Making Digestive Bitters

Bitter: A Mysterious Flavor

Bitter is an intriguing flavor. The very most sensitive of all tastes, bitterness has an excitable quality that some people would describe as disagreeable and harsh. The very word “bitter” has even become linguistically associated with expressions of anger, resentment, pain and reactivity. Yet complex bitter flavor does far more than cause lips to pucker and heads to shake. Known for stimulating the senses and engaging the digestive system, foods possessing a bitter quality have long been valued for a unique ability to cleanse the body and build vitality.

Many cultures revered bitter foods as an essential part of a regular healthy diet. Large numbers of of the diverse roots, barks, flowers and herbs of the wild plant kingdom are bursting with complex bitter flavor. When consumed, such plants naturally stimulate the production of saliva, gastric juices and bile to balance the appetite and prime digestion. Yet while bitter botanicals were consumed readily by our foraging ancestors, such richly flavored plant foods have been unfortunately lost to the endless aisles of sweetened and salted snacks filling grocery stores today.

Digestive Bitter Recipe:

1 Tablespoon eastern red cedar berries or juniper berries
1 Tablespoon anise seed
2 Tablespoon dried peppermint leaf
1 Tablespoon ginger root
1 Tablespoon cinnamon chips
1 Tablespoon fennel seeds
1 Tablespoon dried orange peel
1 Tablespoon dried dandelion root
1 Tablespoon dried burdock root
1 Quart highest proof vodka, moonshine or grain alcohol

Optional: peppermint essential oil & arrowroot/tapioca starch for emulsifying

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