Bitters and soda is a bubbly and refreshing low alcohol drink! It tastes like a cocktail, but has only trace amounts of booze.

Bitters and Soda

Want a cocktail that’s not really a cocktail? Enter: Bitters and Soda! This genius trick is the best way to feel like you’re drinking when you’re really not. We do this all the time, especially in the evenings when we need a nightcap. The amount of alcohol in cocktail bitters is negligible, so you end up with a drink that tastes like a cocktail with only trace amounts of booze. The flavor is so delicious: nuanced, herbal and bitter. With a squeeze of lemon, it’s pure genius!

What’s in Bitters and Soda?

Bitters and Soda is a drink that combines cocktail bitters and club soda. Because there are only a few dashes of bitters in the drink, the alcohol level very low and nearly negligible. It’s a great option for anyone who wants to drink alcohol, but still wants the flavor of a cocktail. The minute alcohol level also makes it a very low calorie drink. “Bitters and Soda” is also the name of a brand of canned non-alcoholic drinks, but you can easily make this drink at home. The ingredients you’ll need are:

  • Club soda or sparkling water
  • Cocktail bitters: Angostura, Peychaud’s, orange bitters, or non-alcoholic bitters

How to make it? Pour out your sparkling water, add the dashes of bitters, and top with a squeeze of a lemon wedge. The nuanced bitter, herbal, and effervescent flavor is unreal! You’ll become a quick convert to this easy 2-ingredient drink.

Bitters

More about cocktail bitters

Bitters are small bottles of spirits infused with botanicals (herbs and spices) that are used to flavor cocktails. They’re essential in modern mixology, as they take drinks from one-note to extraordinarily complex in just a few shakes. That’s because bitters are made with so many herbs and spices, it adds intrigue because the flavors are not easily recognizable. Some popular types of cocktail bitters are:

  • Angostura bitters are the most popular cocktail bitters. The flavor is complex and spiced, with hints of clove and cinnamon. They get the name from their manufacturer: the House of Angostura in Trinidad and Tobago. (Read more here.)
  • Peychaud’s bitters are most popularly known for inclusion in the Sazerac. The flavor is a little sweeter than Angostura bitters, with hints of anise and mint.
  • Orange bitters taste citrusy and fresh, with hints of cinnamon (see these Orange Bitters Cocktails).

There are lots of other types of craft bitters, each with different flavor. You can use any type of cocktail bitters in the Bitters and Soda, making a different flavor profile every time.

How many calories in the drink?

When we say low calorie drink, we mean it! Bitters and Soda has just 6 calories. How’s that for a skinny cocktail? Here’s the math:

  • How many calories in bitters? 1.5 calories per dash.
  • 4 dashes x 1.5 calories = 6 calories per drink
Bitters and Soda

How much alcohol is in Bitters and Soda

How much alcohol is in this drink? Only trace amounts: around 45% of 0.08 ounces, which is 0.03 ounces. Here’s the math:

  • How much alcohol is in bitters? Most bitters are between 35% to 45% ABV.
  • How much is 1 dash bitters? 1 dash = ½ teaspoon, which is 0.08 ounces.
  • How much alcohol in a standard cocktail? Most cocktails have 3 ounces alcohol, and most alcohol (like whiskey, gin, rum, and tequila) is 40% ABV. So the typical cocktail would have 3 * 0.40 or 1.2 ounces alcohol.

More drinks with bitters

There are lots more famous cocktails with bitters to use up the bottles, when you’re up for drinking alcohol! Here are a few more famous drinks:

  • The classic Old Fashioned is the most popular drink with bitters (typically Angostura)
  • The Manhattan is another famous bitters drink
  • The Sazerac is a New Orleans drink with Peychaud’s bitters
  • The Vieux Carre has both Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters
  • The Trinidad Sour uses an ungodly amount of bitters in 1 drink (1 ½ ounces!)
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Bitters and soda

Bitters and Soda


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Bitters and soda is bubbly and refreshing: the best way to make a low alcohol cocktail! It’s full of nuanced flavor and incredibly satisfying.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 ounces soda water
  • 3 to 4 dashes bitters, to taste (Angostura, Peychaud’s, orange bitters, or other)
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • Ice, for serving (try clear ice!)

Instructions

  1. Pour the soda water in an ice-filled glass. Top with cocktail bitters, and add a squeeze of 1 lemon wedge. Serve immediately.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Poured
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: Bitters and soda

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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