Jar #1: In one jar, add the dried cherries and bourbon. Shake well.
Jar #2: In the second jar, add the tonka beans, cardamom pods, scraped vanilla beans and pods, star anise and bourbon. Shake well.
Jar #3: In the third jar, add the gentian root, cassia chips, wild cherry bark and rye whiskey. Shake well.
Store all jars in a cool dark place. Shake the jars once per day.
After 5 days, strain jar #3, removing all the herbs and anything that has settled on the bottom. Place the bitters back in the jar (cleaned or at least free of any bitter “sediment”) until ready to use. After 10 days, strain jars #1 and #2, and combine them together into one jar. Allow the mixture to sit for 3 days.
Now it’s time to combine your bitters! I found that I needed to strain mine again, so do that if needed. You want them as clear as possible. There is no set “recipe” here – simply combine a few ounces of the cherry vanilla liquid and a few ounces of the bittering liquid until it reaches a bitterness you are content with. One you find it, use a mini funnel (I actually use parchment paper rolled into a funnel) and add the bitters to a jar with a dropper. Let them sit for another week before use, straining once again if needed before use. I found that the final strain got them super clear.