Gustatory Bitters Set


($19 x 4)




This is a set of the Bar40 Gustatory line of Bitters.

This set includes all four flavours: Sour, Sweet, Salt, Umami.

This set acts as a set of tools, which includes everything you need to employ the Bar40 concept to your cocktails.

We promise you will like this system and the value that Bar40 brings. If you don’t, just email us and we’ll fix it or give you your money back.


Click on the description button below for a not so brief description of Bar40 Bitters.


SKU: 006 Category:

An introduction to how we taste


Most people have the ability to taste. It is important to note that sensitivity to particular tastes and personal preferences can be very subjective. However, tasting for a purpose is all about learning to discern one taste from another and to perceive how those different elements interact. Even worse, verbalizing or writing about taste (or any sensory experience) is an even loftier task.


There are many components to the experience of drinking a cocktail or any other food/drink experience. This includes taste (gustatory), scent (olfactory), tactile/mouthfeel (kinesthetic) and hot spice/cool mint (trigeminal), and let’s not forget appearance.  All these factors significantly contribute to your cocktail drinking experience. However, for now, we are going to focus on the gustatory system: Taste perception.


Most flavours that we perceive are derived from the five perceptions of the gustatory system: Bitter, Sweet, Salt, Sour, and Umami (aka savoury). These are the big five flavour profiles that we are able to perceive and form the basis of  thousands of different flavour combinations in food and drink. With that being said, as we drink our favourite cocktail, it is the interaction and balance of these basic flavour perceptions that we find ourselves making another one. Just as food scientists spend hours creating specific combinations of flavours in food products to drive desire and repurchase, A well-balanced, high experience cocktail is more desirable psychologically and physiologically. Or in other words, it just tastes really good.  

Perceiving or articulating the five flavours is a is a skill that needs to be practiced. The next time you enjoy a cocktail, take some time to appreciate the complexity of it. Notice which of the 5 flavours are present in your cocktail and how the taste changes in your mouth, over time, as the temperature changes or as the ice melts into it and dilutes it.  

It is important to note that all Bar40 bitters inherently incorporate a bitter component. Bitter is the easiest to determine of the five perceptions. Although different people perceive the taste of bitter varyingly, bitterness can decrease the harshness of an overwhelming flavor and it enhances the perception of other flavours. It is no wonder why bartenders have been compulsively adding bitter herbal tonics to their cocktails for years. We took this concept of bitters  one step further and made a set of bitters specifically paired  with the four other basic flavour perceptions.  

With all this in mind, Bar40 Bitters is used as a set of tools to balance or enhance a cocktail. The key is to be able to notice which flavours are present or missing in your cocktail, and to notice how flavours interact with each other. In applying the Bar40 bitters concept, you taste your cocktail prior to adding bitters and notice what flavour would improve it. Use your intuition or experiment. adjust your cocktail by adding Bar40 bitters as necessary.



Bar40 Bitters Sour


A small amount of Bar40 Bitters Sour in a cocktail can go a long way. Even though sour it is not generally known to strengthen any of the four other taste perceptions specifically, it is known to be an effective flavour modifier. Bar40 Sour is a secret game changer. The acid compounds in Bar40 Sour causes an increased amount of saliva to be released which in turn helps to distribute non-volatile compounds to the taste receptors. This effect gives a full mouthfeel and a round or balanced taste to a cocktail.  Sour is easily detected at low amounts. Moreover, taste buds are able to detect various different kinds sour compounds in Bar40 Sour.  


Add Bar40 Sour to cocktails that lack inherent sour to give it a distinctive brightness or “pop”.


Add Ba40 sour to If a cocktail is overly sweet, to reduce the perceived sweetness and achieve a more rounded flavour.


Combine Bar40 Sour with Salt will create a perceived sweetness in the cocktail.




Bar40 Mezpartine


This cocktail was created by Bar40 because of a recent love of Mezcal. We wanted to use this wonderful spirit and highlight it with other intense spirits. Strong in flavour and alcohol, this drink is for the people who like complexity in their drink. Use it to impress the experienced drinkers or otherwise people who love intense flavour. Adding Bar40 Sour highlights the secret balancing act that acid can do to a drink that most people don’t know about. Notice the difference it makes to the cocktail.


1.5 oz. Mezcal (leyenda)

0.5 oz. Campari

0.5 oz. Benedictine

12-18 Pinches Bar40 Sour Bitters

Stir over ice




Bar40 Bitters Salt  


Salt promotes the release of saliva helping to perceive flavours in a cocktail. Not only does Bar40 Salt help with flavour perception, but it also increases the perceived viscosity of a cocktail. A viscous mouth feel leads to longer interactions with taste buds, leading to a desirable mouthfeel and an overall rounded and satisfying experience. Salt is able to suppress bitter and sour flavours while strengthening sweetness. Bar40 Salt can be used at such low levels that it doesn’t have to be detected by the tongue for its functionality. This means that a drink doesn’t have to taste salty in order for the suppression of sour and/or bitter compounds or an increase in sweetness to be noted. Salt also suppresses the bite from alcohol, rendering a smooth flavourful cocktail with its addition.


