If you are like us, you have collected quite a few bitters brands over the years. Cocktail bitters typically come in “woozy” bottles for dashing small quantities into drinks. However, not all of them are sized consistently. There are flat narrow bottles, short stocky sizes, and some that are huge compared to others. We buy Angostura, for example, in big 18-ounce bottles—not a very convenient size to keep at the ready wherever you mix drinks. Our solution is to use small eye-dropper bottles for everything. They store easily and can be labeled using simple envelope address stickers (for laser printing, we like self-adhesive 1″ x 2-5/8″ address label sheets). You might also want to do some research into a mini printer if you need to make a large quantity of labels quickly. Some brands like Bittercube already market their products in 1-ounce dropper bottles. This not only saves space, but allows precision when you need it. For example, administering dashes is easy enough with just a squirt from the dropper, but you can also add drop-by-drop if you want to be consistent with your dash measurement. You can also use the dropper for exact placement of decorative drops over frothy egg whites like you might on a Pisco Sour, or when a recipe calls for it.
We store all of our branded bottles out of the way and use them to refill a set of dropper bottles and misters. One of the best choices we have found come from infinityjars.com. Their 30ml Glass Pipette Dropper Bottle holds exactly one ounce. There is also a fine mist spray version which is perfect for absinthe, smokey Scotch or any other ingredient that you use to coat the inside of a glass. What makes these bottles so good is the fact that the glass is totally opaque. The high alcohol content of most bitters will help preserve them, but light can have an adverse affect on almost anything you put into bottles. The black glass in these will block that light. Black bottles also look fantastic, as you can see in the image here. Even with the sun’s backlighting there is no light transmission compared to the cardamom and Angostura bottles. Both the dropper and mister bottles are consistently sized so you can use them together without taking up much room.
We also use one ounce dropper bottles in cobalt blue glass. While not totally opaque, they are still quite dark and offer the benefit of letting you just barely see the amount of remaining liquid, or help prevent overflowing the bottle when it is time to refill.
Another surprise with these dropper bottles is the glass pipette dropper itself. We were impressed to find that they are designed with a small bulb of glass at the end of the dropper which allows surface tension to create consistent drops every time. We suspect this also reinforces the glass lip making the tip a bit more durable. If one ounce is too small and you would rather not refill them as often, they have larger sizes and several other shapes for various projects. We think matching Apothecary Jars for cocktail cherries would work nicely! Although we would probably recommend clear glass for storing syrups so you can tell if they have turned, we love the 1 Liter Round Glass Bottle for storing finished projects like barrel-aged cocktails or liqueurs. These come with a nice, screw cap and feature the same, light-limiting black glass.