Taggart’s Bitters

A recipe created by Chuck Taggart that was inspired by the flavour of old bottles of Abbott’s Bitters.

Taggart’s Bitters Recipe:

Gentian Root
1 tbls
Cinchona Bark
½ tsp
Quassia Bark
2 tsp
Ginger Root
1 tbls
Cardamom Seed, whole
2 tsp
Cardamom Seed, crushed
2 tsp
Cinnamon Bark
1½ tbls
2½ tbls
2 tsp
½ tsp
Mace, crushed
1 tsp
Orange Peel, fresh
3 oz
Kola Nut
1 tsp
Rye Whiskey
2 cups
3 oz


Add all but the last two ingredients to the whiskey in a 1-liter Mason jar. Shake vigorously, then set aside and shake daily for 14 days.

Strain out all the solids through several layers of cheesecloth and reserve the liquid. Crush up the remaining solids, then place in a saucepan with the 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for one hour. Place the water and solids into a different 1-liter Mason jar and shake vigorously; set aside and shake once daily for 7 days.

Strain the infused water through several layers of cheesecloth and discard solids. Add to the infused whiskey, add the molasses, shake vigorously until the molasses is dissolved, then let sit undisturbed for 7 days. Don’t shake the jar or move it.

After 7 days, siphon or carefully pour off the liquid from the sediment, leaving all of the sediment behind; you’ll have to sacrifice some of the fluid — so be it. Strain through cheesecloth again, then taste it. If it’s too bitter, melt 1/4 cup sugar and cook until it’s a dark caramel syrup, then add to taste. When happy, put back into the jar or into well-washed 12-ounce brown glass beer bottles.

Let it mellow for a month before using it, then use dasher bottles for serving (leftover empty Angostura bottles, Worcestershire, actual antique bitters bottles, etc.) It’s less concentrated than Angostura bitters, so use at least double the amount you normally would.

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