows for customization of ingredients and flavor. Overall, chocolate bitters are a versatile and delicious addition to any home bar or cocktail menu.

Understanding Chocolate Bitters

Chocolate bitters are a type of cocktail bitters that are used to add a rich, chocolatey flavor to cocktails and other mixed drinks. They are made with cocoa beans, cacao nibs, and other botanicals, and are a popular ingredient in many classic cocktails.

Bitters are a type of alcoholic beverage that is made by steeping herbs, spices, and other botanicals in a high-proof spirit. They are used to add flavor and complexity to cocktails and are an essential ingredient in many classic cocktails such as the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan.

Chocolate bitters are made by steeping cacao nibs and other botanicals in a high-proof spirit. The cacao nibs used in chocolate bitters are made from roasted and crushed cacao beans, which are the same beans used to make chocolate.

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The bitterness of chocolate bitters primarily comes from the cacao nibs used in the recipe. Cacao nibs are naturally bitter, and this bitterness is enhanced by the steeping process. The other botanicals used in the recipe, such as herbs and spices, help to balance out the bitterness and add complexity to the flavor profile.

Chocolate bitters are often used in cocktails that feature dark spirits such as whiskey and rum. They can also be used in cocktails that feature lighter spirits such as gin and vodka, and can add a rich, chocolatey flavor to sweet and fruity cocktails.

The Role of Bitters in Cocktails

Bitters are an essential ingredient in many classic cocktails, including the Manhattan, Old Fashioned, and Negroni. They are used to add complexity and balance to drinks, enhancing the flavors of other ingredients and providing a unique depth of flavor.

Boozy Cold Bourbon Left Hand Cocktail with Vermouth and Chocolate Bitters

Cocktail bitters are made by infusing high-proof alcohol with a variety of botanicals, including herbs, spices, and fruits. The resulting liquid is then bottled and used in small quantities to add flavor to cocktails.

Bitters are typically added to a drink in drops or dashes and are often used as a finishing touch. They can be added directly to a mixing glass or shaker or dropped directly into the serving glass.

Bartenders often use bitters to create custom cocktails, experimenting with different combinations of flavors to create unique and memorable drinks. Bitters can also be used to modify classic recipes, adding a personal touch to a tried-and-true cocktail.

When making a cocktail, it is important to choose the right bitters for the job. Some bitters are more bitter than others, while others have a sweeter or spicier flavor profile. A skilled mixologist will be able to choose the right bitters to complement the other ingredients in a cocktail, creating a perfectly balanced drink.

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Ingredients of Chocolate Bitters

Chocolate bitters are a type of cocktail bitters that are used to enhance the flavor of cocktails and other mixed drinks.

Bottle of Wormwood on the table - Ingredients to make Chocolate Bitters

They are made by infusing high-proof alcohol with a blend of botanicals, spices, and other ingredients. In this section, we will take a closer look at the ingredients that are commonly used to make chocolate bitters.

Base Alcohol

The base alcohol used to make chocolate bitters can vary, but it is typically a high-proof spirit such as bourbon, rum, gin, or vodka. The alcohol is used to extract the flavors and aromas from the other ingredients, and it also acts as a preservative to help extend the shelf life of the bitters.

Botanicals and Spices

Chocolate bitters typically contain a blend of botanicals and spices that are used to add flavor and complexity to the bitters. Some of the most common botanicals and spices used in chocolate bitters include:

  • Gentian root
  • Wild cherry bark
  • Cardamom pods
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Vanilla beans
  • Wormwood
  • Cloves
  • Mace
  • Chili peppers

Cacao Nibs

The main ingredient that gives chocolate bitters their distinctive flavor is cacao nibs. These are small pieces of roasted cacao beans that have been separated from their shells. Cacao nibs are rich in flavor and contain a complex mix of aromas and flavors, including chocolate, nutty, and fruity notes.

Sweeteners

Some chocolate bitters recipes include sweeteners such as sugar syrup or a sugar cube. These are added to balance out the bitterness of the other ingredients and to add a touch of sweetness to the bitters.

Other Ingredients

Other ingredients that may be used in chocolate bitters include orange peel, berry, and caramel. These ingredients can add additional flavor profiles to the bitters and help to create a more complex flavor profile.

To make chocolate bitters, the ingredients are typically combined in a jar or bottle and left to infuse for several weeks. The mixture is then strained through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove any solids, and the resulting liquid is bottled and used to flavor cocktails and other mixed drinks.

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Popular Chocolate Bitters Brands

There are several popular brands of chocolate bitters that are widely available in the market. Here are some of the most popular and highly recommended brands:

Fee Brothers

Fee Brothers is a well-known brand that produces a wide range of bitters, including chocolate bitters.

several bottles of Fee Brothers bitters a chocolate bitters on display at a local grocery store

Their Aztec Chocolate Bitters are a popular choice among mixologists and home bartenders alike. These bitters are made with natural cocoa flavor and other botanicals, which gives them a rich and complex flavor profile. They are perfect for adding depth and complexity to cocktails like Old Fashioneds, Manhattans, and Martinis.

The Bitter Truth

The Bitter Truth is a German brand that produces a range of high-quality bitters, including chocolate bitters. Their Chocolate Bitters are made with cocoa nibs, which gives them a rich and intense chocolate flavor. These bitters are perfect for adding a touch of sweetness and complexity to cocktails like Espresso Martinis, Negronis, and Margaritas.

Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters is a popular brand that produces a range of chocolate bitters. Their bitters are made with cocoa nibs, cinnamon, and other spices, which gives them a unique and complex flavor profile. These bitters are perfect for adding a touch of spice and heat to cocktails like Bloody Marys, Margaritas, and Mojitos.

Scrappy’s Bitters

Scrappy’s Bitters is a Seattle-based brand that produces a range of artisanal bitters, including chocolate bitters. Their Chocolate Bitters are made with cocoa nibs, which gives them a rich and intense chocolate flavor. These bitters are perfect for adding a touch of sweetness and complexity to cocktails like Old Fashioneds, Manhattans, and Martinis.

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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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