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Whether you’re hosting your annual holiday blowout or an intimate cocktail hour with your closest friends, don’t be without the latest must-have cocktail ingredient: artisanal bitters.

Eric Treiber, of Los Angeles’s Cocktail Lab suggests having a sampler of bitters such as Scrappy’s Bitters Gift Box #1 ($28) on hand to experiment with. Adding three to five drops of lime, chocolate, cardamom or grapefruit flavor can liven up even the most basic cocktail. (We’re looking at you, vodka soda.)

And once you get bitters down, delve into the wonderful world of liqueurs.

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