Bitters and soda is a simple yet flavorful option to drink when you aren’t drinking.
With the popularity of non-alcoholic cocktails on the rise, there are more and more people feeling “sober curious”, and taking part in Dry January, Sober October or just curtailing their alcohol consumption in general. While there are an ever increasing number of booze-free beverages out there that mimic the experience of a cocktail, you can come up with some simple non-alcoholic options from what you already have behind your bar.
Bitters and soda is an easy-to-make alternative to drink when you aren’t drinking. Just add a few dashes of cocktail bitters to your favorite flavor of soda to create an effervescent and flavorful beverage.
How much alcohol is in bitters & soda?
It is true that most bitters DO contain alcohol (ex. Angostura bitters contain 44.7% alcohol), but they are considered non-potable, their main purpose is to provide flavor. When a few dashes are added to a glass full of soda water or tonic the amount of alcohol in the drink is negligible.
It’s hard to put an exact number on it, but someone that did the math themselves speculated the alcohol content in bitters and soda is somewhere under .003% ABV. Most non-alcoholic beers still contain 0.5%. While we definitely can’t say bitters and soda has zero alcohol in it, the amount is so miniscule you probably wouldn’t notice it. Ultimately it’s up to you to decide on your level of comfort with accepting it as a non-alcoholic drink.
Bitters & Soda Pairings
With all the different varieties of bitters out there, it should be easy for you to find a combination that hits your taste buds just right. Do some experimenting on your own or check out some of our favorite pairings.
Soda Water + Aromatic Bitters
Try this with: Angostura Aromatic Bitters
Lemon Lime Soda + Cranberry Bitters
Try this with: Fee Brothers Cranberry Bitters
Grapefruit Soda + Plum Bitters
Try this with: Fee Brothers Plum Bitters
Bolder Bitters & Soda Pairings
Root Beer + Toasted Almond & Chocolate Bitters
Try this with: Fee Brothers Toasted Almond Bitters
Non-Alcoholic Recipes Using Bitters
For those out there that like their cocktails a little more complex, we’ve also come up with some delightful non-alcoholic cocktails that use bitters and soda as their base.
Ginless & Tonic
Yield: 1 cocktail
- 2 dashes Bittermens Winter Melon Tart Bitters
- 3 dashes Lemon Bitters
- Club Soda
- Lemon Wheel and Maraschino cherry for garnish
Fill a highball glass with ice, dash bitters over ice, then top with club soda. Garnish with a lemon wheel and maraschino cherry.
Yield: 1 cocktail
Fill a mule mug with ice, pour in lime juice and dash bitters over ice, then top with ginger beer. Garnish with a mint sprig and lime wedge.
Nada Pimm’s Cup
Yield: 1 cocktail
- 3 dashes Cardamom Bitters
- 3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
- ¾ oz fresh Lemon Juice
- ¾ oz Strawberry Nectar
- Ginger Ale
- Cucumber for garnish
Fill a highball glass with ice, pour in lemon juice and strawberry nectar. Dash bitters over ice, then top with ginger ale. Garnish with cucumber slices.
Bitters & Soda In A Can
If you want to enjoy bitters and soda away from the bar, but don’t want to take your bitters collection with you, then Hella Cocktail has a solution for you. They’ve created aromatic Bitters & Soda in a can that you can enjoy anywhere. They are made from the same gentian tincture used in Angostura bitters. The Dry Bitters & Soda has a crisp, effervescent flavor while the Spritz Bitters & Soda has a sweetness similar to a Negroni.
Next time you’re at the bar with friends, and you don’t feel like waking up with a hangover, give bitters and soda a try. It’s a great option if you don’t want to advertise that you’re taking a break from drinking.
Dave Buchanan has been the Content Writer for KegWorks since June 2019. He has a fondness for craft beer that developed while working for a local beer distributor. Dave also worked for an area sports talk radio station for several years, and continues his broadcasting work as a motorsports announcer and indoor lacrosse reporter.