Apothecary bottles do more than just look pretty lined up at cocktail bars. The glass vials usually contain bitters—alcohol infused with botanicals—which are used in small doses to add intense flavors to mixed drinks. Easy & Oskey’s Make Your Own Bitters Kit takes the guesswork out of concocting your own aromatic batch.
Hardware in the kit includes a Mason jar mixer, cheese-cloth filter, funnel, dropper bottles, recipes and a dry spice blend containing roots, seeds and herbs. In addition to those spices, your kit can also arrive laced with either vanilla beans, orange peels or habañero peppers. Want to truly customize your own flavor combo? Opt for the “naked” starter and add whatever dry ingredients you’d like, from cacao nibs and toasted coconut to dried figs and rosemary. But not pumpkin spice. You are not allowed to make pumpkin spice bitters. You’ll then distill the spices with sugar and a spirit to make 10-ounces of the concentrated good stuff.
Buy a $55 box version through Bespoke Post and receive two different bitters kits and a copy of Dave Solomson’s home mixologist bible, The 12 Bottle Bar. If you’d rather drink your hooch straight, you can also use bitters to flavor sodas and pastries.
Alyson Sheppard is a writer at Playboy Digital. Her work has appeared in Maxim, Popular Mechanics, Mental Floss, McSweeney’s, National Geographic Adventure, and more. Follow her on Twitter.