Bitters Resources

I had the great pleasure of teaching my DIY Cocktail Bitters class again at Machine Project yesterday evening. Thanks to everyone for coming out and partaking of all the fun and dropping of knowledge. Here are some links to various resources of interest:





Wooden Beam Lamp

Lamp beam - hammer in lamp pole

Lamp beam - drill holeLamp beam - admire the first section of the lamp.Lamp beam - finishedLamp beam - deployed in our living room

I repurposed a scrap of 1939 4×4 beam from my house remodel to build a lamp base. I have a couple of these black metal gooseneck lamps in my garage with no bases — they broke years ago, some kind of cement in the base that crumbled, taking the threaded mount with it.
So, I drilled a hole in the 4×4, mounted the lamp post in there, and added bent nail to hold the cord. I love the result!

J. Edgar Park’s Aromatic Bitters No. 1

J. Edgar Park’s Aromatic Bitters No. 1
Make your own bitters to invigorate your beverages.

Aromatic bitters 5

  • 375ml of 151 proof grain alcohol
  • 375ml of 100 proof bourbon
  • zest of one lemon, peeled with a vegetable peeler
  • 1/4 tsp. quinine extract (from a health food store)
  • 1/8 tsp. wormwood extract (from a health food store)
  • 2 tsp. Tellicherry peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • a 2″ piece of fresh ginger root
  • 6 allspice berries
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/8 cu. dried cherries
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise, with its seeds scraped and reserved to add to jar
  • 1/4 cu. raw sugar
1. Put all ingredients, except for sugar, in a large glass jar, closing it tightly.
Aromatic bitters 3
2. Store jar in a cool, dark place for thirteen days, shaking it daily.
Aromatic bitters 4
3. On day thirteen, filter liquid into a clean jar through a sieve, reserving solids.
4. Place filtered solids into a saucepan, along with 1/2 cu. of water. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes, in order to extract maximum flavor.
5. Strain simmered liquid through sieve or cheesecloth, and then combine with other jar of liquid.
6. Filter liquid through a coffee filter or Aeropress to remove small particles.


7. Heat sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until it caramelizes and froths.
8. Add burnt sugar to the bitters liquid. Shake jar until burnt sugar dissolves, then let bitters cool.
9. Bottle the bitters using a funnel and or squeeze bottle.
10. Apply bitters directly to your tongue to relieve the fantods, or enjoy a dash or two in most any drink for added flavor harmony.


Mole-Richardson Pliers


I bought a $4 bag of tools at the thrift shop yesterday and was really happy to find these 1950s era electricians pliers among them. They’re from the venerable Hollywood lighting equipment company Mole-Richardson.

I love the grip pattern:


These look like slip joint pliers with a bent head and a groove down the jaws, but Mole calls them “electrician’s”