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.

How Should I Store My Bitters?

Our cocktail bitters are completely shelf stable and don’t need to be refrigerated once opened. They will not go bad, however since they are a natural product flavor and color may change slightly after multiple years, but we hope you don’t hold on to them that long. We encourage you to keep them where you can see them and be inspired to use them often.

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, our Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters, Barrel Aged Bitters, and Westward Hazelnut 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.

How Much Sugar is in Our Bitters?

We get this question a lot, so here’s the breakdown. First we use organic, non-gmo, cane sugar in all our bitters except Grapefruit. For Grapefruit we use honey. So you’re getting the good stuff that your body knows how to process. Each bottle of bitters has 4g of sugar, not much really considering each bottle has 15-20 servings depending on how heavy handed you are. So that’s a ¼ g or less of sugar per drink.

Our Bitters & Soda on the other hand have absolutely no sugar or sugar substitutes, as in zero carbs and zero grams of sugar.

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 developed a proprietary process to make the base for our Bitters & Soda completely free of 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.

How Are Your Bitters & Soda Different From, You Know, Bitters And Soda?

It's really not that different, that is in fact our inspiration. You may have noticed we also make cocktail bitters that many people, bartenders included, often add to soda water. Our Bitters & Soda is a craft beverage, specifically balanced to be a standalone drink you can grab quickly and take anywhere with absolutely no alcohol or sugar, not even a trace.

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.

Can I Return My Bitters & Soda If I Don’t Like Them?

While we don’t like to hear that anyone didn't enjoy our Bitters & Soda, we know it's definitely not for everyone. However, we do not accept returns or offer refunds on the basis of taste alone.

You can see our full refund policy here:

On the other hand, we've heard from many customers that were willing to give it a few chances that Bitters & Soda has a way of growing on them, some to the point where they crave it every day.