Easy, DIY, Homemade Cinnamon Orange Bitters

Easy, DIY Cinnamon Orange Bitters

Easy, DIY, Homemade Cinnamon Orange Bitters
Easy, DIY, Homemade Cinnamon Orange Bitters

The Musings:

The internet is an overwhelming place. Don’t you agree?

When you have a job where your office = the internet, it’s very difficult to create a divide between your work and home life. Work is at home, and home is at home. Where is the line drawn?

This becomes doubly complicated when you also use the internet for other purposes, like reading the news, watching Netflix, etc. Signing in to your website’s dashboard is only a click away. As is Lightroom and those photos you’ve been meaning to edit. I’m sure you can relate.

It’s taken me a few years to really understand this concept — this feeling of always being “at work” and “on”. I have always had a strong work ethic, and this urge to constantly work is sometimes to my detriment. I have a hard time knowing when to stop, to power down, to ignore Snapchat for a few days and practice healthy self-care.

I was reaching some sort of internet breaking point when I published my last post. I felt a strong urge to turn off the internet in some way, and taking a break from blogging seemed like the best way. After all, it’s rare that bloggers ever turn off completely as most continue to post and use social media while taking time off. You know who you are ;).

I read an old post recently from 101 Cookbooks (it’s a wonderful read) about maintaining a long term blog. Heidi talks about making realistic expectations for yourself, and for her, the goal was to post once per week.

I’m beginning to wonder if posting three times a week is actually realistic for me. I’ve been experiencing constant change over the past few years, with jobs, relationships, living circumstances, etc. Maybe it’s time I allow some wiggle room in my blogging schedule.

Sometimes I’m brimming with ideas, and sometimes I’m completely stumped. Maybe, posting once a week would even out the playing field a little and allow me to spend more time on my writing. Maybe, posting once a week instead of three would allow me to take more pictures of the recipe, make a video, and also write something personal and sincere. It’s all up in the air right now, but it’s certainly something I’m considering.

What do you like to do when you feel like you need a break from the internet? Let me know in the comments. 🙂
Easy, DIY, Homemade Cinnamon Orange Bitters

The Recipe:

Ever since my whiskey obsession came to fruition, I’ve been obsessing over the many ways to enjoy that lovely sipper. My hipster/mad scientist tendencies led me to homemade orange bitters. I chose a cinnamon and orange flavour, but you can pick any combination you like as long as you use a bittering agent (orange zest, lemon zest, etc.). For easy dispensing, buy a small eyedropper from a local drugstore. Happy experimenting! 🙂

Easy, DIY Cinnamon Orange Bitters
Author: My Dish is Bomb
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 3 navel oranges
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 2-3 cups 90 proof vodka
  • [i]Tools[/i]
  • canning jars (I used three 250 ml jars)
  • eye dropper for adding bitters to drinks
  1. Preheat the oven to 175 F. Rinse the oranges, then zest them right onto a baking pan. Bake for two hours, stirring every half hour. Let the peels cool completely before dividing among the jars.
  2. To break up the cinnamon sticks, use a cheap serrated knife to score them down the middle, then break them in half with your hands. Add two cinnamon sticks to each 250 ml jar. Divide the orange peels evenly between the jars. Fill each jar 3/4 full with vodka.
  3. Let the jars steep for about four weeks, giving them a little shake every day. Test the bitters every week to check their strength. Once they’re finished steeping, strain out the cinnamon and orange zest. Make an old fashioned!

Recipe adapted from Saveur

Published by

Katy MacKinnon

Katy MacKinnon is a food photographer and recipe developer, and Food Fight! co-host.

18 thoughts on “Easy, DIY Cinnamon Orange Bitters”

  1. I definitely identify with your internet/blogging struggles, Katy. I see a lot of successful blogs that post 3 to 4 recipes a week and I can’t believe they are able to do it! My mind is constant whirring with ideas for posts/recipes and it would be lovely to be able to make it all happen, but it is so important to keep sane and keep blogging an enjoyable activity rather than a chore. But I enjoy reading your posts and recipes so much, you are doing a great job!
    I also love the orange bitter recipe – those jars stole my heart 😉

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words, Mariana! Yeah, it’s hard to “keep up”, so to speak, but I’ve also noticed some very successful blogs who only post 1-2 times per week. Maybe they’re onto something! And yes as soon as I saw those jars I had to grab them, they’re so cute!

  2. Awesome recipe Katy!

    I know what you mean about allowing time for self care. It’s not easy. I’ve been blogging since August of last year and have been posting 3 posts a week. Just recently, I told my hubby that I was going to take one weekend a month off from cooking and preparing for the blog. Last weekend was my off weekend and I’m so glad I did! I’m lucky that my hub helps me with editing posts and keeps track of some of the social media. If I didn’t have that, I don’t think I could do 3 posts a week.

    I think giving yourself permission not to do something is needed and a happy thing – it even revitalizes you once you get back into it.

