What?…more Orange Bitters…..!
by James Viguerie
20 February 2014
I think Orange bitters must have been one of the most common varieties produced. I took a look and tried to find the oldest brand of Orange bitters I could. Most of what I found made reference in general to Orange bitters. However, a few, referenced specific manufacturers. More research is needed. Some high lights:
The “1862 How to Mix Drinks” has an interesting advertisement on page 245 for Pierre Lacour’s book on how to make various liquors including bitters. I wonder if he had any connection to Louis Lacour of San Francisco and his bitters (L3 in Bitters Bottles)?
An 1862 book about Benjamin Franklin has a reference to him being offered “Amontillado and a teaspoonful of Orange Bitters”.
An 1862 Book “International exhibition” mentions several different types of Orange bitters.
The 1862 “Official Catalogue: Industrial department” lists some potential new bitters such as G. H. G. Trede Anti-cholera and Stomach Bitters, and G. Dupe, Nova Scotia – Cider and Bitters.
Here is my list of early mention of Orange bitters in books and some newspapers:
1824: Tariff, or, Rates of duties, payable after the 30th of June, 1824, on all … (Orange is only Bitters listed)
Mentions Hollands, Seville orange bitters – recommended for boxers?? (Orange is only Bitters listed)
1837: The Shipmaster’s Assistant, and Commercial Digest: Containing Information …
(Orange is only the bitters listed)
1842: The New American Tariff; Passed 30th Aug., 1842, Alphabetically Arranged …
(Orange is the only Bitters listed)
1859: Hawaii Newspaper – Polynesian – Cases of Orange Bitters arrived in Hawaii on the Sea Nymph.
1861: (Melbourne Australia) Catalogue of the Victorian Exhibition, 1861: with prefatory essays …
(Some Orange bitters were exhibited, One was by O. G. Dixon of Melbourne. Also James Dickson, and by Prevot and Co, also from Melbourne. )
(Wadsworth and Co. Birmingham, England. manufacturers of Orange Bitters)
(mentions English, Aromatic, Essence, Hamburg, Orange, Spanish, Stomach, Stoughton, Bogart’s, – Jerry Thomas [author, pic pg 3?] own Decanter Bitters, , ** page 245 is advertisement for Pierre Lacour’s book on how to make various liquors including bitters (see below).
1862: International exhibition, 1862. Refreshment departments. A catalogue of the …
Splendid Dutch Liqueurs – Orange Bitters, also French Orange Bitters (mentions these bitters: American, Vermouth, Cassis, Stoughton, Orange, Wine and O. ??? Bitters)
1862: Young Benjamin Franklin: Or, The Right Road Through Life by Henry Mayhew
Reference to an offer of Amontillado and a teaspoonful of Orange Bitters to Ben Franklin.
P. G. Dixon (Melbourne) is listed as selling Orange Bitters, also advertisement for P. Bicker Caarten & Co….selling Curacao, Anisette, Cherry Brandy, Stoughton and Orange Bitters.
Also listed as Catalan & Co. Venezuela – Bitters from Maracaibo. Syers, Braach & Co, Venezuela Angostura Bitters. Warurg & Co, Devonshire Angostura Bitters. G. H. G. Trede Anti-cholera and Stomach Bitters. DAVID Bitters – Orleans France. G. Dupe, Nova Scotia – Cider and Bitters.
1863: The New Zealand Gold Finder and Gold Buyers ‘Ready Reckoner, Etc. by Joseph Mackay
Butement Bros, Dunedin (New Zealand?) list an Orange Bitters in an advertisement (Orange is only Bitters listed)
1864: British & Foreign Spirits: Their History, Manufacture, Properties, Etc. (also mentions Wormwood Bitters)
“Prepared from dry Seville orange peel, caraway and coriander seeds, steeped in strong spirit until a strong tincture is produced. It is then slightly sweetened and made up in the usual manner. This bitters is often blended with Sherry, and sold with a good profit as Sherry Bitters. It I s a custom with some, especially commercial gentleman, to take a glass before dinner as a whet to the appetite.”
(only has a mention of Orange Bitters in tariffs.)