The best bitters for your on board bar
Angostura bitters

In recent years, cocktails have become fashionable once again, and it is the rare bar that does not offer its own special drinks. Along with the new spirits that are pouring out of distilleries around the world, bitters are now essential on any bar’s inventory. Given that they are based on botanical ingredients — herbs, spices, roots and vegetables — bitters are like a liquid spice rack. Here is Malachy Duffy's pick of the best bitters to stock your superyacht bar with now...

Angostura bitters

This is the bedrock bitters because it is so versatile. With an overall herbal taste, with undertones of liquorice and burnt sugar, it leavens a wide variety of drinks.

Angostura bitters, £8.45 for 100ml, The Whisky Exchange

Peychaud's bitters

If only for its critical role in one of my favourite cocktails, the Sazerac, Peychaud’s will always have a place on my bar. It displays elements of anise and citrus, mellowed by floral notes.

Peychaud's bitters, £7.95 for 148ml, 31 Dover


Nicholas Kosevich and Ira Koplowitz joined forces in Minneapolis in 2009 to launch this small-batch company. Their portfolio includes an intriguing range of bitters, such as Blackstrap, Bolivar, Jamaican #1 and Jamaican #2. I’m most taken with the Jamaican #2, which has notes of grapefruit and hibiscus that make it ideal for tropical drinks.

Bitters, $10 for 1oz, Bittercube

The Bitter End

This small company has cast its eyes around the globe to create a range of bitters that includes Curry, Jamaican Jerk, Moroccan and more. How about Thai Bitters with notes of lemon, lemongrass and coriander? It’s ideal for a gin and tonic, or a martini for that matter.

The Bitter End bitters, $19.99 for 2oz, Only Bitters


San Francisco-based Avery and Janet Glasser experimented with a variety of ingredients to create their signature Xocolatl Mole Bitters, with the essential tastes of the traditional Mexican cooking sauce. They combine well with dark rums and other dark spirits. Their Elemakule Tiki Bitters, with strong notes of cinnamon and allspice, is ideal for tropical fruit drinks.

Bittermens bitters, £19.95 for 146ml, The Whisky Exchange

Fee Brothers bitters

Now in its fourth generation of family ownership, this company survived Prohibition, but did not have the wide distribution of Angostura and Peychaud’s. It’s pleasing to see the firm now benefiting from the resurgence in cocktails. The eclectic range runs from Aztec Chocolate to Gin Barrel-Aged Orange Bitters.

Fee Brothers bitters, from £8.87 for 150ml, Masters of Malt

Regans’ Orange Bitters

The creator of these bitters, Gary Regan, is a man with whom I have enjoyed many tastings. It is fair to say that Regan, a dedicated New York barman, rekindled the interest in bitters when he launched these in 2005. I use them for a favourite drink, the Aperol Spritz.

Regans' Orange bitters, £9.20 for 150ml, Masters of Malt