Quick Answer: What Substitutes Does Angostura Bitters Have?
If you can’t get your hands on Angostura Bitters, don’t worry! The 10 substitutes for Angostura Bitters include Peychaud’s Bitters, Fee Brothers Bitters, Amaro, Angostura Orange Bitters, Dashfire Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters, Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters, Bittercube Aromatic Bitters, Bitters Club Aromatic Bitters, The Bitter End Thai Bitters and Homemade Bitters.
Invented in 1824, Angostura Bitters were primarily introduced to cure stomach pains. However, eventually, the drink transformed to become what we know it today: an essential ingredient for bartenders worldwide. Essentially, the substitutes for Angostura Bitters are perfect for balancing out overly sour or sweet cocktails – making it the secret ingredient up most bartenders’ sleeves!
Looking to get your hands on a nifty bottle of Angostura or looking for something which contains a slightly different flavor? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we have outlined the ultimate list of alternatives for Angostura Bitters, you don’t have to worry about not having a bottle spare ever again!
What Are Angostura Bitters?
Angostura Bitters is a concentrate composed of spices and herbs by House of Angostura in Tobago and Trinidad.
It features extracts of roots, grasses, fruits, and leaves, all dissolved in alcohol to create the perfect balancing tonic.
Likewise, it also contains properties that facilitate digestion, as well as cleansing of the palette.
However, the precise recipe for Angostura aromatic bitters is a closely kept secret.
It is said to contain over 40 ingredients, including fruits and exotic spices. With such a bright, vivid orange color, one ingredient is certain: citrus fruits.
A combination of vegetable extracts, citrus fruits, and cardamom, as well as a bitter root known as ‘gentian’ come together to form the bitter with 44.7% ABV.
As previously mentioned, this tonic was primarily used for medical purposes, and it wasn’t until the middle of the 19th century that it was introduced into cocktails.
Where Is Angostura From?
Angostura is produced and manufactured on the Caribbean islands of Tobago and Trinidad where the process is highly guarded.
In fact, only a few trusted individuals are allowed to know the precise ingredients – you’re not even allowed to take pictures inside the factories!
It is believed that the original recipe is filed and locked away in a New York bank for preservation.
Interesting fact: Angostura bottle’s iconic oversized label was actually the result of a typography mistake.
This led to genuine interest and intrigue with the unusual design which generated consumer interest. As a result, the company decided to retain the design.
Substitutes For Angostura Bitters
For a similar style of drink to Angostura Bitters, the best substitutes are Fee Brothers or Peychauds.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a liqueur then try an Amaro such as Fernet-Branca or Campari as a substitute.
Whatever your preference, below we have outlined all different substitutes for Angostura Bitters.
1. Homemade Bitters
While we won’t try to convince you that making homemade bitters is a piece of cake, it is, however, definitely worth the effort!
What doesn’t help is that the original recipe is extremely closely guarded; although, if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, or looking to test your mixology skills, then it is a great option.
To make your bitters, all you need is a pestle and mortar, or a spice mill, and grind some spices, including cinnamon, cilantro, gentian, cloves, peppercorns, and allspice, until well-combined.
Once you have reached a coarse consistency, include two tablespoons of vodka, then continue grinding.
After, ensure you provide enough time for the mixture to infuse (around 5-10 minutes), and then strain it through a cheesecloth or coffee filter and use it instantly.
How To Substitute
Angostura bitters is a classic cocktail ingredient, but its popularity has recently faded. Homeowners have turned to homemade bitters as a replacement for Angostura bitters. These bitters are easy to make and have a strong, distinctive flavor and are used in many classic cocktails.
2. Fee Brothers Bitters
The next substitute is the Fee Brothers Bitters; this comes in a wide variety of flavors such as mint, cherry, Aztec chocolate, and even celery!
Although, if you’re looking for something similar to Angostura, then go for the Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters.
Fee Brothers combine a fruity mixture of plums, spices, Angostura bark, and spices to achieve their drink.
Not only does this add an incredible amount of depth, but it also works amazingly well in Tiki Max, Pisco Sour, and Negroni drinks.
While you can typically use Fee Brothers as a replacement in recipes that call for Angostura, keep in mind that they both have very distinct flavors.
For instance, Fee Brothers feature a much stronger aroma of cinnamon and allspice.
Once combined into your cocktails, it is easily noticeable – especially in drinks such as a Champagne cocktail or Manhattan.
However, as a replacement, it definitely does not disappoint.
