Frequently Asked Questions

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What Are Bitters?

Bitters are a mixture of botanicals, roots, and spices steeped in a spirit base. They are used to complement, soften, or heighten the flavors of alcohol and cocktail ingredients. Adding bitters to a drink makes for a more complex flavor profile. You can read more about bitters here.

What Makes The Bitter Housewife Different From Other Bitters?

We believe drinks shouldn’t have rules and that you should embrace what you like. To that end we promise to be bitterly honest about the products we make and how you can use them. Our bitters are handcrafted in small batches in Portland, Oregon. You'll never find flavoring, coloring, or artificial preservatives in anything we make. We use only the highest quality whole ingredients to craft unmistakable flavors.

Do Bitters Have Alcohol In Them?

Yes, most do and ours definitely do. However, they are considered non-potable, meaning you wouldn’t chug the whole bottle on its own. The reason we can sell them in grocery stores is because bitters are used like vanilla extract (also generally bottled at about 80-90 proof), a little goes a long way. Actually adding a full tablespoon of bitters to 12 oz of soda water makes for a drink that’s about 1% alcohol. You couldn’t drink it fast enough to feel the effects. But we know some folks are super sensitive to alcohol, so we make sure everyone knows what’s in our bitters.

How Do I Use Bitters?

Bitters are the spice rack of cocktail making. A few dashes brings harmony to a drink balancing out the strong of the alcohol, the sweet of sugar or a liqueur, and the sour of a little citrus juice or a twist. We've put together a collection of recipes to help you get started, but use them as a guide and adjust to your taste.

How Long Do Bitters Last?

While we hate to see a bottle of bitters collecting dust on your home bar they do last indefinitely. However, it is possible that the flavor will change over time. So far bitters from our first batches 6 or 7 years ago are still tasting just as good as they did when first made.

Are Bitters Gluten-Free?

Yes, at least ours are, but I cannot attest that other bitters are gluten-free.

But, you may be thinking, aren’t some of our bitters whiskey-based? Yes, both our Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters and Barrel Aged Bitters are made with a whiskey base that could contain wheat in the mash, however, according to Beyond Celiac, gluten doesn’t remain after the distillation process. Some whiskey, and even bitters, may cause reactions because they contain coloring or flavoring that contains wheat. We do not use any coloring or flavorings, only whole fruit and botanicals, and ensure that none are added to the whiskey we use.

What Are Bitters & Soda?

Bitters and soda is the go-to for bartenders and restaurant folks when they’re not drinking. A number of generous dashes mixed with carbonated water for a satisfying drink that can settle your stomach and even help curb sugar and alcohol cravings. We reformulated our Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters to be free of both sugar and alcohol, mixed them with soda water, and packaged it all in a cute can. A bitterly honest beverage you can enjoy anywhere at any time. Try some for yourself.

Can I Drink Bitters & Soda If I'm On A Restricted Diet?

Our Bitters & Soda fit into many different diets and have no major allergens. Free from sugar, sugar substitutes, alcohol, and caffeine, a can of Bitters & Soda is a delicious way to satisfy cravings at any time of day. Keto, Paleo, or Whole 30? Yep, we work with those. Gluten-free or vegan, we’re for you too.

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