Victoria bartender, cocktail expert and booze writer Nate Caudle shared this recipe for making smoky orange bitters at home – perfect with brown spirits.
NATE CAUDLE’S ORANGE BITTERS RECIPE
You can use any whisky but to add a nice smoky flavour to these orange bitters, a smoky Islay malt (scotch). I like to use McClellands Islay because it's not as expensive as using Talisker, or Laphroig or something like this. It runs about $40 and has almost as much of that smoky sensation.
Doing a full bottle of booze might be a little much for the home enthusiast. So I condensed the recipe down to 600ml
1L large Mason Jar
500ml Marquis de Villard VSOP Brandy
100ml Smoky Scotch (McClellands or Laphroig, Talisker, etc)
4 peeled oranges, with the peels charred or toasted over gas flame
1/4 cup dried orange peel
4 orange slices, bruléed with demerara sugar (I used a torch)
6 star anise
heavy pinch of whole cloves
8-10 allspice berries whole
1/2 vanilla bean
1 tbsp dried gentian root (found at a herbalist)
Combine and let sit sealed in a cool/dry place for at least 10 days to infuse the flavours.
Strain through coffee filter for clarity, bottle and enjoy.