Tinkering with Tinctures

This week we’re talking about tinctures, which are great for adding variety to cocktails. A tincture is defined as: a medicine that is made of a drug mixed with alcohol. Which we like the sound of. 🙂 Booze mixed with medicine, it’s a veritable health treatment! In our minds, that makes tinctures the kissing cousins of bitters. They add a lot of flavor without adding a lot of liquid or (unlike bitters) bitterness. We’ve made a few of our own tinctures and they can be fiddly, so typically we only make them occasionally. Recently though, Matt from Drink Addition let us taste and take samples of some of their tinctures (see our Samples policy for our take on samples). After trying quite a few of their offerings, we thought they were on to something. Their tinctures have good clear flavors and offer quite a variety, and most of them are things we would find easier to buy than to make well. So this week we decided to create a few drinks with some of the tinctures we brought home to experiment with. Read on to see some of the interesting flavors we were able to add to our concoctions.


Curry Tincture

mumbai-moderneMumbai Moderne

  • 2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 2 droppers of curry tincture
  • 2 oz sparkling wine

Shake first 5 ingredients with ice. Strain into a glass. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon slice.


  • Nose: Curry, gin, lemon-lime citrus, hint of wine. Little bit of juniper and mint from the gin. The turmeric from the curry stands out.
  • Palate: Sweet-sour lemon-lime and mildly acidic wine on the intro. Lime and lemon juice along with juniper from the gin on the mid-palate. Strong curry notes on the finish, especially turmeric, cumin and cinnamon. Sweet mint underneath the curry. Finish really dries out, moves into a clean, bitter aftertaste.

Chipotle Tincture


  • 2 oz mezcal
  • 2 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup
  • 2 droppers chipotle tincture

Assemble in glass. Drop in a big fucking ice cube. Or as big as you have. Enjoy!


  • Nose: Dusty mineral mesquite from the mezcal, smoke from the mezcal and chipotle, spicy, peppery vegetal smell from the chipotle. Lemon and grapefruit.
  • Palate: Grapefruit and lemon, then strong smokey mesquite on the intro. Mid-palate is dusty petrol from the mezcal and green vegetal notes from the pepper, with sweet lemon underneath that. Smoky bite and heat from the chipotle at the end. Nicely balanced. Just enough sweetness to even it out but not overwhelm things. More grapefruit on the mid-palate as it dilutes. The mezcal and chipotle pair really nicely together.

Tarragon Tincture

ciudad-heliosCiudad Helios

  • 2 oz blanco tequila
  • 1 1/2 oz orange juice
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup
  • 3 droppers tarragon tincture
  • 1 oz soda

Mix first 5 ingredients. Pour them over ice. Top with soda.


  • Nose: Tequila, orange, lime, tarragon. Nothing unexpected.
  • Palate: Sweet orange and lime to start, followed by grassy notes of the tequila with some tarragon. More tarragon and cactus-y agave notes from the tequila on the mid-palate. Nice long tequila and bitter orange finish with tarragon underpinnings. The tarragon is nicely integrated throughout.

We’re really excited about the Drink Addition tinctures, they enabled us to experiment with some offbeat flavor profiles in the three cocktails we put together today. Their full lineup includes many unique flavors that should allow us to make some interesting cocktails with minimal effort. To be clear, we do like experimenting on our own, but after work on a week night it’s also nice to be able to pull an ingredient off the shelf that you know will be just what you need. We suggest you check out their complete selection to see if they have some interesting flavor that you’re just hankering to try in a drink. For example, we definitely want to try something with the horseradish tincture next 🙂

Thanks to Matt for reaching out to us and being so generous as to offer some samples. We’re looking forward to whatever other interesting flavors that Drink Addition comes up with.

This entry was posted in blanco tequila, champagne, gin, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, lime juice, mezcal, orange juice, sparkling wine and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Tinkering with Tinctures

  1. narlivetgerdigcitroner says:

    These sound great!
    I made my own horseradish-tincture once and used it in a cocktail with tequila(like 4 cl) and St Germain( approx 2 cl). I used a lot of tincture(like a barspoon) but mine was probably not as concentrated as these. Stir is and zest with lemon. I called it “Gogols’ nose” because the horseradish was really the top-note and it was all you could smell at first. But it worked great with the elderflower and tequila(reposado). Just a tip (although you don’t help). Keep up the good work!

  2. Great post! I’m always on the look out for new cocktail-enhancing concoctions. How would you rate the use of tinctures over bitters? Any insight into how they can be made or personalized?

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