A female hand with purple manicure pours sugar from a small bag in a coffee cup on a desk in a restaurant. Drink and recreation concept

Different ingredients make some beverages overly bitter. Too much bitterness interferes with the overall flavor of a drink. You can take many avenues to tame the amount of bitterness of different drinks. Since the taste buds designed to detect bitter flavors are located in the back of the mouth, one way to tame the bitterness of a drink is to trick the taste buds that detect bitter tasting substances. Another way to calm the bitterness of a beverage is to drink it a certain way. You can also utilize a few key ingredients to neutralize and tame bitter tasting drinks.

Add Salt

Taste the drink. Once you detect the bitterness of the drink, you will need to add another ingredient to cut down on the bitterness.

Drop a pinch of salt into a drink that is 12 ounces or more. For drinks with less than 12 ounces of liquid, cut the pinch of salt in half. For drinks containing more than 12 ounces, add more salt.

Taste the drink to test bitterness. If the drink still tastes too bitter, add more salt to it. If the drink tastes less bitter, continue enjoying your drink.

Drinking Techniques

Drop a straw into the drink that is overly bitter. If the drink has ice in it, move the ice around with the straw. According to Dr. Sears.com, cold temperatures help to numb the taste buds, so they pick up less of foods and drinks with bitter flavors in them.

Place the straw in your mouth. Insert it towards the back of your mouth, so it goes beyond the back of the tongue.

Drink your beverage. See if you notice a difference in the bitterness of the drink.

Add more ice cubes to the drink. Allow the drink to sit a few minutes before drinking it. The ice cubes help to make the drink colder and may help to reduce the bitter taste of the drink.

Ice Cubes on Tongue

Taste the drink. Once you discover the drink is overly bitter, grab an ice cube.

Place the ice cube on the back of the tongue, where the bitter taste buds are located. The ice helps to desensitize the taste buds that pick up bitter flavors. This trick helps to mask the bitterness of the drink.

Suck on the ice cube for a few minutes until you feel that the back of the tongue is chilled. Take another sip of the drink to see if the bitter taste decreases. If you continue to taste bitterness, place the ice cube on the tongue for a few more minutes and try drinking the beverage again.


When making the bitter drink at home, try freezing it. This may help to cut down on the amount of bitterness of the drink.

You can also add a pinch of sugar to help cut down on the bitterness of the drink.

According to Oregon State University, there are two ways to get rid of bitter flavors. One way is to neutralize it (by using salt) and the other way is to mask it (by using sugar).