Douce Amere Bitters Recipe

Darcy O'Neil :: July 30, 2007 7:36 PM

Bitters-bottleThe night before I departed for New Orleans I was at my parent's place hanging out. I just happened to be sitting beside a bookshelf and when I glanced over I noticed an old book called Recipes and Reminiscences of New Orleans (1971). Well it seemed to be a sign so I open the book and started browsing the recipes inside. One section of the book was dedicated to drinks of New Orleans and within the pages I came across the Douce Amere (Bitter Sweet) bitters recipe. I did a quick search on the Internet and only found references to a perfume, but nothing on this drink. It seemed like something that should be shared.

Here's the recipe and if I can find any info on it I'll do an update. Or if you have some info please feel free to fill in the blanks. Seems interesting.

Douce Amere (Bitter Sweet) or Amere de Familles

1 oz Spanish Saffron
2 oz Calamus Aromaticus
2 oz Gentian Root
1 oz Zedoary Root
1 oz Roman Chamomile
1 oz Coriander Seed
½ oz Orange Peel
½ oz Cinnamon Bark
2 drams Mace or Macis
1 dram Cloves
½ oz Fennel
2½ Gallons 95% Ethyl Alcohol
2½ Gallons Distilled Water

Crush all ingredients in a marble mortar. Pour 2½ gallons of alcohol and 2½ gallons of distilled water in a demijohn. Add crushed ingredients. Allow to soak for 2 weeks. Shake well daily for 5 or 6 days. Allow to stand for 2, or more, weeks. Filter through filtering paper and put in gallon bottles. Keep it unsweetened and prepare as needed, as follows:

Amere de Familles 3 parts
Simple Syrup 2 part

The recipe does not specify what ratio the simple syrup is, but I'd assume that it is 1:1. Here's some basic information on another bitters recipe.


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