Can bitters make you drunk?

Answered by Robert Flynn

I can provide a more detailed answer for you!

Bitters, such as Angostura bitters, are typically used as a flavoring agent in cocktails. They are made by infusing a high-proof spirit with a variety of botanical ingredients such as herbs, spices, fruits, and roots. These ingredients are left to steep in the spirit for a period of time, allowing their flavors and aromas to be extracted.

Now, bitters themselves are highly concentrated and typically used in small amounts. They have a strong, intense flavor profile, which is why they are used sparingly in cocktails. Due to their high alcohol content and potent flavors, consuming large amounts of bitters on their own can be quite unpleasant.

While bitters do contain alcohol, the concentration is typically lower than that of a straight spirit. The alcohol content of bitters can vary, but it is generally around 40-45% ABV (alcohol by volume). To put this into perspective, most spirits like vodka, rum, or whiskey are typically around 40-50% ABV.

In order to get drunk from bitters alone, you would need to consume a significant amount of them. However, this would likely result in severe gastrointestinal distress and other unpleasant symptoms before you even began to feel the effects of the alcohol. The intense flavors and high alcohol content of bitters make them unsuitable for consumption in large quantities.

It’s also worth noting that bitters are typically used as a flavoring agent rather than a standalone drink. They are added in small dashes or drops to enhance the taste of cocktails, not to be consumed on their own. So, while bitters do contain alcohol, their primary purpose is not to get you drunk.

Bitters can technically make you drunk if consumed in large quantities, but the unpleasant taste and potential gastrointestinal distress make it highly unlikely and not recommended. It’s best to enjoy bitters in moderation as a flavor enhancer in cocktails rather than attempting to consume them in excessive amounts.