    I say good for you. Hey, you can always up the blog posts once you settle into what you want to do. I commend you for taking care of yourself!


    1. Thanks for the kind comment Elaine! A little bit of help is definitely nice. And it’s always great to take weekends off!

  3. I had a little struggle myself when it came to blogging and social media and the idea that you have to post 3 times a week to even be considered a reputable blog. But for me that totally sucks the fun out of the whole experience of blogging and what makes blogging so much fun for me. I know that once a week is what makes blogging rewarding for me and I now accept it. That schedule allows me to still be creative and for my content to be something I truly worked hard to create. I would totally support you if you started posting once a week! I think I would be even more curious what you come up with!

    1. Thanks so much for the support Linda! Honestly I’m completely on the same page as you. I struggle between knowing that blogs grow faster when they post more, but it definitely can suck the fun out of it. One post a week club!! Have an awesome day 🙂

  4. I hear you, my friend. When I first began, I was posting three, sometimes four times per week; I figured out relatively quickly that that was not only unrealistic (for me) but I didn’t enjoy it. This is a hobby first, business second…hobbies are meant to be enjoyed and the business that comes is an added bonus. When I slowed the pace to two a week – it was a great decision and absolutely brought back the balance I needed. And now I find that if I’m away from it for a few days, I miss it – and I’m ready to get back to creating. And now equally important – your bitters look divine! And your pictures? So gorgeously moody! Nice job!

    1. Thanks so much Annie! I totally agree, it’s so important to find a balance and to be on a path where you’re truly enjoying everything. Thanks for the comment 🙂

  5. I think the blogging thing is a constant evolution, both on a personal level and on the grander scale of “the industry”. Being able to adapt and make it work for you is super important, especially for our well being! I have a really hard time taking a break from the internet since it is not only what I use for work but also for entertainment. I try to make an effort to “put it down” when I am having family time, but it can be a struggle. Anyway, the most important thing is finding what works for you.
    I am totally in love with these bitters. I use bitters often in my cocktails but I have never made them myself, must do ASAP!

    1. You’re totally right! Heidi’s post really spoke to me because she talks about how some very well known blogs only post once per week, so it’s possible that you can still blog as a business but adapt it to work the way that works best for you. And yes internet breaks are so hard!!

  6. Ugh yup, I definitely understand that feeling! It’s sooo hard for me to turn off (also just my personality and crazy work ethic). But I’m really really trying. I cut back to two recipes a week and am trying to just give myself grace if I need it and need to post less. It’s funny how much more inspired I feel when I actually let myself do other things (like go for a walk!) lol. So simple yet so hard to implement!

    1. Yes, same! I knew you would be in a similar boat. You’re totally right, allowing yourself to do more things outside of your blog can be so helpful to growing the inspiration for your blog! It’s hard to ignore that work ethic 😛

  7. Yep, definitely feel you, especially the whole social media side of blogging. I was really drowning. I’ve recently given in (with a little whimper) and paid money for a couple of scheduling services and now I’m ahead and can spend more time creating as opposed to feeling like I’m constantly connected to the internet. I have upped my posting to two times a week, which kind of scares me but I felt like I was getting lost in the fold (eek I can’t imagine doing 3 times a week!). One thing that was actually a blessing in disguise was going to Starbucks to work only to find out that my computer couldn’t connect to the internet. I ended up opening up Word and drafting 3 different blog posts from start to finish. I couldn’t believe how relaxing it was and how much I got done. So now I draft all my blog posts in Word and resist the temptation to go online. I think you have to always experiment with what works best to make blogging something to love rather than something that drains you. I was feeling very grumpy for a while about blogging so I changed things up and have gone back to loving it.

    1. That has happened to me too! Except it was on a plane. But yes, without all the distractions of the internet it makes you much more focused! I think I have to keep reminding myself that what works for me will change over time, and what used to work might not work anymore and vice versa. Good luck with more frequent posting! You’ll do great 🙂

  8. I felt like you the past week and took Monday off because my brain went on hiatus, and my creativity wasn’t exactly brimming over. At the beginning of the new year, my blog schedule cut down to twice a week, which has helped a ton.

    Anyways, these bitters would make a great warm cocktail.

  9. Yup, I feel your pain. I definitely struggle with keeping up – especially with social media. I tend to go go go and then I end up burning myself out that I’m forced to take a break. I’m taking a step back this month to finish writing my manuscript and plus it’s my daughter’s birthday today and even though I have 3 posts ready to publish, I didn’t post any of them because I wanted to focus on enjoying the day with my kids instead of worrying them. The blog will always be here so at the end of the day, do what works best and makes you happy:)

    1. Happy Birthday to your daughter! Burning out is no fun, and I can imagine things are much more busy for you with kids and also a manuscript! Hope you enjoyed the day off with your fam — I think your daughter and my partner share a bday 🙂

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