The Finest Ingredients

We take the best natural ingredients and macerate them for 4-5 weeks. We use no pre-made tinctures or flavourings, ensuring clarity of flavour and potency of ingredients.

Made in England

Made for us by Bob’s Bitters, the foremost producer of artisanal cocktail bitters in the country.

An Excellent Aperitif

Is a splendid reviver in the morning and taken shortly before lunch and dinner also serves as an excellent aperitif.

A Rapid Restorative

This celebrated preparation has, for over a century, enjoyed a great reputation as a rapid restorative.


D.R. Harris's

The Original Pick-Me-Up

A Brief History

For over 100 years, and until recently, D.R. Harris’s Original Pick-Me-Up was a well known and popular tonic for the bibulous and roisterous folk of St. James’s. Available as a draught to be taken at the counter or as a concentrate for home use. In our 230th year we are proud to revive the famous morning reviver, elaborating on the original recipe with new and efficacious ingredients including ginger, milk thistle, ginseng, lemon peel, calamus root and Regents Park honey.


Where it all Started

As with nearly any pharmacy or apothecary at the time, D. R. Harris produced a number of reviving tonics and draughts to improve one’s health and constitution. Pick-Me-Ups would have been a common sight in many chemists of the day, but Harris’s, introduced in the 1860’s, has always been known as ‘The Original’.

The original recipe

The original recipe of the Pick-Me-Up may have been altered slightly over the years as certain ingredients came in and out of favour. The mainstays were always gentian, cardamon and clove which are prominent in our new version. Gentian is a bitter root famous for its medicinal qualities which aid digestion, stimulate appetite, and help with the effects of heartburn. Cardamon is also well known for its positive effects on digestion and cloves are high in antioxidants and thought to improve liver health.

100 years later

Harris’s Original Pick-Me-Up gained a reputation as a hangover cure and was frequently lauded for its restorative abilities. The somewhat jaded clientele of St. James’s would stand at the counter and be served the ‘rapid restorative’ in custom made glasses. It is said to have been a favourite of Oscar Wilde and it is captivating to think of the gossip that might have been shared over a glass of the famous morning reviver over the years. It continued to be served in the St. James’s Street shop up until the early 2000s when it became apparent that a license would be needed to continue producing, selling, and serving the preparation.


The Original Pick-Me-Up

The Revival

Interest has remained in the Pick-Me-Up and long-term customers often asked about a possible revival. Having looked at many different alternatives over the years and working closely with our friends at The Beaumont Hotel and Bob Petrie of Bob’s Bitters we are delighted to relaunch the Original Pick-Me-Up as a Cocktail Bitters.

The New Formulation

The formulation has remained true to the previous version and still contains prominent notes of gentian, cardamon and clove. In 1980, the then proprietor of D. R. Harris, Trevor Harris, wrote of Pick-Me-Up, “Smells vile and tastes a lot worse. Must be taken well diluted. At the shop we make up glasses of this preparation and dispense to regular clients before they can attempt their day’s work. Many good things are said about the efficacy of this preparation, but not about the flavour.” With the help of Bob’s expert guidance, we have added a host of ingredients which not only make Pick-Me-Up more effective, but also genuinely delicious.

Bitters have a similar origin to tonics such as the Original Pick-Me-Up and were originally formulated by apothecaries infusing medicinal herbs and barks into distilled alcohol to take advantage of their digestive properties. This new, all-natural preparation uses high quality ingredients chosen for their effectiveness in combating the worst effects of over-indulgence whilst producing a complex and appetising flavour.

A closer look at some of our ingredients.
Lemon Peel

A source of vitamin C


Aids digestion and reduces feelings of nausea

Regents Park Honey

Rich in antioxidants and a healthier alternative to sugar

Ginger Root

Reduces nausea, fights pain as an anti-inflammatory

Ginseng Root

Reduces inflammation and increases energy

Liquorice Root

Soothes the stomach and aids digestion


High in antioxidants and thought to aid liver repair


Uplifts mood and relaxes

Milk Thistle

Promotes liver health

Cassia Bark

Contains antioxidants and helps to regulate blood sugar


Aids digestion and stimulates appetite


A natural mood booster and antidepressant

Bob’s Bitters

Bob’s Bitters is the foremost producer of Bitters in the UK. Founded by Bob Petrie, a former pastry chef in Michelin starred restaurants, Bob has brought a level of skill and artisanship to a long-ignored but essential element of mixology and cocktail culture.

