Why All Your Holiday Cocktails Are Better Off With Bitters

Why All Your Holiday Cocktails Are Better Off With Bitters

We’ve teamed up with ANGOSTURA® bitters to brighten your holiday gatherings with their flavorful line-up of celebration-worthy bitters. Think: nutty cocoa bitters, warming orange bitters, and their good ol’ fashioned aromatic bitters—add a dash (or three) to your favorite seasonal sipper.

Once the weather officially shifts and I can don my cozy apparel full-time, I’m nearly ready to embrace the hap-hap-happiest season of the year. I save the best step towards the holiday spirit for last: a celebratory seasonal beverage (or two). Those festive sips wouldn’t be complete, historically or nowadays, without the addition of ANGOSTURA bitters, a staple ingredient that’s been helping deck the halls for nearly 200 holiday seasons and counting. Here are a few holiday cocktails on my list this year—new and old—that are better off with bitters.


Founded in 1824, ANGOSTURA® bitters have been a part of holiday celebrations for generations, which is why their bitters are right at home in traditional wintertime drinks that have been around for centuries. Think: warm cups of rich, rum-filled eggnog and big bowls of boozy punch (it’s said the rum acts like an extra blanket in winter time). To make either the eggnog or the punch, add 3 to 4 dashes of ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters in individual servings and 24 dashes when mixing these tipples for a crowd.

The best thing about holiday traditions is that there’s no wrong way to do them. Historically speaking, people have celebrated with so many different seasonal drinks, our cups runneth over with cocktail options. The key to keeping them timeless is by adding ANGOSTURA bitters. Indulge in a bit of 90’s nostalgia with an Espresso Martini dressed up for the occasion with ANGOSTURA cocoa bitters and a fancy cinnamon-sugar rim. Add 1 ½ ounces vodka, 1 ounce espresso, 1 ¼ ounce coffee liqueur, and 6 dashes ANGOSTURA® cocoa bitters to a cocktail shaker, then fill with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled martini glass rimmed with the cinnamon sugar and start sipping. (Psst: If you’re looking for one-stop shopping to whip up this ‘tini or a sweet lil’ holiday gift, check out our seasonal cocktail kit.)

To keep the contemporary cocktail moment going, add 24 dashes of aromatic bitters to a pitcher of grown-up Shirley Temples for a reimagined childhood treat. Or, try 2 or 3 dashes of ANGOSTURA orange bitters in a Salty Dog made with a staple ingredient of Southern holiday traditions: in-season pink grapefruit juice.

While the weather outside might be frightful, hot cocktails during the holidays can be so delightful. Originally crafted in a tropical climate, ANGOSTURA bitters are perfect for bringing a bit of the tropics to your fave cold-weather beverages. When you’re warming up with a glass of Mulled Wine Negroni or a classic Hot Toddy, add 3 to 4 dashes of ANGOSTURA orange bitters and stir to give ‘em an extra oomph of citrusy flavor.

Much like it’s more fun to give a carefully wrapped gift, it’s far more fun to serve a cocktail with a special garnish. Any drink is made immediately more festive with a homemade cocktail cherry—dash ‘em with 8 to 16 dashes of ANGOSTURA cocoa bitters, then let them sit for a few days before the holiday guests arrive. A skewer of ANGOSTURA orange bitters-flavored candied cranberries (swap in 8 dashes of bitters in place of the orange blossom water this recipe calls for) looks dashing perched on the side of a glass. And if the holiday event calls for bubbles (more should, in my opinion), be set out a dish of ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters-soaked sugar cubes to add to the glasses for that extra sparkle. After hitting the bar and decorating your drink, come find me—I’ll be the one sharing unsolicited stories about the origins of fruit cake and its very boozy past.

What’s your favorite holiday cocktail to mix up with bitters? Tell us in the comments below!

Our friends at ANGOSTURA® have the aromatic bitters you need to shake up all sorts of cocktails, from a classic Old Fashioned to a trendy Espresso Martini. The Siegert family bottled the first of their bitters in 1824 and the tradition was passed down through the generations, evolving into the modern line of products that includes the original aromatic recipe and, more recently, cocoa and orange bitters.

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