Along the Grapevine

Spruce Tip Bitters


This is arguably the greenest recipe I have ever come up with – not so much the actual colour, but the aroma and flavour are as green as it gets. This is my second bitters concoction, a process I describe in full detail in an earlier post on rhubarb bitters.


When I collected this year’s crop of spruce tips, it occurred to me that they would be a perfect ingredient for a novel flavour of bitters, and mixed with other greens from my garden – namely dried hops, mint and fennel seeds, I had all l needed to come up with a unique recipe, which is what I did.


Spruce Tips Bitters on Punk Domestics

If there are no longer any of the tiny spruce tips on the trees, you will probably find that the new growth is still soft and relatively sweet enough they can be used for this recipe.

Spruce Tips Bitters

Step 1

Mix together the following ingredients in a large mason jar.

1 cup spruce tips

1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup dried mint

1/4 cup dried hops

zest of two organic limes

1/2 tsp cinchona bark

1 tsp fennel seeds

Cover with vodka, approximately 1 1/2 cups. Cover and set aside out of direct light for two weeks, stirring at least once daily.

Step 2

Strain the liquid off and store in another jar. Place the solids in a pot and barely cover with water. Simmer it for ten minutes and allow to sit for 4 days to one week.

Step 3

Strain off the liquid and mix with the vodka infusion from step 1. Add 2 tbsp of honey or maple syrup.

If you think that bitters are only used medicinally or for cocktails, you may be surprised to find just how versatile they can be with just a little imagination. I have found they are a great flavour enhancer for ice cream using about 1 tsp per cup of dairy. I have also used it in baking, and hope to have such a recipe with these bitters very soon.

Until then, I leave you with this dry vodka martini to which I added 1/4 tsp spruce tip bitters and in lieu of the olive a spruce tip I salvaged from the discarded solids.



Author: Hilda

I am a backyard forager who likes to share recipes using the wild edibles of our area.

10 thoughts on “Spruce Tip Bitters

  1. God I’m salivating at the thought. Looks great! Congradulations!


  2. Wow! You never cease to amaze me!!!


  3. Looks tempting.


  4. Love that idea! You’re making me miss New England.

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. Yes, another wonderful original by you! It is a bit strange to me but looks very lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You really make it seem so easy together with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I feel I’d by no means understand. It seems too complex and extremely extensive for me. I am looking forward in your subsequent post, I will attempt to get the grasp of it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Perhaps I made it sound more complicated than it really is. The process is really soaking the ingredients in vodka for a time, straining out the vodka and cooking the solids in water. Then mix the two liquids. It is not a process most of us are familiar with, but once you do it once it is pretty simple, and allows you to come up with all sorts of fun, unique flavours. I hope this helps.


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