Aromatic cocktail bitters are a vital part of cocktails and the field of mixology. With the renaissance of craft cocktail bars, the lineup of bitters drastically expanded and improved. That gives you a great selection but, at the same time, makes it more complicated to buy bitters.
Not every store, online or offline, has the same brands available. And if you want to stock up your home bar with a specific bottle of bitters, finding the right place to shop them can be tricky.
Over time our directory of stores to purchase bitters and other cocktail-related things evolved. So we want to share our sources for the best cocktail bitters with you.
So, what's the best way to buy cocktail bitters?
This question was a lot quicker to answer at times when Angostura and Peychaud were the two main bitters brands used for cocktails.
But as the number of brands producing bitters and the selection increases, it gets harder to find great places to shop for these aromatic cocktail ingredients.
The good news is that if you only want to stock up on regular Angostura bitters, you can find them in many standard grocery stores.
But once you look for more fancy products like Tiki bitters, Xocolatl mole bitters, and the like, you need to find specialty stores.
To say it upfront, buying online is your best prospect. However, as not everyone wants to shop on the internet, I want to address different options:
- Where to buy bitters near me?
- Where to buy bitters Online?
- An overview of the most important bitters brands today
Don't feel like ordering online?
Then the best places to buy cocktail bitters are probably liquor stores. Especially larger ones that also carry other rare cocktail ingredients like imported liqueurs. But also regular supermarkets can be sources of bitters.
When living in the US, you can buy cocktail bitters in ordinary grocery stores. Yet, there are some places that have a better selection than others. The best stores are:
- Whole Foods
Where to find bitters in a grocery store
Not every grocery store carries cocktail bitters, but the ones that mostly do put them somewhere in or close to the liquor section.
Check the first or last aisles of the areas and look for other secondary cocktail ingredients like syrups.
The selection often is limited to classics like Angostura and Peychaud's bitters. Smaller brands like Fee Brothers, Scrappy's bitters, and Bittermen's are harder to find.
For these, you probably have to check out larger liquor stores or buy them online. Read on to find out where.
Prefer buying online?
There are plenty of shops that offer a wide range of bitters. They are geographically sorted to make it easy for you to find your perfect store.
Buy aromatic cocktail bitters online in the USA
- AwesomeDrinks (Shipping from New Hampshire)
- Bitters and Bottles (Shipping from San Francisco, CA)
- The Boston Shaker (Shipping from Somerville, MA)
- Chefshop.com (Shipping from Seattle)
- The Hour (Shipping from Alexandria, VA)
- KegWorks (Shipping from NY)
- The Meadow (Shipping from Portland, OR)
- Napa Valley Distillery & Vintage Barshop (Shipping from Napa, CA)
- Pearl Specialty (Shipping from Portland, OR)
- Reup Liquor
Buying bitters in Canada
- Alambika (Montreal, QC)
- Cocktail Emporium (Toronto, ON)
- Silk Road Spice Merchant (Calgary, AB)
- The Crafty Bartender (Vancouver, BC)
- The Gourmet Warehouse (Vancouver, BC)
- Qualifirst (Vancouver, BC)
- Bottleworld (Ships from Munich, Germany)
- Spiritly (Ships from London, UK) – ships throughout Europe
- Nicks Wine Merchants (Ships from Australia)
- The Whisky Exchange (Ships from London, UK) – ships worldwide
- La Maison du Whisky / whisky.fr (Ships from Paris, France) – ships worldwide to selected locations
- Bottlebusiness (Ships from Rijswijk, The Netherlands) – ships throughout the Netherlands and Belgium
- Only Bitters (Ships from Australia-NZ) – ships throughout Australia & New Zealand
The most popular brands
Angostura bitters are the most popular and also most-sold aromatic cocktail bitters. A few drops of these highly concentrated aromatic bitters can change the taste of a cocktail dramatically.
In rare cases, Angostura bitters even build the base spirit of a cocktail like in an Angostura Colada or a Trinidad Sour.
Amargo Chuncho bitters
Amargo Chuncho only offers one single kind of cocktail bitters. Yet, as this is the traditional choice to round off a classic Pisco Sour, they are a practical addition to your home bar.
The bitters include a list of 30 ingredients and age in barrels for up to 6 months before bottling.
Apothecary bitters is a relatively small and new brand from Vancouver, British Columbia.
Their lineup includes fun and unique flavors like Cacao Coffee bitters, Conifer berry bitters, and Barrel-aged Orange bitters.
Bittermen's produces some of my favorite cocktail bitters. Their Elemakule Tiki bitters or Xocolatl Mole bitters are excellent bitters for Old Fashioned cocktails.
But they have plenty more exquisite options like their Hellfire Habanero shrub, Winter Melon bitters, and Herbal Honey bitters.
The brand Fee Brothers is rather old and has been producing cocktail ingredients since the 1800s.
They have an excellent selection of cocktail bitters ranging from barrel-aged bitters to black walnut bitters to some limited edition bitters.
Hella Cocktail Co. produces some excellent cocktail bitters with flavorings like Eucalyptus, ginger, apple blossoms, and smoked chili.
Lately, the NYC-based company also started selling canned drinks with pre-mixed bitters and soda.
After Angostura, Peychaud's is probably the best known and most sold bitters brand. Originating in New Orleans, these bitters are a key ingredient in classic drinks like the Sazerac and Vieux Carré.
Further, Peychaud's bitters work excellently in combination with Scotch Whisky.
Scrappy's Bitters is a Seattle-based company founded in 2009. Miles Thomas started the brand and quickly turned it into one of the most renowned bitters brands.
Their Orleans bitters are one of the best substitutes for Peychaud's bitters, and also other options like their celery or lavender bitters are worth a try.
The Bitter Truth
The Bitter Truth is a brand from Germany that not only produces excellent bitters but also makes spirits and liqueurs. Their cocktail bitters lineup includes extraordinary flavors like olive, celery, tonic, and cucumber.
When you look for regular aromatic bitters like Angostura or Peychaud, you should check your local grocery store. For more exotic flavors, shopping online is your best bet.
Larger grocery stores and well-stocked liquor stores often carry Peychaud's bitters. If you can't find them there, you can order them online at one of our recommended stores.
You may be lucky to find orange bitters in your grocery store. Looking in a liquor store or a specialized online shop is more likely to offer them, though.