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Meyer Lemon-Orange Bitters


Making your own bitters is a labor of love, so use the highest-quality ingredients you can, such as unwaxed organic citrus and top-shelf vodka. Gentian can be found online or at some health-food stores.

  • Yield: Makes 3 cups

Photography: Photo

Source: Whole Living, December 2012


  • 4 organic oranges, well scrubbed
  • 2 organic Meyer lemons, well scrubbed
  • 1 tablespoon gentian root chips
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 750-ml bottle good-quality vodka, such as Prairie Organic


  1. Heat oven to 200 degrees. Using a vegetable peeler, peel citrus to make strips of zest, being careful not to remove pith. Arrange in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until dry, about 1 hour. Let cool.

  2. Transfer zest to a 1-quart glass jar and top with remaining ingredients. Cover tightly and store in a cool, dark place for three weeks, shaking jar once a day.

  3. Pour liquid through a fine mesh strainer or paper coffee filter and into a clean jar. Add citrus zest and discard aromatics.

Cook's Notes

Stored in a cool, dark place, bitters will keep up to six months.

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