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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Angostura Bitters

    With all the interest in new brands of bitters (often inspired by historic recipes), Angostura bitters is always in my bar. It has a unique taste which I find essential for whiskey and gin compounds. Often I will have just whiskey or gin and bitters alone. Recently, I found a bottle of Angostura bitters from about 30 years ago, which I must have bought myself and left at my mom's house all those years ago. I compared it to the same brand as available today. The old one was slightly darker and seemed deeper in flavour and also more bitter, with a quinine-like sharpness the current one doesn't quite have (good as it is). I suppose after all that time in the bottle, the old one might have "aged" or concentrated further. Or perhaps small production differences will manifest after a generation or so, as we have seen with some (all?) whiskeys. Both were excellent. A bitters "vertical" tasting.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 07-25-2010 at 11:42.

  2. #2
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    Re: Angostura Bitters

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman View Post
    With all the interest in new brands of bitters (often inspired by historic recipes), Angostura bitters is always in my bar. It has a unique taste which I find essential for whiskey and gin compounds. Often I will have just whiskey or gin and bitters alone.
    Gary
    I enjoy some of the other new brands (on a Stirrings Blood Orange kick lately) but always come home to Angostura. Not much of a cola drinker, so on alcohol free nights, bitters are an essential addition to my diet ginger-ale or soda water....and to any whiskey that I have bruised with ice.

  3. #3
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    Re: Angostura Bitters

    Stirrings Orange is good, I use it to add orange flavor to Martinis and other cocktails. Angostura has a more intense flavor and a different one. Peychaud's is good too, but Angostura seems more complex than these others. I haven't tried as yet Gary Regan's line of bitters, said to be excellent. There is also Fee Bros bitters, whose barrel-aged version (aged in ex-JD barrels) is very good with a cinnamon top-note.

    If I had to describe Angostura in a word, I'd say spiced wine.

    Gary

  4. #4
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    Re: Angostura Bitters

    How much bitters are you guys using? Generally if I toss some in whiskey or whatever, it's only 2-3 drops. I know other's can get a little wild with it and dump far more than that in
    "So long as the presence of death lurks with anyone who goes through the simple act of swallowing, I will make mine whiskey"

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Angostura Bitters

    About the same amount.

    Gary

  6. #6
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    Re: Angostura Bitters

    You've got it Josh. If I use more than that it is in error.

    The blood orange bottle was left at the old domicile and I have not replaced it. That needs to be remedied also.
    Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.

    Bob Marley.

  7. #7
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    Cool Re: Angostura Bitters

    I put two drops of Angostura into a glass of raspberry flavored lemonade and ice, this afternoon. It was delicious.

    Tim
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

  8. #8
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    Re: Angostura Bitters

    In spite of the craft cocktail renaissance it is my experience that the ignorance of bitters in a Manhattan has gotten worse with too many run of the mill bartenders. Of course if they don't know to include it they usually don't know how to use it. Too many times I have seen a request for a "dash or two" turn into a bang on the bottom of the ketchup bottle type move and enough Angostura for a hundred drinks being added. An almost comical experience, at a well known Japanese Steak House chain (it was my kids b-day choice not mine), resulted in their loss of about a 1/2 bottle of Knob Creek while trying to get it close to right for my wife and I.

  9. #9
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Angostura Bitters

    Gary Regan likes a lot of bitters in his Manhattans. I once counted as he made one and came up with 14 "dashes." Since then I've been more generous with my bitters use, though not quite that much.

    I'm a big fan of the Stirrings Blood Orange Bitters, but unable to find it on my last foray to the liquor store, bought some Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters, also quite good.

    As a couple people have noted, if you want to make a non-alcoholic beverage taste like a cocktail, a couple hits of bitters will do the trick.

  10. #10
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Angostura Bitters

    Chuck, 14 dashes is fine - with 7 ounces of whiskey.

    Gary

 

 

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