This Is One Thing I’ll Never DIY

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Emily Han)

I’m not ashamed to say it: I’d like everyone who comes to my apartment to think that I’m a domestic goddess. I’d like the table to be Pinterest-worthy, but also totally original. I want the pie crust to be so flaky, you can’t possibly believe I made it from scratch. And I want the cocktails to be unique and plentiful. I don’t mind fussing — bring on the fuss, even if it means spending all day in the kitchen.

That said, there’s one thing I definitely won’t be caught sweating over: making my own bitters. Sure, I know they’re a staple of a bar that’s making any sort of cocktail worth its weight in Instagram likes, but unless you actually own a bar that takes customers (do you? Can I come by?), I feel strongly that there’s nothing you can make for a cocktail at home that you wouldn’t be able to buy in a form that’s just as great, if not better — especially bitters. Here’s why.

(Image credit: Emily Han)

1. There’s a bitters for every cocktail.

No matter what your particular craving might be, there’s a bitters (or multiple bitters!) for you. With an assortment of store-bought versions in my bar, I can make a Sazerac for one person, and throw lavender bitters into a Hot Toddy for another, and even dream up a whole new cocktail recipe to incorporate my chocolate bitters for a third guest.

Try These Bitters

2. It’s faster to buy bitters.

Infusing your own bitters can take anywhere from days to weeks, depending on your particular blend. When you buy them, they can be at your doorstep the very next day, thanks to the miracle that is Amazon Prime.

3. It’s cheaper to buy bitters.

Baking cookies is usually cheaper than buying them, because you tend to already have all the ingredients in your well-stocked pantry. Making bitters? Not so much. You have to invest in bittering agents, flavor agents, high-proof liquor, and that’s not even counting the bottles and adorable labels you’ll use to store them! If you buy a bottle, you can get a few for the price of just those ingredients, and it’s worth it.

4. One bottle will last forever. Seriously.

We’re talking years and years here. And when it comes to food products, that’s a one-time investment that I can feel pretty good about. Some bitters may start to lose their flavor over time, but you can still use them.

5. No one will know the difference — even you.

It’s nice to believe that painstaking attention will be something that elevates your preparation and cooking, and for the most part, I think that’s true. But there are some instances when the reward isn’t worth the effort. This is one of those times. Instead of using your time to make the perfect concoction, make a cocktail and cozy up with a nice book. Free time to relax!

Still wanna try it? How To Make Homemade Bitters

Do you make or buy your bitters?