Most people associate aromatic bitters with Angostura bitters — you've probably seen the bottles, decked out in the brand's signature oversized label on supermarket shelves or at your local liquor store — but there are plenty of other bitters out there that will make your tipples tastier and also impress your friends. Check out five of our favorite bitters (besides Angostura) and learn what to pair them with.
- Coriander Bitters by Bob's Bitters, $30 for 100 milliliters at Only Bitters: Bob's Bitters are crafted from a culinary perspective by focusing on single ingredients. This one is all coriander, all the way. With a vibrant, citrusy flavor, these bitters are basically made for a spicy Bloody Mary or any simple gin cocktail.
- Xocolatl Mole Bitters by Bittermens, $19 for four ounces: These small-batch bitters — a combination of cacao and cinnamon — are meant to evoke the flavor of the traditional Mexican mole sauce. They make a surprisingly tasty addition to an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan.
- Thai Bitters by The Bitter End, $27 for two ounces: The Bitter End's concoctions are inspired by seven different global locations, and we're loving the refreshing feel of this Thai variety. Add it to citrusy Palomas or sparkling wine cocktails for a lightly savory finish.
- Palo Santo Cocktail Bitters by DRAM Apothecary, $18 for four ounces at DRAM: Palo Santo comes from Paraguay and is believed by many to have magical powers. Whether or not you believe in magic, these bitters will seriously upgrade the simplest of cocktails. With a flavor profile including vanilla, smoke, and fresh-cut timber, these bitters pair wonderfully with bourbon, whiskey, or mezcal.
- Sriracha by Brooklyn Hemispherical Bitters, $18 for four ounces at Whisk: This artisanal Brooklyn brand has transformed your favorite hot sauce into the ultimate cocktail flavoring. Add a few dashes to a Sazerac or Negroni for a smooth, subtle heat.