Orange Bitters
2024: Gold

Intercontinental Spirits Challenge

A quick and creative way to add a delicious spicy orange flavour burst to your favourite cocktail or dessert

The intense citrus base of Deep South Orange bitters is made from the peels of bitter and sweet oranges and lemons. Added to that is an exotic blend of sweet spices adding fragrant aromas and flavours. The result is a classic, complex, spicy bitters with a definitive citrus tang.

The bitters are made using time-honoured traditional methods. After careful prepare of the ingredients, the bittering and flavour extraction take place during a slow maceration and maturing process that takes several weeks.

This zesty and aromatic Orange Bitters will add an extra dimension to cocktails or food recipes, enhancing their complexity with a balance of sweet, bitter, sour and citrus.

Deep South Orange Bitters can be used to add delicious citrussy flavours and aromas to creams, custards and desserts, and will add a piquancy to sauces, gravies and dressings. Since many of the ingredients are used in herbal remedies , they will probably also give you a mood boost when you add it to your winter hot toddy! But mainly our Orange Bitters is used to give a mouth-watering lift to your favourite cocktail or gin-and-tonic.

Quick and easy to use, Deep South Orange Bitters remain a timeless way to add a zesty citrussy, bittersweet dimension to your cocktails and favourite food dishes.

Use generously and enjoy!

Tasting Notes

Aroma: Heady citrus aromas underpinned with dried candied peel and mysterious notes of honey.

Palate: Sweet orange and fresh citrus peel with an underlying refreshing bitterness cleansing the palate; subtle sweetness.

Finish: Slightly bitter candied peel, with lasting notes of sweet spices cloves and cardamom emerging as the citrus fades.

Product Specifications

Spirit class: Bitters

Colour: Deep Orange

Volume: 100ml

Alc/vol: 49%

UPC: 6009880823437


    • grape and cane spirit
    • dried orange and orange zests
    • cloves
    • cardamom
    • anise
    • gentian root
    • coriander
    • pimento
    • saffron
    • turmeric

The History of Bitters

Herbal tinctures date back as far as the discovery of distilled alcohol. Ancient Egyptians soaked herbs in alcohol to create tinctures and herbal remedies that can be traced back through ancient history even earlier. For example, the Ephedra plant, whose extract was used to combat fatigue, has been in continuous use since early Roman times.

However, ‘bitters’ as we now know it, can be traced back to the 1800s and one Johann Siegert, a doctor in Venezuela, who crafted bitters as a way to keep troops on their feet and aid those suffering from malaria. Other recipes began emerging as “cure-alls” for various stomach ailments, to alleviate headaches and reduce fevers and infections.

At the time they were merely tonics, made using herbs, roots and bark that were believed to offer medical benefits.

Many people, especially in Europe, still consume a nightly spoonful of bitters to help detoxify the liver, or as a digestif, where the bitter compounds stimulate the production of saliva which aids in the absorption of nutrients into our bodies. Certainly, many of the ingredients used in bitters have known scientifically-tested therapeutic properties, and the consumption of bitters is gaining popularity for aiding digestion, easing sea-sickness, supporting the immune system and even assisting in the management of stress!

Since many bitters were unpleasent to taste, it became the practice, especially in military circles, to consume the bitters with rum, gin and spirits rations and this practice began to spread with Angostura bitters in the 19th century becoming one of the first global bitters brands to be used in cocktails.

During the 20th century, bitters became fundamental ingredients for many popular cocktails, including the Old Fashioned, Negroni , Martini and Manhattan. Diverse recipes emerged and bitters is now a staple in most restaurants and bars, used creatively to bring delightful aromatic, bitter and sweet flavours to your favourite drink or dish.

Image - Bittering herbs for Bitters
Bittering herbs for Bitters

Uses for Bitters

Bitters have three main applications.  They are used for their therapeutic value, especially in traditional and herbal medicines. They are used in cooking to enhance flavours and aromas.   And they are a fundamental ingredient in many cocktails.    

Orange Bitter Ice Cream

Culinary uses of Bitters

Bitters have many applications in cooking but for best effect they should not be used in recipes that require prolonged cooking or high heat, as these can burn off the lighter and more delicate aromas, leaving just the bitter aftertaste.

Generally, they are best added after cooking is finished, or in components that add impact to a dish like creams, dressings, icing and sauces.

Orange bitters can be a convenient substitute for orange zest in both drink and food recipes. They have an ability to balance sweetness or cut through rich food, and can also add an extra zing to any number of dishes. They will add delicious flavours to icing or whipped cream on cakes, enhance your vinaigrettes and salad dressings or as a substitute for essences in baking.

Orange bitters are swirled in soups, stirred into gravies or savoury sauces such as remoulades and barbeque, or to add a citrus tang to savoury dishes, particularly seafood dishes. Orange and chocolate is a classic combination, so orange bitters work particularly well in chocolatey desserts, in the whipped cream you use on your hot chocolate, splashed across your cappuccino or even as a topping for ice cream!

Enjoying Bitters in Cocktails

Orange bitters are an indispensable ingredient to many famous cocktails including the Old Fashioned, Pegu Club and Orange Bitters Martini cockails.  See here for these and other great recipes.   

Featured recipes

Zombie #9 Cocktail

Zombie #9

The most well-known origin story of the cocktail’s name suggests that mixologist Donn Beach created the Zombie in an attempt to cure the hangover of one of his regulars.

When Beach later asked how his cure had worked, the customer allegedly said it had made him feel like a ‘zombie.’

The Zombie is a typical Tiki-style cocktail made with rum, fruit juice and sweetener. Strong, with big flavours, this cocktail is a party in a glass all by itself.

Recipe - Vodka Screwdriver


This simple vodka and fresh orange juice cocktail is a real favourite, whether served at a brunch instead of champagne, or as a sundowner.

Rum Old Fashioned cocktail

Rum Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail traditionally made with Whiskey. But a robust aged rum like the Deep South Amber, with its subtle caramels and smoky finish, mimic the whiskey while adding warming undertones. Carefully prepared here in a leisurely classic understated, time-honoured way.

Pegu Club cocktail

Pegu Club

Strong, sophisticated, with a refreshing citrusy herbal finish lifted by the addition of both aromatic and orange bitters to create complexity and spice.

Manufactured by Deep South Distillery
52 Heron Park, Wildevoelvlei Rd, Kommetjie
+27 21 783 0129