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Entertaining
8 Best Ways to Use up a Bottle of Bitters

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If you don’t have a bottle of Angostura bitters already on your bar cart, you need to pick one up ASAP. Bitters are a powerhouse in cocktails, capable of adding a complex depth of flavor and aromatics to any drink. But if you don’t know how to actually use bitters apart from throwing a few drops in the occasional Old Fashioned, then it’s time to broaden your bitters horizons. Here are eight cocktails that each call for hefty amounts of bitters, so you’ll have no problem finishing that bottle of Ango to make room for even more flavors of bitters.

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One of the most iconic cocktails that depends on a generous pour of bitters, the Champagne Cocktail is a delicious way to get through a bottle. All this cocktail requires is some bubbly (that cheap bottle of sparkling will do if you don’t have the French stuff on hand) and a bitters-soaked sugar cube plopped in the bottom. Watch the sugar cube sparkle and fizz as it dissolves in the glass, and then knock it back for a truly new champagne-drinking experience.

The Essentials

Sugar Cube
Bitters
Champagne
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A grown-up twist on a childhood soda fountain classic, this Rum and Coke float mixes vanilla ice cream with Mexican Coke, white rum and 7 to 10 dashes of bitters. The Mexican Coke brings with it a malty cola flavor (instead of its corn syrup-sweetened counterpart north of the border), while the bitters add a sarsaparilla taste that’s reminiscent of root beer. Together, it tastes like sweet, decadent nostalgia in a glass.

The Essentials

White Rum
Vanilla Ice Cream
Mexican Coke
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One of the lesser-known boozy creations from our favorite would-be drinking companion Ernest Hemingway, the Death in the Gulf Stream is a simple combination of juniper-heavy genever, a whole lime and four dashes of Angostura bitters. The result is bracingly bitter, so feel free to add some simple syrup to temper the mix. But if your goal is to emulate the great American author’s taste in cocktails, know that Papa Hemingway would have definitely gone sugar-free.

The Essentials

Genever
Lime
Angostura bitters
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If you’re entertaining a crowd, drain that bottle of Angostura to its bitter end by serving this Rye Whiskey Punch. Made with a whole bottle of rye, a whole bottle of Montenegro Amaro and a whole bottle of Cognac, this ultra-boozy concoction is only mellowed out with iced tea, lemon juice and 10 dashes of Angostura. One glass of this potent punch is enough to get your guests feeling warm and fuzzy, and any more than that will have them set for the night.

The Essentials

Rye Whiskey
Montenegro Amaro
Black Tea, Iced
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Bitters fanatics, who not only have a bottle of Angostura to finish up but also a bottle of bright red Peychaud’s bitters too, will love this sparkling wine cocktail. Hailing from the Old Seelbach Bar in Louisville, Kentucky, this cocktail combines Kentucky bourbon with orange liqueur, sparkling wine, seven dashes of Angostura and seven dashes of Peychaud’s, and it’s garnished with a long twist of lemon. It’s bittersweet, ruby red and one of the easiest ways to down whiskey by the fluteful.

The Essentials

bourbon
Cointreau
Sparkling wine
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Lazy Mojito lovers rejoice: This frozen version of your favorite summer classic requires no meticulous muddling whatsoever. All you need to do is throw mint leaves, sour mix, gold rum and five dashes of Ango into a blender with ice before you’re sipping on an icy green, minty cocktail. The bitters give this variation some added depth, resulting in a Mojito that’s more pleasantly complex than the original and every bit as refreshing.

The Essentials

gold rum
Sour Mix
mint
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Forget about latte art; bitters art is where true talent lies. Apart from upgrading a drink’s flavor, bitters can be used to create intricate designs on top of a frothy egg white cocktail, where they double as both aromatic and showstopping garnish. One of our favorite drinkable canvases is the Pisco Sour, which combines egg whites with pisco, fresh lime and simple syrup. Make a stencil to get really crazy with your bitters design, or opt for a simple swirl if you’d rather drink your booze than play with it.

The Essentials

pisco
bitters
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Of course you’ve already used your bottle of bitters countless times in an Old Fashioned, but you’ve probably never thought about transforming the classic whiskey cocktail into candy. These Old Fashioned-flavored lollipops use real whiskey and are much easier to make than they look. All you need to do is boil whiskey with sugar, corn syrup, salt and water, and pour the mixture into a lollipop mold (or in neat dollops on a silicone mat). Then, use a toothpick to swirl two dashes of bitters into each lollipop for that signature Old Fashioned flavor and an eye-catching visual effect.

The Essentials

whiskey
sugar
Angostura bitters

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