Biter Cocktail

The Biter Cocktail can be found in Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book. Similar to the Last Word Cocktail, the Biter is a bit more complex because of the addition of Absinthe. Also, Robert reviews yet another juicer he has found with the hopes that this company does not go out of business.

1 1/2 oz gin

3/4 oz lemon juice

3/4 oz Chartreuse

1/4 oz simple syrup

dash Absinthe


Stir or shake with ice.

Strain into a cocktail glass.


Ghoulie 24 Jan 2012
12:47 pm

That’s the best garnish so far.

Fransos 24 Jan 2012
2:11 pm

Fantastic garnish! This might be a little geeky, but I think you forgot to mention maraschino as one of the ingredients in he Last Word… Cheers!

Robert Hess 24 Jan 2012
3:30 pm

Yeah, that garnish was sort of a fun little addition that came to mind after we already shot that final bit, so I made us re-shoot it so I could include it. Love those drinky-birds! :->

Fransos… yeah, I did forget to mention Maraschino. Oops!


bacarolle 25 Jan 2012
8:12 am

Robert…just got your cocktail guide and am working on the sidecar.
Great to see these instructional videos for some visual instructions and details that help fill in any ambiguities in preparation.

Robert Hess 25 Jan 2012
9:27 am

Which of course is exactly why we are doing these videos! Glad you are enjoying them (and my book!)


Robert Hess 25 Jan 2012
9:33 am

The juicer I am using in this episode is the Zyliss All-Citrus Juicer ( I’m finding that I’m not using it that much, it just doesn’t have the nice solid feel of my other juicers and I don’t think it still does quite as good of a job. I’m still using my Amco Vintage Citrus Squeezer ( which unfortunately isn’t being made anymore and their website ( has been “under construction” for some time now.

George R. Welch 25 Jan 2012
4:03 pm


I’ve been using the Zyliss juicer for some time now.  It has serious problems.  You will find that the little plastic “ears” that hold the bottom to the top will break off quickly.  That means you then have to carefully remove the main body, and then pour carefully.  Also, the “reservoir” isn’t big enough for more than one fruit, so it gets kind of frustrating.  As far as I can tell, there is no good juicer available :-(.

Second, I was surprised to see you using the fabulous Marteau absinthe for this drink.  Marteau is incredibly good (check out wormwood society) and incredibly hard to find (where did you get it?!).  I know it was just a fraction of a teaspoon, but still that is kind of like using an rare XO cognac in your Champs Elysees—something you cautioned against.  I use Lucid Absinthe for cocktails—it’s easy to find and good enough.  I’d save my Marteau (or the fabulous Paicfique absinthe from your state) for the absinthe drip.

Again, you’ve found a wonderful treat from the Savoy.  Working my way through this book will kill my liver—I don’t know how you do it!  I’ve nearly managed to complete your book, but the Savoy is another story.



Robert Hess 25 Jan 2012
4:56 pm

I agree, the Zyliss has problems, but so far it hasn’t broken on me yet!

As for the Marteau… Gwydion is a very good friend of mine, so it wasn’t so hard getting a bottle. He gave us several bottles as a wedding present. The reason it is hard to find, is that he has been in the process of moving his distilling operation from Oregon to Washington so he hasn’t been producing anything for quite some time. With any luck, he’ll be up an running again before long.

As for using a quality/expensive absinthe in a cocktail… Marteau is head and shoulders above Lucid, but in a usage like this that difference would probably not be noticed. But when you are talking dashes, cost wise the difference is negligable. Lucid here costs $65 retail, so that’s about 3 cents a dash, and Marteau I believe was going for $90 retail, so that’s about 4 cents a dash.


Steven D. Lauria 25 Jan 2012
6:00 pm

Hi Ribert,

Yes, “Biter” with a long “i.”  The rule is when the syllable ends in a consonant, the vowel before it is short. So, that would make it bitter—- and the “i” would sound like the “i” in igloo.”  If the syllable ends in a vowel that vowel usually is long, so the “i” would sound like the pronunciation of “eye.”  And, for sure, this is “bi/ter,” ending in a vowel, not “bit/ter.”

This “Biter” cocktail is kind of like the Champs Elysees, isn’t it?  the Champs—- cognac, fresh lemon juice, chartreuse, simple syrup and a dash of Bitter Truth Old Time Aromatic Bitters, although we’re talking about cognac here instead of gin.

And…of course…the Last Word—- gin, maraschino liqueru, Chartreuse (green) and fresh lime juice.

Green Chartreuse is 110 proof, while Yellow comes in at 80 proof. That’s why I like to use the green.

Thanks for your tip on making a little slice on the side of the lemon (or lime) before squeezing it with the hand juicer.  I’m tired of getting squirted by juice when juicing with my hand juicer and maybe this will work to stop it.

Michael S. 25 Jan 2012
7:42 pm

Thank you for this one, Robert.  Very tasty.  I do think I prefer it to the champs elysees.  Chartreuse just blends with the botanicals of the gin so well.

blair frodelius 26 Jan 2012
9:03 am


The best hand juicers (other than the Ebaloy) that I’ve come across are the Chef’n FreshForce Citrus Juicers.  Very sturdy and they manage to get all of the juice out in one quick motion.  The only drawback is that they are too small for oranges.  You can find them on

Where can I find drinky birds that fit on the edge of a glass?



Robert Hess 26 Jan 2012
11:08 pm

Blair, I have a Chef’n juicer, and while I think they are better than the traditional “mexican” juicers, I still don’t find myself regularly going back to it. But it is more portable than an Ebaloy or the Amco.

As for the glass-sitting drinking birds… I actually had to search for a while to find some. They apparently aren’t being made any more, and I ran into a small company that still had some… which I could remember where, but I honestly can’t at the moment.


Rhett 1 Feb 2012
12:02 pm

Delicious, Robert. I have donned this week ‘Chartreuse Week’ and have been trying a lot of new things with my bottle at home. I’ve noticed that all the cocktails you have here are gin (and the Champs Elysee with Cognac), perhaps we could see one with whiskey soon? I’ve been tasting some very interesting ones (including a Last Word variation from Milk and Honey using rye, lemon, Green Chartreuse, and Maraschino).


Kyle 8 Feb 2012
3:03 pm

Finally going to have to buckle down and buy that bottle of Chartreuse.  I’ve been putting off the Chartreuse drinks simply because I didn’t want to drop the $65 on the bottle.  But it’s just about the last holdout in my home bar—at least the one that is in the most cocktails.

It may not last as long as my bottle of St. George Absinthe- at least that purchase was justified to the wife on the basis that, given its use in cocktails is usually measured with an eyedropper, it would last for years.

Luckbox 17 Nov 2015
12:08 am

I know I’m bumping an old comment thread, but does anyone have any more recent discoveries in the quest for the perfect hand/counter juicer? 

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