Bitter liquors

Gentian bitters

What are bitters?

Bitter preparations have the function of alkalinizing the body preventing the body becomes acidic.

Acidification of the body or acidosis is mainly due to the role played by the simple carbohydrates in metabolism.

The intake of simple sugars is responsible of body acidification with the corresponding increase in some diseases, including cancer.

Properties of bitter prepararions

But, this is not the only function of bitter preparations. There is evidence that this type of preparation favors the absorption of iron, needed to prevent anemia.

They also enhance the absorption of vitamins, especially vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) which is responsible, among other functions, to stimulate the production of red blood cells, which low levels are a symptom of anemia.

Bitter preparations also help metabolize fat soluble vitamins, that’s to say, those that dissolve in fats, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D and vitamin K.

The food is “burned” properly so that fats are removed more easily and less fat is retained. The use of bitter principles helps to cut calories and helps to eliminate those diets weight.

Consequences of drinking bitters


Gentian picture

All this implies a better general metabolism with a more efficient use of nutrients, which makes the body to feel better, with more strength and vigor.

It has been shown that this invigorating function does not only affect to our physical part of our body but also to our mind. People who take these principles usually feel stronger mentally, more happy and very eager to enjoy life.

Therefore the use of preparations of bitter principles can be considered a very effective remedy against depression. (More information on bitter taste)

How are bitters prepared?

Gentian a plant with bitter principles

Gentian is one of the main ingredients in the preparation of bitters. It can be used alone or in combination with other plants that contain these principles, as the root of rhubarb, quinine, flowers of hops, the bark of the cinchona tree, or the peel of orange.

Other ingredients such as fruits of the juniper, clove, anise and cinnamon are used to flavor these products.

The alcoholic liquor is the basis of these preparations. How is it made remains timelessly a secret for their producers. The alcohol base usually constitute 40% of the formula.

Gentian liqueurs

The grappa of gentian is obtained by distilling the liquid from the plant.

Pure gentian liqueurs are too bitter to be drank alone, so we usually add other products that make it more enjoyable. The most commonly usually used is the orange rind.

In the Czech Republic, for example, it is prepared the Fernet Stock, based on the gentian, along with rosemary, orange, quinine and Herb Bennet.

In the French Savoie, the Marc Savoia is one of the most popular bitters in the world having gentian as an ingredient.

Palo is produced in Ibiza, a liquor aperitif, in which the gentian and quinine are the bitter principles are incorporated into an alcoholic base and sugar is added. It Is served before a meal to whet your appetite with a few drops of gin and lemon slices.

Main bitter preparations

Among the many medicinal alcoholic preparations of gentian, we can mention the following:

punto rojoMore information on gentian.

This article was endorsed by Vicente Martínez Centelles - Founder of the web and director. Teacher of natural sciences, expert in plants, natural remedies and botanical photography.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

27 February, 2024

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