Sometimes when I research the process to replace a manufactured something-or-other with a homemade version, it ends up being a significant effort. Other times, though, the process is shockingly simple. Bitters fall into the later category. To make bitters, you soak stuff in alcohol (vodka or whiskey) for a few weeks. What you soak changes the flavor of the bitters, so there’s a bit of an art to it. But the actual process is simple and straight forward.
I am going to make hop bitters using frozen whole hops that we grew last season. The base will be cascade hops soaked for two weeks in vodka. If that is not sufficiently bittering, I will take some centennial and boil it in water to make a hop tea. Reduce the hop tea by at least 50% and add that to the vodka/hop mixture. I thought it could be stored with some whole hops in the bottle for aesthetics.