Stoughton Bitters

This was the bitter that started it all. Stoughton’s was first produced and sold around 1712 and was a mainstay of the medical community for many years. Over time, the formula was manipulated and some things added and others removed, but wormwood was the most important. Eventually, there were so many poorly made Stoughton’s bitters knockoffs that the term “as useless as a Stoughton’s bottle” entered the lexicon in the mid-1800s.

Stoughton Bitters Recipe:

90 g
Bitter Orange Peel
90 g
90 g
60 g
15 g
Aloes, socotrine
15 g
Alcohol, 20%
3.8 L


Reduce the solids to a powder and extract with the alcohol by maceration over a period days, agitating occasionally. Filter and bottle.


Also called Stoughton’s Elixir or Compound Tincture of Wormwood.