Add Bar40 Salt to a cocktail that is overly bitter to balance the flavour profile.


Add Bar40 Salt to a cocktail that is overly sour to balance flavour and provide a perceived sweetness.


Add Bar40 Salt to a cocktail with an overly harsh alcohol burn, to reduce this sensation.




Bar40 Margarita


Most people think of margaritas as a big slushy iced drink made in a blender for spring break parties or all inclusive resorts. This is a terrible depiction of one of the most beatiful looking and tasting classic cocktails. Well balanced and wonderfully pleasing, a properly made margarita will have you coming back for more because it is THAT good. It is also common with this cocktail to rim the glass with salt, we believe this is the worst thing to do. The rim of the glass is where you place your tongue, having your tongue bombarded with salt and overwhelming your taste buds so you can’t taste anything else is not what we’re trying to achieve. Instead, add Bar40 Salt within the cocktail to balance out the flavours of the actual drink and enjoy the newly created complexity.    


Do not rim glass with salt!

1.5 0z. Anejo Tequila (Don Julio,Jose Cuervo)  

1 oz. Triple Sec (Cointreau)

0.5 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

16-18 drops of Bar40 Salt Bitters

Shake with ice




Bar40 Bitters – Sweet


Sweet compounds are associated with ripe, rich, and great tasting foods. It can easily overpower other flavours, especially when the intention is to suppress unwanted flavours. The addition of Bar40 Bitters Sweet helps to round out the flavour profile of a cocktail. A small amount of Bar40 Sweet can help to make a cocktail more palatable by cutting some of the harsh or overwhelming tastes that can be found in salty, sour, and more noticeably bitter tasting cocktails. The great thing about using Bar40 Sweet is that it will add body and improve palatability of any drink, making it very easy to use. Use it either at high or low concentrations based on what the drinker’s palate prefers.


Use Bar40 Sweet to a cocktail that is overly sour to balance the flavour profile.


Use Bar40 Sweet to an overly bitter cocktail to increase palatability.


Use Bar40 Sweet to add body and increase desirability to people with sweet-prefered palates.




Bar40 Old Fashioned


This is a riff on the classic cocktail. An old fashioned the stereotypical pre-prohibition cocktail, specifically designed by speakeasies to work with the harsh spirits that were available during that time. Well those days are gone and good riddance, however this cocktail stayed popular amongst bartenders and drinkers over the years. This modern spin on it will bring a fresh look on an old recipe while maintaining its original concept. Using Bar40 Sweet increases the palatability and creates excellent body and smoothness. Balance Bar40 Sweet for people with more or less of a sweet preference on their palate.


2 oz. Bourbon or Rye (Buffalo Trace or Rittenhouse)

0.5 oz. Simple Syrup

16-18 drops Bar40 Sweet Bitters

Build in glass over ice and stir.

Garnish with flamed orange zest




Bar40 Bitters – Umami


Umami is often described in North America as savoury, meaty or brothy. Bar40 Umami has rich taste that pairs well with all of the other four gustatory senses. Umami is most know for strongly enhancing the palatability of food, and is now trending very quickly with being used in cocktails. Bar40 Umami strengthens saltiness and sweetness yet can take some of the bite out of sour and bitter compounds without drastically changing the flavour of them. Bar40 Umami also increases body to a drink and adding a sense of smoothness.  Improving a drink by making it taste less watered down without changing its consistency all while enhancing the other present flavours. This makes Bar40 Umami very easy to use in any application.


Add Bar40 Umami to a cocktail to increase palatability and provide a level of excitement.


Add Bar40 Umami to a cocktail with an overly harsh alcohol burn, to reduce this sensation.


Add Bar40 Umami to an overly sour or bitter cocktail to balance the flavour profile.




Bar40 Manhattan


This is a riff on the classic cocktail everyone knows and loves. The manhattan is often the entry cocktail for first time cocktail imbibers. This modification of the classic recipe, using Bar40 Umami will give you an ultra smooth experience. The harshness or “burn” of the alcohol just goes away with the strong aromatics of Bar40 Bitters Umami.


1oz Bourbon (Buffalo Trace or Elijah Craig)

1oz sweet vermouth (Carpano Classico or Carpano Antica)  

6-8 drops of Bar40 Umami

Stir in ice to desired dilution.

Garnish with a cherry

Additional Information
Weight 2 lbs