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Forum Drink Recipe: Aloe Cooling Bitters Liqueur

The recipe for our June 26 American Craft Forum is designed to soothe and refresh.

Forum Drink Recipe: Aloe Cooling Bitters Liqueur

The recipe for our June 26 American Craft Forum is designed to soothe and refresh.
Aloe vera with a knife and jar of gel on a cutting board

The inventive team of botanists at Shoots & Roots Bitters is adding an element of mixology to our current American Craft Forum series by sharing a handcrafted drink recipe for each session.

Now is an important time for self-care, and what better ingredient to turn to than Aloe vera, known for its ability to heal inside and out? The drink for our June 26 forum is a refreshing, slighty bitter liqueur that delivers the soothing benefits of aloe and other herbs.

Aloe Cooling Bitters Liqueur

You can add this bitters liqueur to any clear liquor, with citrus and herbs, such as more mint, for a cool-as-a-cucumber cocktail. It also goes well with watermelon juice.

  • 1 large aloe leaf, spines removed (at least 12 inches/30 cm)
  • 3 1/8 cups (750 mL) pisco (43% ABV)
  • 1 medium horned melon, or 1 cucumber
  • 15 fresh mint leaves (e.g., spearmint)
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 10 g ground orris root
  • ½ cup (120 mL) rich syrup

This recipe yields 800 mL of bitters liqueur.

Cut the aloe lengthwise into several long pieces of gelatin, retaining as much as you want of the outside of the leaf (if you prefer a less bitter experience, remove more). Put the aloe pieces and the pisco into a blender and blend for 1 minute, then transfer to a 1-qt (1-L) jar. Separate the inner gel and seeds from the horned melon rind and add to the jar, discarding the rind. Bruise the mint and add the leaves to the jar along with the lemon zest and orris powder. Seal the jar, then shake it to infuse the ingredients. Leave the jar to sit overnight or up to 1 week, shaking and rotating it daily. Strain the bitters through a metal mesh strainer and then a nut milk bag or French press.

To make the rich syrup, combine 1 cup sugar with ½ cup water and simmer until blended.Add the rich syrup to finish.

Chill the blend and sip straight over ice,or combine with another clear liquor or juice.

Adapted from Botany at the Bar by Selena Ahmed, Rachel Meyer, and Ashley DuVal © 2019 Selena Ahmed, Rachel Meyer, and Ashley DuVal. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, Colorado.

Register for our June 26 forum

Shoots & Roots Bitters Founders

Photo: Courtesy of Roost Books

About Shoots & Roots Bitters

Shoots & Roots Bitters was founded by Rachel Meyer, Selena Ahmed, and Ashley DuVal – three female scientists that promote biodiversity through research, teaching, and the creation of science-based botanical blends that draw from ecology, cultural practices, and flavors around the world.Deeply valuing collaboration across sectors, their team includes mixologist Christian Schaal, chef Noah ten Broek, and artist Joren Eulalee.

Botany at the Bar Cover

This week's recipe stems from Shoots & Roots' book Botany at the Bar: The Art & Science of Making Bitters. Get 20 percent off and free shipping on this title when you buy from Roost Books. Use promo code BRIGHTEN.