Scaffold styles, variables and structure for Bourbon projects.
Bitters helps designers start projects faster by defining a basic set of Sass variables, default element style and project structure. It’s been specifically designed for use within web applications. Bitters should live in your project’s root Sass directory and we encourage you to modify and extend it to meet your design and brand requirements.
Bitters is made to work alongside a CSS reset; not replace one. Our suggested reset is Normalize.
Follow the @bourbonsass Twitter account for updates.
- Sass 3.4+ or LibSass 3.1+
- Bourbon 4.2+
- Ruby 1.9.3+ (required to install Bitters from the command line)
For command line help, visit our wiki page on Bitters’ command line interface.
- Install the Bitters gem using the RubyGems package manager:
$ gem install bitters
If you use rbenv, be sure to run
rbenv rehash without any errors.
Install the Bitters library into the current directory by running the following command at the command-line. If you’re using Ruby on Rails, run the command in
$ bitters install
base directory will be generated which contains all of the Bitters files.
- Import Bitters after Bourbon in your
application.css.scssor main manifest file. All additional stylesheets should be imported below Bitters.
- When using Neat, uncomment the following line in
And import Neat after Bitters in your
application.css.scss or main manifest file:
;;;// All other imports
Note: If you are using Bitters and Neat without Ruby on Rails, you need to change the import for
If you want to use Neat functions in Bitters, you can
@import "grid-settings"; before Neat, remove
@import "grid-settings"; from
_base.scss and import the rest of bitters after. For example:
;;;;// All other imports
Sass structure & default style
The Bitters directory should contain styles for all the basic elements used throughout the project. It also contains directories for custom mixins and extends for your site as well. Add code to the existing files or add new files to the directories. Customize Bitters for your site as you see fit.
This houses all variables that are used, or will be used, in more than one file in your site. Variable names in Bitters that are used outside of the variables file start with
$base to indicate that they are the most basic variables.
Variables specifically created for Neat resets and breakpoints. To be used, these need to be imported separately from the rest of your base file above Neat in your main stylesheet. Otherwise just remove the file.
All type is based on
$base-font-size which is set to 1em (16px) by default. The spacing around type is based on
$base-line-height so as to keep a semi-baseline grid. All sizes are scaled up or down by a factor of
All lists have stripped out styles. No bullets, no left padding. To add back the expected browser default styles add
@extend %default-ul; or
@extend %default-ol; to the
Adds basic styles all form elements. The variables at the top of the file all inherit from the variables file but make it really easy to be overridden.
Basic style for
input[type="submit"]. Base button styles can be
changed by modifying the styles applied to
For more information on contributing to Bitters, check out our contributing guide.
The Bourbon family
- Bourbon: A simple and lightweight mixin library for Sass
- Neat: A lightweight semantic grid framework for Sass and Bourbon
- Bitters: Scaffold styles, variables and structure for Bourbon projects
- Refills: Prepackaged patterns and components built with Bourbon, Neat and Bitters
Bitters is maintained and funded by thoughtbot, inc. The names and logos for thoughtbot are trademarks of thoughtbot, inc.