Recipes | 5 October 2016How to Make a Tincture Share article facebook twitter google pinterest In DIY Bitters, herbalists Jovial King and Guido Mase, owners of the bitters company Urban Moonshine, teach you how to make recipes for classic bitters like orange and angostura, or explore more innovative bitters like elderflower-echinacea-honey and chocolate love tonic. You can even find a guide for creating your own unique flavors from the plants and ingredients you have on hand. Tinctures are the basis for most bitter recipes, and this video gives you a basic understanding on how to make one. MAKING HERBAL TINCTURES The tincture, or alcohol-based extract, is the heart of traditional liquid bitters. We suggest tincturing all herbs individually for optimal extraction and greater leeway in experimentation. But the same process applies to multi-herb extracts, as well. Making a tincture is simply a process of steeping an herb in a specific proof of alcohol for a specific period of time. These details are provided for each herb. As always, your tincture will only be as good as the herbs and alcohol you use to make it. Choose only highly flavorful, vibrant botanicals (we prefer organically grown) and high-quality spirits. MATERIALS Herb(s), small brush for cleaning roots (optional), scale, knife or mezzaluna, cutting board, Mason jar, measuring cup, alcoholic spirits, fine-mesh steel strainer, pen, and label. 1. If possible, gather your herbs yourself. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with the botanical landscape and get to know your ingredients. For dried herbs or those you purchase, skip to step 4. 2/3. Remove and discard the stems and any undesirable leaves. (This process is called “garbling.’’) You should be left with leaves, flowers, or roots as appropriate for the plant involved. Roots should be thoroughly washed and cleaned, using a small brush, if necessary, but taking care not to remove any outer root bark (often the best, most bitter part). Pat roots dry with a clean towel after washing. Leaves and flowers usually do not require washing. 4. Weigh the herbs according to the recipe. Chop thoroughly to increase surface area, maximize extraction, and liberate volatile compounds. Place the chopped herbs in a Mason jar. 5. Measure the spirits according to the recipe and slowly pour over the chopped herbs. 6. Close the jar tightly. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds, or until the herbal material is fully saturated. 7. Steep the tincture in a cool, dark place, shaking it every few days. After steeping, strain into a measuring cup. 8. Bottle the strained tincture in amber jars to protect it from ultraviolet light damage and label it with the herb’s name, strength (proof) of alcohol used, and date. Buy from an Online Retailer US: UK: Make your own bitters at home to enhance your medicine cabinet, and your bar! Used since the Middle Ages, bitters are made by combining various plant botanicals and/or spices with 100-proof alcohol and letting them sit until the bitter and medicinal qualities have been extracted. Just a small amount of the resulting liquid can then be used to stimulate the digestive system and promote healthy digestion. This is why “apertifs” and “digestifs” are so popular–both then and now! DIY Bitters is a how-to guide that explores the history and health benefits of bitters, and shows you how to make your own bitters at home, to be used alone or in cocktails, tonics, and even main meals. Herbalists Jovial King and Guido Mase, owners of the bitters company Urban Moonshine, teach you how to make recipes for classic bitters like orange and angostura, or explore more innovative bitters like elderflower-echinacea-honey andchocolate love tonic. You can even find a guide for creating your own unique flavors from the plants and ingredients you have on hand. Whether enjoyed as an apertif, digestif, or as a remedy to settle an upset stomach, bitters are back! Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.