Bitters are big business in the cocktail world and historically a cocktail wasn't a cocktail without bitters, so it only makes sense. We often associate bitters with bars because of the cocktail, but the reality is that bitters were most likely sourced from the local pharmacy prior to prohibition. Even when bartenders were making thier own bitters, they probably sourced the ingredients from the pharmacy. And let's face it, bitters were considered medicinal.
Modern bartenders can rhyme off some of the classic bitters, like Angostura, Bokers and Abbott's but there were literally hundreds of different brands. Most were just local or regional products created by savy druggists looking to expand their income. The more popular versions had well designed labels, which brings me to the point of this post. Check out these cool bitter labels.
Dr. Robacks Stomach Bitters
Kentucky Tonic Nitters
Old Sachem Bitters