Smoky Mole Bitters

If you love the taste of smoky, chocolaty Mexican mole sauce, infusing bitters with similar spices brings a unique and delicious touch to your cocktails. Mole bitters are perfect for Mexican liquors like tequila or a Mexican dark rum, or try a few drops (instead of Angostura bitters) in your Old Fashioned, Manhattan, or Sazerac recipe to add a little chocolaty, smoky flavor with only a mere hint of heat.

mole bitters
This mole bitters recipe provides an earthy, smoky undertone to cocktails

Ancho peppers, like in mole sauce, are the primary chili pepper in the recipe. There’s only the mildest of heat in this pepper (especially when infused), so the bitters are certainly more sizzle than sweat.

Like this recipe? You’ll love these too:

  • Habanero Bitters: Looking for a spicier cocktail add? These habanero bitters provide a bigger heat, plus plenty of spiced flavor.
  • Habanero Simple Syrup: Another cocktail ingredient twist, adding spiciness any time simple syrup is needed.
  • Jalapeño Simple Syrup: Looking for a syrup that’s not quite as spicy? This one taps the medium heat jalapeño, providing a more family-friendly kick.

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mole bitters

Mole Bitters

Earthy and lightly fiery
4 from 5 votes
Servings 350 dashes
Calories 3 kcal


  • 2 ancho peppers
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa nibs
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick 2 to 3 inches long
  • 1 tablespoon raisins roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried orange peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried wormwood leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon angelica root or gentian root


  • Heat a pot of water to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Cut the stems off the ancho peppers, then slice the chilies open lengthwise. Remove the seeds from the interior, then roughly chop the anchos. 
  • Place all ingredients in a one quart mason jar, then seal the jar airtight.
    Combine all of the ingredients in a sous vide bag or Mason jar then seal. Infuse in the water bath for 2 to 4 hours.
  • Place the mason jar in the hot water. Leave it there for 3 hours.
  • Fill a large mixing bowl with water and ice, leaving some room (about 3/4 filled). 
  • Remove the mason jar from the hot water and place in the ice water. Allow the mason jar to cool for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the jar from the ice water and unseal. Strain the liquid through a cheese cloth into a clean jar or another sealable container, then seal. Store in a shaded area at room temperature.


Calories: 3kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 4mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 53IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 1mgIron: 1mg
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UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on May 29, 2024 to include new content.
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