Cocktail Bitters in Melbourne

As any good cocktail enthusiast or bar tender knows, the difference between a good cocktail and a great one can all come down to one ingredient. Bitters. Each bottle is packed with more bitter flavour than anything else known to man (this may or may not be true) a dash or 2 of this and a dash or 2 of that can really take that Manhattan to the next level. Finding these little bottles of joy can be a challenge, but in Melbourne, luckily they are available.

There are a variety of different flavours of bitters, Angostura is the most common has a dark brown colour and is perhaps the most bitter. Peychauds is next on the list of commonality with a reddy-pink hue and a tarty almost-sweet flavour. Following these 2 brands there are a variety of different brands, Fee Brothers and The Bitter Truth are worthy of mentions. The bitters these 2 companies produce come in a variety of flavours, Orange, Old Fashioned, Peach. Mint, Lemon, Grapefruit, Whiskey Barrel Aged, Celery and Jerry Thomas’s own pretty much cover the list. These flavours are not as intense as the 2 former brands but they certainly add a unique flavour to cocktails.

All this is well and good, but if you are in Melbourne, actually getting your shaking little hands on a bottle of anything but Angostura is nearly impossible. Nearly being the operative words, as the staff here at My Aching Head have wandered long and wide in the windy city to tell you of 2 outlets of these necessary ingredients.

Wigs Cellar, 172 Queen St.

Wigs Cellar is the best bottle shop in the CBD. The prices are a bit high (especially compared to Dan Murphy’s) but the range is without compare. They stocks Peychauds and Fee Brothers bitters as well as a myriad of absinthes, whiskeys and rums. The old bloke who runs the place will love to have a chat about whatever you are buying, he might even have a recipe or 2 of his own.

Melbourne Temperance Society, Der Raum

The Melbourne  Temperance Society is a cocktail club with benefits at the bar Der Raum. Der Raum itself has probably the biggest range of alcohol of any bar in Australia and through the Melbourne Temperance Society they make some of it available to buy. The website doesn’t seem to have any information about it, but last time I was in the bar I’m quite sure they had The Bitter Truth bitters for sale as well as some home made Der Raum bitters. The only problem is, there is a $40 membership fee for the Temperance Society and the bottle shop is only available to members.

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One Response to “Cocktail Bitters in Melbourne”

  1. Amanda commented:

    Who knew there was so much to write about bitters?

    So are we going to do this blogger drinks? If you are keen why don’t you pick a bar and we will try round up some eager bloggers?