• Nikki Wagner

Digestive Bitters


I've been making and using digestive bitters for several years now and I love them!

Digestive bitters have been around for centuries, used to aid digestion by stimulating digestive enzymes, stomach acid and bile, as well as stimulating the liver. Bitters can also calm an upset stomach and reduce inflammation.

Digestive bitters are made by steeping herbs in alcohol along with flavourings. The recipe consists of combining three flavour elements - bitter, sweet and aromatic in brandy (or vodka).

BITTER ELEMENT:

Blue vervain – flowers & leaf

Burdock root

Citrus fruit – flesh & peel

Dandelion root

Hops

Motherwort – flowers & leaf

Yellow dock root

SWEET ELEMENT:

Apple

Blackberry

Cherry

Date

Fig

Honey

Maple syrup

Mulberry

Nectarine

Peach

Pear

Plum

Raisin

Raspberry

AROMATIC ELEMENT:

Allspice

Black pepper

Caraway

Cardamom

Chamomile

Cinnamon

Cloves

Coriander

Fennel seed

Ginger

Lavender

Lemon balm

Peppermint

Rosehip

Rosemary

Sage

Star anise

Thyme

Vanilla

Portions:

½ cup dried (one cup fresh) bitter element

Up to ¼ cup dried (or ½ cup fresh) sweet element

½ teaspoon – 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup (optional)

1 – 5 tablespoons aromatic element

2 cups brandy

Method:

Choose which elements use want to use (preferably ones you have on-hand) and mix them in a glass jar with the brandy. Tighten lid and shake well. Label and date the jar. Leave in a dark place for 2 – 6 weeks (the longer it steeps the more bitter the flavor will be).

Strain the brandy through a sieve covered in muslin/cheesecloth into a glass jar. Label and store in a cool, dark place.

Use up to one teaspoon in water, fizzy water or (my favourite) kefir water before meals.

Here is the recipe for the last batch of bitters I made…..

Dandelion, Orange & Spice Bitters

Dandelion root

Orange peel

A touch of local honey

Cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, star anise, vanilla

Brandy


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