Saigon Cinnamon & Walnut Bitters Recipe

Saigon cinnamon and walnut bitters
Maryse Chevriere


  • 16 ounces neutral grain spirits, preferably Polmos' Spirytus Rektyfikowany but any high-proof vodka works
  • 16 ounces rye whiskey, preferably Old Overholt
  • 8 ounces sweet vermouth, preferably Dolin or Carpano Antica
  • 2 ounces honey liqueur, preferably Barenjäger
  • 10 ounces shelled walnuts
  • ¼ ounce black walnut hulls
  • 1 ounce cracked Saigon cinnamon
  • 1 ounce dried orange peel
  • 1 ounce golden raisins
  • ½ ounce quassia bark
  • ¼ ounce gentian
  • 25 cloves 
  • 25 allspice berries
  • 20 hazelnuts
  • 15 coffee beans
  • 2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2-4 ounces Turbinado simple syrup
  • 4 ounces mineral water

More Recipes

by Dan Carlson

Here's a kind of "starter" bitters recipe that is easy to make and super versatile. This recipe most closely resembles a basic/traditional approach to making aromatic bitters — big baking spices like cinnamon, cloves, and allspice with orange peel and raisins backed up by lots of bittering agents.

If you just use neutral grain spirits as the base alcohol (lose the whiskey, vermouth, and barenjager) and subtract the walnuts, black walnut hulls, hazelnuts, coffee beans, and cut back on the cinnamon, you've got a general "base" recipe.

Click here for the Lesson in How to Make Bitters story.

Click here for the Highland Sage cocktail recipe.


Combine all of the ingredients except for the water and simple syrup in a large (50-70 ounces) sealable jar.

Shake vigorously once a day for two weeks and taste the mixture intermittently along the way so you can become more sensitive to how the flavor changes. Put a few drops on your hands and rub them together, the cup your nose and mouth and inhale. Others insist on putting a few drops in a glass of soda water or tasting them directly on your tongue, but I've found that the former dilutes the flavor too much and the latter destroys your palette for about 20 minutes. 

For the third and fourth week, pay closer attention to your tasting notes — I usually hit gold around three and a half weeks, more than five and you're really almost past the point of no return.

Once you're achieved the desired flavor, strain the mixture through a chinois lined with 5-8 layers of cheesecloth into a nonreactive container. Add mineral water and Turbinado simple syrup to taste. Transfer into a large, cylindrical vessel and let sit for 1-3 days.

Once the sediment has completely fallen to the bottom, either decant or siphon off the clear solution near the top. 


Calories per serving:

283 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Low Sodium Sugar Conscious, Kidney Friendly, Vegetarian, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Egg Free, Milk Free, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, No Oil Added

Daily value:



  • Fat 221g 340%
  • Carbs 507g 169%
  • Saturated 22g 110%
  • Fiber 66g 264%
  • Trans 0g
  • Sugars 55g
  • Monounsaturated 44g
  • Polyunsaturated 144g
  • Protein 112g 223%
  • Cholesterol 22mg 7%
  • Sodium 1,188mg 50%
  • Calcium 1,648mg 165%
  • Magnesium 1,401mg 350%
  • Potassium 4,371mg 125%
  • Iron 27mg 148%
  • Zinc 25mg 166%
  • Phosphorus 2,792mg 399%
  • Vitamin A 64µg 7%
  • Vitamin C 50mg 84%
  • Thiamin (B1) 4mg 243%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 1mg 80%
  • Niacin (B3) 30mg 151%
  • Vitamin B6 5mg 248%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 548µg 137%
  • Vitamin B12 2µg 26%
  • Vitamin D 0µg 0%
  • Vitamin E 8mg 39%
  • Vitamin K 43µg 54%
See detailed nutritional info Have a question about nutritional data? Let us know.
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