Grapefruit bitters do double duty, giving a cocktail a little citrus lift along with the bitterness. These bitters go especially well with effervescent drinks or tequila and gin cocktails.
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Swapping in cherry bitters for Angostura bitters can give your cocktails a subtle yet delightful boost, adding a hint of fruit while still delivering the bitterness your drink needs. The best part about making your own is you can customize your bitters to your cocktailing needs.
Who doesn't want to drink alcoholic pumpkin pie? DIY pumpkin liqueur involves the same ingredients as pumpkin pie—only instead of crust, there's vodka.
The traditional way to serve Swedish Punsch is to warm it and pair it with a bowl of pea soup. Though that didn't exactly catch on in the States, Swedish Punsch is a key ingredient in many pre-Prohibition cocktails because of its funky, spiced flavor.
Homemade banana liqueur will show you that, when it comes to tropical drinks, the simple banana can taste just as exotic as the more elusive coconut and pineapple.
Fresh, sweet summer cherries transform into something deeper in this simple cherry liqueur.
A little extra effort to make gomme instead of simple syrup will give your cocktails a silky texture you can't get from plain simple syrup.
Even if you've had bad Midori sours, you shouldn't discount the deliciousness of melon liqueur.
Blackberry liqueur, also known as creme de mure, is a summer must! It has the brightness of berries and the richness of a sophisticated liqueur all rolled into one.
Hazelnut liqueur flies a bit under the radar compared to its nutty cousin amaretto. However, hazelnut liqueur has a layered and complex flavor that makes it a treat to sip on its own after dinner or shake up in a cocktail.
This liqueur complements spirits, citrus, and sugar so well that I'm not sure why it isn't more common in cocktails.
A sweet liqueur flavored with strawberries and tarragon.
Bacon swizzle sticks are garnish, tool, and, snack all in one. The spiraled strip of bacon pretties up your drink, it's strong enough to stir with, and it tastes good.
Amaro is just a general name for a bitter, herbal liqueur traditionally served after a meal.
Raspberry liqueur isn't hard to find, but the bottles you can buy are all over the map. Some options are candy sweet, while others are cough syrup-strong. Making your own liqueur gives you control over how sweet and boozy the end result is—you're likely to end up with something that better suits your sugar tolerance.
It's rhubarb season, so those gorgeous magenta stalks are popping up at farmers markets and grocery stores around the country. Rhubarb bitters pair well with every spirit and complement sweet, sour, and bitter flavors alike.
Celery bitters are a long-forgotten cocktail ingredient that add a nice savory boost to martinis, gin and tonics, Bloody Marys, and other cocktails.
DIY grenadine is as quick to make as simple syrup, and you are in control of how sweet it is. Pomegranate molasses and rosewater add a bit of complexity to the flavor of the final product.
Amaretto is an Italian liqueur that tastes like almonds, though it's made from apricot kernels.
Since this recipe doesn't have any sugar, it's a nice way to put a little coconut in your drink without adding sweetness. For more flavor, you could adding vanilla, peppercorns, grains of paradise, cardamom, ginger, basil, lemongrass, or chiles.