The best bitters for Old Fashioned are required to make this highly popular traditional cocktail that features a smooth and silky taste that you would expect to come straight out of Hollywood.
Although some recipes don’t require the use of bitters to make this highly popular creamy beverage, they add a flavorful twist that makes an Old Fashioned what it is mostly known for.
With a simple recipe of sugar, water, bitters, and whiskey, often with a cherry or orange garnish, we highly recommend adding these phenomenal bitters to your bar cart.
Best Bitters for Old Fashioned: A Review
1. Top Hat Quinine Tonic Syrup
Although tonic syrup isn’t technically classified as bitters, you can use it in an incredibly similar way that can quickly transform your favorite cocktail into a far more flavorful and enjoyable beverage.
Compared to traditional tonic water, Top Hat Quinine Tonic Syrup is an easy-to-use solution made from natural ingredients to customize the taste of an Old Fashioned.
Top Hat Quinine Tonic Syrup is a popular choice because of its high-quality ingredients and its ability to be used alongside bitters and plain alcohol to create a far more enjoyable beverage.
You’ll find that this concentrate features five times more quinine than traditional tonic water, which enables you to have full control over the flavor profiles of your beverages.
Ideally, you will only need to use one ounce of this concentrate with five ounces of water to add a different twist to a traditional Old Fashioned.
A few of the essential ingredients in Top Hat Quinine Tonic Syrup include natural quinine, Zeus Hop, Darjeeling tea, chamomile flower, and grapefruit peel.
You’ll also find that its list of ingredients are gluten-free and feature quinine derived from natural Cinchona Bark, as with most other tonic concentrates.
- Mild flavor
- Mixes well with bitters
- Lightweight taste
- Made with quality ingredients
- Bottled in plastic
- Best used with cheap alcohol
2. Angostura Aromatic Bitters
If you’re in the market for a balanced food and beverage bitter that has an assortment of natural herbs to work with the sweet flavors of an Old Fashioned, this is one of the better products to consider.
The aromatic flavors are surely something to write home about, whether you are a professional mixologist or an at-home enthusiast.
One of the most exciting features of Angostura Aromatic Bitters is it is supposedly formulated from a secret recipe, so you aren’t likely to experience its combination of flavors elsewhere.
The uniqueness of the formula features an assortment of spices and herbs that you’ll not only love pairing with cocktails but even adding to savory dishes.
Unlike other bitters, you’ll find this is particularly versatile for a vast number of fan-favorite recipes.
Apart from adding the perfect flavor to an Old Fashioned, Angostura Aromatic Bitters, it is also a phenomenal option for individuals who have been experiencing indigestion and lack of appetite.
As a formula that was once used by the brand’s owner to improve the appetite of soldiers, it’s a great solution to help with stomach upset.
You’ll also appreciate how the balanced spicy flavor is what you need to compliment the smooth whiskey you put in your beverages.
- Elevates inexpensive alcohols
- Easy to use
- Pairs well with bourbon
- Strong and flavorful
- Poor packaging
- Artificial ingredients
3. Strongwater Old Fashioned Cocktail Syrup
With fantastic packaging that you can display beautifully among your bottles of bourbon and whiskey, Strongwater Old Fashioned Cocktail Syrup is a phenomenal addition to several popular cocktails.
It’s easily one of the most adaptable alcoholic drink mixers on the market that contain both bitters and demerara sugar, which will help beginners make perfectly crafted drinks every time.
Specially formulated for an Old Fashioned, this drink syrup is also iconic for an assortment of other beverages, such as Manhattans.
You can opt for the traditional Old Fashioned cocktail syrup, but you can also choose from two other formulas that feature perfectly balanced orange and cherry bitters.
In a single bottle, you will receive eight ounces of product, which is more than enough to craft plenty of beverages for yourself or guests.
Overall, the ingredients in Strongwater Old Fashioned Cocktail Syrup are very well balanced and layered, offering optimal smoothness for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
You’ll also appreciate how the ingredients are real, featuring organic demerara sugar and bitter herbs to enhance the flavor profile of the syrup.
Unlike other bitters, this recipe is perfectly mixed with cherries, orange peel, clove, cardamom, cinnamon, and bitter herbs.
Those with diet restrictions will appreciate how there aren’t any GMOs or gluten in the recipe; its versatility makes it the perfect addition to rye, whiskey, or bourbon.
- Comes with instructions
- Very user-friendly
- The perfect mix of bitters and syrup
- Crafts many beverages
- Great for travel
- Poor bottle design
- Could taste artificial
- Lingering aftertaste
4. Peychaud’s Aromatic Cocktail Bitters
There are plenty of bitters that have a more fresh and fruity flavor profile.
Still, if you want a more masculine and woodsy flavor, we highly recommend Peychaud’s Aromatic Cocktail Bitters.
With a beautiful combination of rich ingredients, it is one of the best options when making classic cocktails such as an Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sours, and Manhattans.
All of the ingredients sourced for this bottle of bitters are from New Orleans, making it one of the best options if you want USA-made bitters.
You’ll find there’s a more woody appeal to these bitters thanks to the combination of orange peel, caramel, saffron, and licorice, which will create a more mature and elevated Old Fashioned than with other mass-market products.
Many mixologists have noted this formula works well with alcohol, rather than trying to overwhelm the beverage with an assortment of artificial-tasting flavors.
The recipe for Peychaud’s Aromatic Cocktail Bitters has been in production since the 1800s, with its popularity booming since before prohibition.
Also, over the years, the manufacturer has continued to use the same recipe, which means every bottle will taste as you would expect.
Its versatility is also ideal for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages alike, and it’s flavorful enough to use in combination with soda water without whiskey or bourbon.
- Has balanced flavors
- Helps with nausea
- Perfect for Sazeracs
- Strong anise-flavor
- Satisfactory flavor profile
- Strong licorice aftertaste
5. Woodford Reserve Orange Bitters
With incredibly attractive packaging and authentic flavors, Woodford Reserve Orange Bitters could be what you’ve been looking for if you need bitters for an Old Fashioned.
You’ll find the flavor profile of this product also works well with plenty of other traditional cocktails, especially if they require the use of bourbon or whiskey.
What makes Woodford Reserve Orange Bitters such a fantastic option is that it doesn’t have several layers of flavors that take away from the authentic flavoring of an Old Fashioned.
This formula is by far one of the most superior if you want to craft a traditional beverage that has been served over decades and enjoyed by many.
To preserve the fresh and mature flavoring of the orange bitters, every bottle is aged in bourbon barrels owned by Woodford Reserve.
The nuances of the flavor profile in these bitters are also something to make a note of since a little bit will go a long way without being too overwhelming.
Compared to other brands that offer eight to ten ounces of product per bottle, you’ll have two ounces of product, which speaks to the strength of the flavoring.
Ideally, you should only need two to three drops of these bitters per beverage, which is far better than needing two ounces of competing brands.
- Subtle and nuanced
- Deep flavors with dark notes
- Authentic flavoring
- Great for digestive purposes
- Adds creative touches to beverages
- Lacking orange flavoring
- Doesn’t pack a punch
Woodford Reserve Orange Bitters is the perfect option for the best bitters for Old Fashioned cocktails out of any recipe we’ve tested.
With subtle and nuanced flavors, they blend perfectly with the notes of your chosen bourbon or whiskey, allowing you to appreciate all of the layers of your beverage instead of focusing on artificial sweeteners and flavors.
You’ll also appreciate the stunning design of the bottle, which is something you would expect to see at the bar of any professional mixologist.