How To Substitute
Fee Brother Bitters are a special type of bitters and can be used in place of Angostura Bitters as flavored with gentian root and ginger. They have a bit of a kick, but they can be used in any cocktail. Fee Brother Bitters are excellent in sours, with citrus fruits, and on a Manhattan.
3. Peychaud’s Bitters
While it’s not the replica, Peychaud’s shares similar gentian, spicy-based bitters.
It contains candied cherries, hints of orange, and cloves – one of the best substitutes on the market!
Plus, it is sold in most liquor stores, you’re sure to get your hands on a bottle.
Specialist bartenders will be able to notice these factors:
- It contains a punchy anise flavor that displaces the otherwise root beer flavors from an Angostura.
- Peychaud contains a 35% ABV, whereas Angostura has 45%.
- The drink is slightly sweeter, featuring a strong floral aroma.
If you’re using Peychaud’s in your next cocktail, then the measurements are approximately equal quantities.
Since the tonic is used in small amounts, you will hardly notice the difference in alcohol when mixed into your drinks.
Peychaud’s is ideal when mixed into your Old Fashioned, Manhattan, and Whiskey Sour drinks.
How To Substitute
Peychauds bitters are used similarly and have a more robust flavor than Angostura bitters. To use Peychauds bitters in place of Angostura bitters, mix a tablespoon of bitters into a glass of ice cubes, then top off with an equal amount of chilled sparkling water.
4. Angostura Orange Bitters
If the taste of Angostura is a major factor to you, then you’ll love their orange bitter which perfectly complements a Zombie, gin Martinis, and Pegu Clubs.
Additionally, drinks that feature vodka, gin, or white rum make for a great combination of flavors.
Plus, you don’t need to restrict yourself to cocktails – in fact, you can use these bitters in anything from sauces, remoulades, and seafood dishes!
How To Substitute
Angostura Orange bitters is a flavor and bitters mix of Angostura Bitters and orange peel and is a perfect substitute for Angostura Bitters when making a traditional classic cocktail like the Manhattan. In addition, these bitters are excellent in a martini, old-fashioned, and other classic cocktails.
If you’re stuck on a choice, then Amaro will provide you with that bitterness you’re missing from your cocktail.
While they are typically on the sweeter side, they can be used to add a decent amount of flavor to your Pink Gin, Negroni, or Bitters and Soda drinks.
Some brands that cease to disappoint include Fernet-Branca, Campari, and Ramazzotti.
If the recipe you’re following requires a syrup, then simply reduce the quantities to your liking.
How To Substitute
Amaro is typically used in cocktails as an alternative to Angostura bitters. It is an Italian word for bitter and is a popular amaro made from a blend of roots, herbs, and spices, including gentian root, wormwood, gentian, and artichoke. The ingredients are steeped in wine and aged for months.
6. Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters
This Bitter Truth Old Time Aromatic Bitters provides a hint of bitterness and sourness to your drinks.
Similar to Angostura, you’ll receive the iconic spices which include cardamom, cinnamon, anise, and cloves – working in perfect harmony with aged spirits such as whiskey, rum, and tequila.
Produced in Germany, this bottle contains a 39% volume of alcohol and tastes amazing in Old Cuban, Martines, Tequila Sour, or Singapore Sling drinks.
How To Substitute
Bitter Truth is bitter with various flavors that offer the same effect as Angostura bitters. Use Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters in place of angostura bitters in any cocktail recipe to create an aromatic, complex drink with an elevated level of flavor.
7. Dashfire Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters
While Dashfire’s signature product may be their Vintage Orange Bitters, they also have an excellent Old Fashioned variety which is part of their aromatic collection.
This makes for a great substitute, producing your drinks with a cozy, fall spice flavoring.
If you’re looking for something to combine with barrel-aged spirits, then Dashfire is a great choice.
Just a dash of this in your Old Fashioned, Allegheny, Black Manhattan, and Americana drinks makes all the difference.
How To Substitute
The bitters can also be used as a replacement for angostura bitters in recipes. Dashfire Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters are a traditional and versatile mix of herbs and spices. They can be added to cocktails, punches, or sauces to give a balanced and complex flavor profile.
8. Bitters Club Aromatic Bitters
If you’re looking for a substitute to Angostura that incorporates all the iconic ingredients such as gentian root, then you won’t be disappointed by this Bitters Club Aromatic Bitters.
Not only does it deliver everything you look for in bitters, but it also provides additional sweetness from spices such as sweet anise and cardamom.
Typically, cocktail bitters will contain one or two spirits; however, this Bitter Club drink contains four different types of alcohol.
