Step-by-Step DIY Guide: Make Your Own Bitters

  
Step-by-Step DIY Guide: Make Your Own Bitters

Step 2: Process Ingredients

Rest a zester atop one of the 8-oz. jars and begin to grind the nutmeg berry into the jar. Once you get down to the end of the berry and can’t grind any further, discard the remainder of the nutmeg. “You can smell how aromatic it is when you take it directly from the berry,” says Esmon who often uses her nose to gauge how a recipe is turning out. “You won’t be able to taste the bitters you’re making for a while, so it’s good to really use your sense of smell to guide where you want the flavor to go.”

Next, open a folded napkin and place cloves in the center. Fold the top half of the napkin over the cloves. Use a muddler to gently crush the cloves until they become bruised. You want to just roughen them up a bit, not give them a full on smackdown. “They shouldn’t be completely broken down but just a little beaten up,” says Esmon.

After the cloves, grab the star anise and crush with the muddler until broken up. You can be a little rougher on these guys. Then, use your hands and test out your karate skills to chop each cinnamon stick in half.

Finally, take the vanilla bean and split it lengthwise with a knife. We’re making bitters, not cake, so leave the meat where it is inside the bean.

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