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Bitters and Soda Recipe (Mocktail with Bitters)

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This Bitters and Soda recipe is one of my favorite drinks to sip when I want something refreshing with little to no alcohol. While it isn’t really considered a cocktail, mixing cocktail bitters with club soda creates the perfect mocktail-like drink.

A stemless wine glass on a table with a bottle of bitters next to it.
Let’s make this easy Bitters and Soda recipe.

Bitters and Soda is herbal and refreshing

Bitters and Soda is my favorite. This “almost” cocktail is my perfect non-alcoholic drink to sip when I need to remain in full-on mom mode. As a mom, it’s not practical for me to whip up a cocktail during the week or keep my wine glass topped off.

The flavor of this club soda and bitters idea is herbal and slightly bitter (duh) with a hint of orange and is my favorite thing to sip over ice.

But there are some afternoons when I really want to sip on something that isn’t just water

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere. But not here. Do you ever get stuck in that pre-happy hour time at the end of a long day craving a cocktail?

Related post: Drinks with Bitters

So when it’s the witching hour and I want something more, but not pass out on the couch (not from being drunk, but from one glass of wine. I’m old, you guys. This is so not how drinking in college went!) Soda and bitters is all you need!

All you need is just two simple ingredients to make this mocktail with bitters.

In creating a bunch of easy mixed drinks, I fell in love with the herbal flavor of Angostura bitters. It’s usually used to add depth of flavor in cocktails and it takes just a few drops. And it takes full center stage in this recipe.

To me, this bitters drink is super refreshing and makes me feel like I’m making a little me time in the busy evening hustle. This drink isn’t about feeling a buzz, it’s about enjoying the flavors.

Bitters and Soda couldn’t be easier to put together and is just a little something to kick off your evening.

Ingredients

An overhead view of a cutting board with a bottle of bitters, a cocktail sitrrer and a stemless wine glass next to a bottle of club soda.
What you need to make Club Soda and Bitters.

Literally, this easy, mocktail is just club soda and bitters. There are trace amounts of alcohol and lots of fizz but it will still leave you functional.

This is the perfect almost cocktail recipe! And I felt totally validated when I saw Sonja Morgan drink one on Real Housewives of New York.

It’s like a spicy spritzer (not hot spicy – flavor spicy). Maybe spiced is a better word.

  • A glass full of cold Soda Water (also called club soda)
  • A bunch of drops of Bitters (I love flavored bitters, but I mostly drink this with Angostura Bitters)

If you need it a little sweeter, add a little fruit juice or agave. I’m a club soda fan, who doesn’t like sweet beverages, so I never add anything but the bitters.

Angostura Bitters is probably the most popular bitters brand. It’s easy to find at most stores and it’s a great price.

Also, a bottle of bitters will last you for life (well almost, especially if you don’t make tons of drinks). I change it out every few years but I’ve never actually finished a bottle.

Although I might now since I’ve been drinking this yummy concoction more often.

If you need non-alcoholic bitters here are a few options:

How to Make Soda and Bitters

Woman pouring club soda into a stemless wine glass next to a bottle of bitters.

1. Add ice to a glass

2. Add soda water (or club soda)

3. Add a few dashes of bitters

4. Give it a stir.

Or don’t. It doesn’t matter all that much. This is a very forgiving drink.

The amount of bitters you use is completely up to you. I started off making this with just a few drops. And it will depend on the type of bitters you use.

But I really love to taste the flavor so I am a little heavy-handed with the bitters. 

When I make this now, the drink is more of a pinky-orange color, especially when I use the Angostura bitters.

And when Sonia was served her drink at a restaurant it was also pretty colorful. Bitters are an acquired taste.

Play around with it until you find the flavor that you like. 

I just recently started making this with lavender bitters and it’s SO good!

Top tips

If you need it a little sweeter, add a little fruit juice or agave. I’m a club soda fan, who doesn’t like sweet beverages, so I never add anything but the bitters.

Also, a bottle of bitters will last you for life (almost). I change it out every few years but I’ve never actually finished a bottle.

Although I might now since I’ve been drinking this yummy concoction more often.

Soda and Bitters variations

While this simple recipe is delicious, this is a type of drink that has numerous variations. Just change up the type of bitters you use or pair it with flavored soda water!

Imbibe Magazine has a list of a delicious-sounding Bitters and Soda combos.

And you can also add bitters to cola or another type of soda.

Where I learned about this recipe

I did not think of this drink idea myself but learned it from Susie of Susie Cakes bakery.

I was lucky enough to attend a shop opening, for her Laguna Niguel location, where they held a cake and wine tasting. Dream come true, right?!

But in chatting with Susie, she mentioned that sometimes she puts this little drink together and I just knew I would love it too. I love an herbal flavor in my drinks.

How many types of bitters are there

There are a few classic cocktail bitters, and then there is a whole world of smaller brands.

  • Angostura – The Angostura brand is what I would say all modern bitters are modeled after. This is the one you will find in most home bars. It’s relatively inexpensive and has a really great flavor.
  • Peychaud’sPeychaud’s is another well-known bitters brand. This one has a red color and is slightly sweeter with a bit more licorice flavor.

