Using bitters as a base instead of an accent goes back awhile—look at the 1939 recipe for Charles H. Baker's Angostura Fizz and you'll also find bitters being measured out to a full ounce. In this take on a gin-based tiki drink, the spicy flavors of Angostura are right at home.
'Angostura' on Serious Eats
The A-go Flip is what would happen if eggnog left the farm for the big city, then came back for a family gathering, bringing a few tricks up its sleeve.
This drink from Anvil Bar & Refuge in Houston might just become your new favorite eggnog recipe. The key: a long pour of Angostura bitters instead of your standard brandy or whiskey base.
Bitters are often thought of as the salt and pepper of the cocktail world, adding just a touch of spice to focus and deepen the flavors of a drink. It makes sense to use them sparingly—a 4-ounce bottle of Angostura can sell for $9 or more, and it's potent stuff, so a drop or two goes a long way. "But we're living in an age of extreme ingredients," says Theo Lieberman of Lantern's Keep and Milk & Honey in NYC, "everywhere you look, there's pork belly." So perhaps the time for the extreme use of bitters has come.
We find ourselves now in a sort of orange bitters renaissance, but it was by no means ever clear that this would happen. It's truly instructive to take each brand—Fee's, Regan's, Bitter Truth, and Angostura—and test each of them in cocktails. Even in a small dose, a dash, each brand asserts its personality.
These days, you can't move a millimeter in even the dingiest of contemporary drink dens without hearing that "B" word: bitters, bitters, bitters. But what are bitters really made of? And how can you go about crafting your own?
Last week, we dipped into a little bitters history. Today we'll look at the two champions of the bitters field: Angostura and Peychaud's.