Strawberry Bitters Recipe

Make your summer cocktail way more interesting…

Ok, so it takes a while. These will work year round.

Strawberry Bitters – I love these Strawberry Bitters because they build on the complex flavors of the strawberry. Strawberries are ever present in summer. They can become such a part of the culinary landscape that we take them for granted. This recipe builds on the complex flavors in this delicious fruit. Hopefully you will find something new in an old favorite.

Making Your Own Bitters

This recipe for Strawberry Bitters is unusual in that it has a sherry base rather than a high proof spirits base like we would normally use for cocktail bitters. The lower alcohol content lends itself to being used in larger amounts. You can try using this as an amaro if you wish. It could also work well as a liqueur. Sweetened with honey or maple syrup.

Flavor Description

  • Fruity
  • Herbal

Strawberries are fascinating. They have an aromatic structure that makes them interchangeable with pineapple. Pineapple and strawberries share about two thirds of their flavor compounds. In fact cultivated strawberry you find in the grocery is Fragaria x ananassa. Ananassa being the latin word for pineapple. You can adapt this recipe to create a pineapple bitters if you were so inclined.

Oloroso or Amontillado Sherry Base

Furaneol, or strawberry furanone, is a compound that lends strawberries a pineapple note. At low concentrations it smells of strawberries and caramel. It is also present in Oloroso and Amontillado sherries. We are going to take advantage of this connection and use a sherry for our flavor base.
Strawberries also share many aromatic connections with grapes and green leaf fragrances. We are taking advantage of that connection by using grape seeds as our bittering agent. Grape seeds are packed with tannins and polyphenols. Extracting these elements in our bitters will bring nice structure to your cocktail.

Wild Strawberries

Citrus notes rounds out the flavor of cultivated strawberries. Adding citrus to strawberries makes them taste more like wild strawberries. As Herve This points out, you can mimic wild strawberry flavor by adding orange blossom water. In this case I am using orange peel because I don’t want to dilute the alcohol content any further.

Spice Notes

Strawberries also include compounds that make them a good match for several spices. A couple of these are cinnamate flavor esters. Cinnamon, as the name imples. Methyl cinnamate is also present in sichuan peppers.

Strawberry Bitters


  • 75 g sliced strawberries
  • 5 g dried elderberries
  • 10 g orange peel
  • 10 g licorice root
  • 10 g cinnamon
  • 15 g whole grape seed
  • 15 g fennel seeds
  • 15 g star anise
  • 15 g cloves
  • 10 g black peppercorns
  • 750 ml oloroso or amontillado sherry


  1. Combine everything in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid and top with sherry.
  2. Seal tightly and shake to mix well.
  3. Set aside in a cool dark place for two months to allow the flavors to thoroughly infuse the sherry.
  4. Strain out the solids with a fine mesh sieve and filter through cheese cloth.
  5. Discard solids and funnel remaining liquid into a bottle.


Try pairing these Strawberry Bitters will pair well with some of the following flavors:

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Basil
  • Caramel
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Galangal
  • Maple Syrup
  • Peaches
  • Pineapple
  • Rosemary
  • Vanilla


These strawberry bitters can be used like cocktail bitters. Dashed in small amounts into a cocktail. They can also be used more like an Italian amaro in larger amounts. Experiment and see what works for you.

If you wish to turn them into an herbal liqueur you can try sweetening the bitters with honey or maple syrup.



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.