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Shoots & roots DIY bitters recipes

Create your own bitters with Shoots & Roots Bitters recipes.

Here, we share three bitters recipes from our upcoming book Botany at the Bar including:

Hanging Gardens of Babylon Bitters

Grape Sazerac Bitters

Demon Flower Bitters

Scroll down to view these recipes. These bitters were featured in three cocktail recipes presented in the Science of Spirits feature in the December 2017 inflight magazine of Southwest Airlines.  


Hanging Gardens of Babylon bitters

Hanging Gardens is a blend inspired by the elusive Wonder of the Ancient World, and a reimagining of the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern herbs that may have grown there. Was this legendary garden a mythical ideal or a reality, and what may have been cultivated?

40 g powdered pomegranate seed and fruit (Punica granatum)
60 g lightly toasted black barley (Hordeum vulgare) – do not pulverize! Leave whole.
30 g cup roasted coriander seed (Coriandrum sativum)
40 g parsley root (Petroselinum crispum)
20 g dried parsley leaf (Petroselinum crispum)
15 bay leaves (Laurus nobilis)
10 g anise seed (Pimpinella anisum)
20 g sumac fruit, fresh or dried (Rhus coriaria)
20 g dried amla fruit (Emblica officinalis)
10 g dried bergamot leaf (Citrus bergamia)
20 g dried lemon peel (Citrus × limon)
5 g thyme (Thymus vulgaris)


grape sazerac bitters

This is a classic bitters which was meant to be enjoyed in a cognac Sazerac that since became whiskey- because of the Phylloxera insect that invaded and wiped out most of the grape plantations. So we added a little grape to this recipe in place of sugar. Don’t try to grind the raisins, but instead, cut them each in half with scissors and add them to the alcohol to infuse.

100 g raisins (Vitis vinifera)
30 g dried pomelo peel (Citrus maxima)
20 g bitter orange peel (Citrus × aurantium)
20 g lime peel (Citrus × aurantifolia)
30 g celery seed (Apium graveolens)
10 g fennel seed (Foenicum vulgare)
1 star anise fruit, whole (Illicium verum)
20 g gentian root (Gentiana lutea)
10 g allspice fruit (Pimenta dioica)
40 g dried sloe fruit (Prunus spinosa)
15 g dried juniper cone (Juniperus communis)
5 g nutmeg seed (Myristica fragrans)
5 g cinnamon dried inner bark (Cinnamomum verum)


demon flower bitters

These 12 plants hail from Mexico and the Philippines to symbolize the deep cultural trade of medicinal and ritual plants rooted in the colonization from New Spain.

50 g Devil’s hand flowers (Chiranthodendron pentadactylon)
50 g pau d’arco bark (Tabebuia sp)
25 g hibiscus calyx (Hibiscus sabdariffa)
10 g sambong leaf (Blumea balsamifera)
20 g dried uchuva fruit (Physalis peruviana)
5 g jasmine flowers (Jasminum sambac)
10 g chamomile flowers (Matricaria chamomilla)
10 g blue skullcap leaf (Scutellaria lateriflora)
1 g dong quai root (Angelica sinensis)
30 g cacao seeds (Theobroma cacao)
4 g blue pea flowers (Clitoria ternatea)
15 g linden flowers and leaves (Tilia cordata
2 g propolis extract