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foraged yarrow in a jar
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5 from 1 vote

Foraged Yarrow Bitters

When making bitters, measure the liquid (a neutral grain spirit) in fluid ounces, and measure the solids by weight. The ratio of liquid to solid should be 2 to 1 for fresh ingredients and 4 to 1 for dry ingredients. Commercial bitters often have long lists of ingredients, but I prefer to use just 3 to 5 in my foraged bitters, so the flavor of each can be fully appreciated. At least half of the solids should be bitter; the remainder can be a combination of spice and fruit, depending on your personal preference. In this recipe, I use both yarrow root (for the primary bitter ingredient) and yarrow leaf (the spice).
Author: Ellen Zachos


  • 4 fluid ounces Everclear 151
  • 1 ounce fresh yarrow root chopped
  • 1/2 ounce fresh yarrow foliage
  • 1/2 ounce fresh or frozen seasonal fruit apricots, plums, or chokecherries all work well; leave the stones in for a touch of almond flavor


  • Combine the Everclear, yarrow root, yarrow leaves, and stone fruit in a glass jar. The liquid should just cover the top of your solid ingredients. If you need to add a little more Everclear to make that happen, that’s fine.
  • Cover the jar and let it sit away from direct sun for at least two weeks. Shake the jar once a day, and taste the liquid after two weeks. If the flavor isn’t strong enough, let it sit another week. Once you can taste the foraged ingredients, strain off the solids and keep them handy.
  • Measure the strained alcohol and put it aside. Pour twice as much water as you have alcohol into a small saucepan, add the strained solids, then bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow the liquid to simmer for ten minutes. Remove the liquid from the heat, cover, and let it sit overnight. Then strain off the solids, and throw them away.
  • Measure the liquid, and for every 4 ounces, add 1 teaspoon of sugar. Gently warm and whisk to dissolve the sugar, then remove the liquid from the heat and allow it to cool.


The ABV (alcohol by volume) of commercial bitters ranges from 37 to 45 percent. By combining equal parts of your alcohol- and water-based infusions, your bitters have an ABV of 37.5 percent.