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BOker's Bitters

A faithful reformulation of one of the finest bitters from the first Golden Age of mixed drinks

THE STORY

Originally founded by Johann Gottlieb Böker in 1828, Boker’s Bitters gained popularity around the World as the finest bitters of the Golden Age of mixed drinks. Boker’s were famously the preferred brand of Professor Jerry Thomas, featuring throughout his book, ‘How to Mix Drinks or The Bon Vivant’s Companion’, now recognised as the World’s first bartender’s guide.​

Despite being unequalled when used in the refined drinks of the bar, the devastating effect of The Volstead Act, commonly referred to as Prohibition, closed the Boker’s company in the 1920s. Tasting and analysing original samples, referencing historical medical guides, as well as unearthing court records and a series of counterfeit recipes dating as far back as 1853, I used these findings to reformulate a historically accurate representation of Boker’s Bitters and brought them back to market at the end of 2009.

With their return Boker’s have regained their rightful place and are again being used globally by bartenders in classics such as the Japanese Cocktail, Martinez, Crusta and Improved Cocktail, as well as a multitude of new libations from this second Golden Age of mixology.

KEY BOTANICALS

  • Dried orange peel (Spain)
  • Green cardamom pods (Guatemala)
  • Catechu (India)
  • Quassia bark (Jamaica)
  • Star anise (Vietnam) 
  • Cloves (Sri Lanka)
  • Angelica Root (China)

Tasting NOTES

Nose: Eucalyptus-pine and cardamom woody nose.

Taste: Intensely bitter with cardamom, coffee and orange.

Finish: Seemingly everlasting bitter finish with hints of coffee. 

WORKS WITH...

Cognac, genever, Old Tom gin, whiskies, cream, eggs, lemon, passion fruit, honey, maple, grapes, pears, cacao, orgeat, coffee​​

RECOMMENDED SERVE

Martinez

  • 60ml / 2oz Sweet vermouth
  • 30ml / 1oz House of Botanicals Old Tom Gin
  • Barspoon Maraschino Liqueur
  • 3 Dashes Dr. Adam Elmegirab’s Boker’s Bitters 

Add all ingredients to mixing glass, fill with cubed ice and stir for 15-20 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a quadrant of fresh lemon

Origin of drink unknown

INGREDIENTS

RECIPES

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