The process of producing the Original Pick-Me-Up takes at least four weeks from start to finish. All the natural ingredients are steeped in alcohol and infused for three weeks before pressing and filtration.

Bob’s palette has produced a bitters which is true to the historic version of the Original Pick-Me-Up but with a flavour profile that makes it a complex and valuable addition to a wide range of cocktails and soft drinks.


The Original Pick-Me-Up


We have put together a selection of new drinks, as well as a collection of classic cocktails, which complement the unique flavour profile of the Original Pick-Me-Up as a cocktail bitters. Also included is the recipe for ‘The Original’, the closest thing to the original draught sold at 29 St. James’s Street.


A sweeter, warmer alternative to the Negroni, using bourbon or rye whisky in the place of gin. Thought to have been created by Erskine Gwynne, an American in Paris and founder of The Boulevardier magazine in 1927. The inclusion of a few drops of Pick-Me-Up accentuates the herbal notes of the vermouth, and the warmth of the whisky, with notes of cinnamon and bergamot.

Gin & Tonic

When many think of cocktail hour, it is the simple Gin & Tonic which most readily springs to mind. Bitters are an appetite stimulant, so a sprinkle of Pick-Me-Up creates a perfect aperitif and highlights the different botanical notes in your favourite gin. Our neighbours, Berry Brothers, happen to produce an award-winning classic London dry gin, so that is our first choice for this refreshing pre-dinner drink.

Gin & Basil Smash

The originator of this cocktail first called it the Gin Pesto, so if you like bright green herbal flavours, this one’s for you. You can’t really overdo the basil in this, but you can underdo it, so be generous. The balance between sharpness and sweetness is perfectly tempered by the gin, basil and depth of the Original Pick-Me-Up.


Classic, simple and straight to the point, the Manhattan is one of the easiest cocktails to make and one of the tastiest. Often made with bourbon, the most traditional recipes call for rye. We like to use a British-made rye whisky from Adnams for its flavour, but also to celebrate the rarity that is a rye whisky made on this side of the Atlantic. The spicy and citrus notes of Pick-Me-Up pair well with rye whisky and add an interesting alternative to Angostura in this version of the classic cocktail.


One of the very earliest cocktails to become globally known, and thought to be the precursor to the Martini. Traditionally, the Martinez would be made with genever or Old Tom gin which is a sweeter version than the more ubiquitous London dry gins. Old Tom gins are rather unusual these days but Hayman’s make an excellent version in London. Add a few drops of Pick-Me-Up to add to the complex array of botanical notes.


A classic cocktail renowned for its clean taste and its simplicity. Purists will not appreciate any divergence from the sanctified trinity of equal parts gin, red vermouth and Campari, but we would urge you to experiment with a couple of drops of Pick-Me-Up, which elevates the herbal notes in the vermouth. The cassia root and lemon peel are nicely mirrored in the botanical profile of Portobello Road London Dry Gin.

Pink Gin

One of the earliest applications of bitters was to dose sailors with quinine and there was found to be no more expedient manor of doing this than with gin. Not to be confused with the current proliferation of pink coloured gins, this is far from sweet, and frankly an acquired taste. It is also not pink, as the Pick-Me-Up is more honey-coloured than the carmine tones of Angostura. However, the concept stands.

The Original

The closest version to the Pick-Me-Up which was served in the shop at 29 St. James’s Street until recently. A morning boost when you need it most, which might well be the morning-after-the-night-before. The blend of botanicals and all-natural ingredients has been specifically designed to settle the stomach, stimulate the appetite, and invigorate. The quintessential Pick-Me-Up and the original morning reviver. Just what the D. R. ordered.

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The Original Pick-Me-Up

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about the Original Pick-Me-Up or are interested in stocking it in your bar, restaurant, or shop, please send us a message using the contact form below.

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