A strong combination of gin, all-grain, bourbon, and brandy results in a very potent 60% ABV. However, don’t let this stop you from enjoying it in all your favorite drinks.
In fact, it makes for the perfect combination in drinks such as A Moment of Silence, Old Fashioned, Port of Spain, and Manhattan.
How To Substitute
Bitters Club Aromatic Bitters are the perfect replacement for angostura bitters in any cocktail because they have a more complex flavor and a smoother finish. Bitters Club Bitters can be used to make all your favorite cocktails, and they come in various flavors to suit your taste.
9. Bittercube Aromatic Bitters
The Bittercube variety of Aromatic Bitters comes in a range of different flavors such as root beer, orange, and cherry bark vanilla.
Although, if you’re looking for the perfect drink to replace Angostura, then try their selection called blackstrap.
The drink combines ingredients such as nutmeg, kola nut, cinnamon, and molasses for the perfect harmony of aromas.
When looking at the flavor, Bittercube is up there with Angostura, making it a versatile option for all your alcoholic beverages.
However, one thing to note is that it is hard to mistake the additional flavors coming from the kola nut, as well as the lack of baking spices.
If you’re looking for ways to include a bottle of blackstrap into your recipes, then it is ideal for egg white cocktails including Pisco Sour.
Alternatively, you can use it in your hot cocktails or even as a cinnamon replacement when baking.
If blackstrap doesn’t sound like something you’d be interested in, you could also consider purchasing their orange bitters – perfect for a Highball, Mojito, Gin Gimlet, or even add a dash to your wheat beer or whiskey.
How To Substitute
Bittercube Aromatic Bitters are the perfect blend of fresh and zesty citrus, fruity and spicy notes with a touch of earthy bitterness. In place of angostura bitters, a few drops of the bitters can be added to a cocktail before adding the rest of the ingredients.
10. The Bitter End Thai Bitters
If you’re an adventurous mixologist and looking to explore different flavors, then you’re going to love The Bitter End Thai Bitters.
While it may provide a different taste than your standard Angostura, it remains extremely pleasant on the palate.
The ingredients found in The Bitter Ends are generally what you could expect in a Tom Yum soup recipe: makrut, mint, lemongrass, and galangal – however, don’t let this deter you.
The result is a citrusy, spicy bottle of bitters that is perfect for balancing out the sweetness of champagne or wine cocktails.
Likewise, it also works well in acidic, citrusy drinks such as the Paloma.
One tip: continue the Thai-themed ingredients… If you enjoy coriander, then consider trying their Coriander Bitters by Bob’s Bitters.
Rather than focusing solely on Thai flavors, the star of the show is coriander – perfect for Bloody Mary or gin cocktails.
How To Substitute
Angostura bitters are used in classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned. The Bitter End Thai Bitters offer a new twist to classic cocktails with their unique flavor profile. The flavor profile can be used to make the Old Fashioned taste better, and it’s a good option for when you don’t have access to Angostura bitters.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Leave Out Bitters In A Cocktail?
Depending on the circumstances, for instance, you’re simply serving guests who are looking to party, then leaving out bitters won’t compromise your cocktails.
On the other hand, if you’re hosting a sophisticated cocktail party, then the bitters play an important role in adding complexity to your cocktails while balancing out the intense sour or sweet flavors that can be found in most liqueurs.
What Do Angostura Bitters Taste Like?
While the exact ingredients are unknown, it is clear that Angostura Bitters contains flavors from gentian herbs, as well as a range of other herbs and spices including cloves and cinnamon.
This creates an intense butter flavoring with spicy undertones, the perfect drink for balancing out overly sweet cocktails and adding a complex flavor to your drinks.
Where Can I Purchase Angostura Bitters?
Unlike some other liquors, Angostura Bitters is relatively easy to get ahold of. Generally, it is sold in most liquor and bar supply stores, as well as larger retailers such as Target and Walmart.
How Does Compare Compare To Angostura Bitters?
Campari liqueur features a bright, bold red color that contains bittersweet and spicy flavors that can either be included in your favorite cocktails or sipped on the rocks.
On the other hand, Angostura Bitters contains a darker color and a much more bitter taste. Rather than drinking undiluted, it is intended for adding dashes to food and drinks.
If you aren’t able to get your hand on a bottle of Angostura Bitters, or simply looking for a twist on the classic, then you’re in luck.
With many alternatives available, we have created this list of the top 10 substitutes for Angostura Bitters.
Hopefully, this guide has provided you with some new bottles of bitters to add to your cocktail creations.
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