From there, bitters are made in all kinds of flavor profiles and are a fun way to change up your favorite cocktails.

I love all the Bittermen’s bitters blends, especially the Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Cocktail Bitters with notes of cinnamon and allspice (I used it in my delicious rum punch recipe). 

But I’m thinking this Bitters set might be a fun idea too.

An old-timey use of bitters was to help settle an upset stomach. This Bitters and Soda Recipe is one of my go-to tricks when I’m not feeling great! Give it a try!

Close up of a stemless wine glass on a table with bitters behind it.

Even though this is very low in alcohol, you should still drink responsibly. If you’ve had 4 of these, you may want to take care when driving. But honestly, I don’t think it would even register after 4 of these (it would be a total of a teaspoon maybe).

I’ve also read that this might be a great hangover remedy. I haven’t tried that yet, but if I do, I’ll report back! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are cocktail bitters?

Cocktail bitters are a mix of water and spirits that have been steeped with aromatics, like flowers, fruit, leaves, roots, and other flavor agents.
When added to a cocktail, they add another layer of flavor that helps to balance a recipe and add complexity. The flavor is on the bitter side and you usually only need a dash or two.

What is the alcohol content of bitters?

Does bitters have alcohol? Yes. Bitters alcohol content is between 35% – 45%. Which sounds really high considering an average glass of wine is around 11%. But you only use a few drops in a recipe which dilutes it greatly.
Is there such a thing as non-alcoholic bitters? If you make it yourself yes! I found this easy non alcoholic bitter recipe you could follow.

Can you get drunk off bitters?

Technically yes, you can get drunk off bitters. But you’d have to drink A LOT.
So much that you would probably feel sick to your stomach and still may not really feel much of a buzz.

Shop for Bitters

Printable pages on top of an image of kitchen gadgets with text next to it.
  • Lavender Lemonade – I am obsessed with lavender lemonade during spring! It’s another refreshing idea, that uses dried flowers, to give the drink so much flavor!
  • Spiced Cinnamon Coffee Recipe – I never go a day without coffee but sometimes I want to jazz up my boring old cup. This Spiced Cinnamon Coffee recipe adds spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, and even a little orange zest, and is a great way to add tons more flavor to a regular cup of joe.
  • Non-Alcoholic Sangria for Kids – Why should adults have all the fun?! This Non-Alcoholic Sangria for kids is an easy recipe, with fruit and lemon-lime soda that your whole family can enjoy.
  • Make a Non-Alcoholic GIn and Tonic next time you want the flavors of this classic cocktail but no alcohol.
  • A Moscow Mule Mocktail is refreshing and another delicious drink to sip.
  • Grapefruit Mocktail with Thyme and Cucumber – This not too sweet drink is perfect to sip on a nice warm day!
  • Make this Muddled Ginger Strawberry Sparkling Water mocktail next time you need a refreshing drink that feels extra special.

Or see my collections of easy mixed drinks: Easy Cocktails, Moscow Mule Variations, Vodka Cocktails, and Wine Cocktails.

Printable Recipe

A stemless wine glass on a table with a bottle of bitters next to it.

Bitters and Soda

Bitters and Soda is a refreshing almost cocktail idea with a great herbal taste. With little to no alcohol, this recipe uses aromatic cocktail bitters and soda water to create a delicious concoction that won't leave you buzzed.
4.50 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 1 minute
Calories: 470kcal
Servings: 1 serving

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Add ice to a glass of your choice.
  • Fill with chilled soda water.
  • Add Angostura, or your favorite bitters, to taste.
  • Give it a quick stir.

Notes

Change up the flavor by using flavored soda water or another flavor of bitters.
Want this less fizzy? Try using bitters with sparkling water.
You can also add bitters to cola or other types of soda.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Servings | Calories: 470kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Sodium: 4mg | Sugar: 12g
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @CupcakesCutlery or tag #cupcakescutlery!

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2 Comments

  1. Wendy Russell says:

    This post really resonates with me. I have recently discovered that enjoying these almost cocktails is a great way to reduce my alcohol intake but still enjoy interesting flavours and a special treat. I have always enjoyed a delicious IPA when I cook dinner at the end of the day. I consider it ‘me’ time, well deserved :) But the beer added to my waistline and took away my energy which made it tough to be the parent I want to be or do much beyond couch surfing past 7pm. These little concoctions are a dream! And to be honest, I feel the alcohol but only subtlety and just enough to take the edge off instead of making me sleepy and lazy. I’m now on the hunt for interesting flavoured bitters. Thanks for this validating post :)
    Wendy from Toronto

    1. YES! I love the flavors from cocktails but don’t always want the liquor! I never feel the alcohol, but what I love about it is that you can make it exactly how you like it! Bitters is not a taste everyone loves but I find it so refreshing! If you have a minute will you leave a star rating?! That will help more people find this recipe! I think I’ll make one tonight. :) (I also sip this when my stomach is bothering me since bitters used to be used for stomach ailments.)

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