15 Best Angostura Bitters Substitutes

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As a college student eyeing a future in the food and beverage industry, it’s essential to be knowledgeable about all types of ingredients and their potential substitutes. One such ingredient is Angostura bitters, a staple in cocktail making that originates from Trinidad and Tobago.

Its unique flavor profile adds depth to various drinks, enhancing their complexity. However, there will be times when it isn’t readily available or when you may want to experiment with different flavors. Here are 15 angostura bitters substitutes that you can use in your culinary or mixology journey.

angostura bitters substitutes

1. Orange Bitters

Orange bitters is an excellent substitute for Angostura bitters. It provides a citrusy brightness that can elevate the flavor of your cocktails.

Orange bitters are made by macerating bitter-orange peel and other spices in alcohol. As a substitute for Angostura bitters, they provide a bright, citrusy flavor that can enhance the taste of your cocktails. They work especially well in classics like a Martini or a Gin and Tonic, adding a zesty twist that creates a more refreshing drink.

2. Peychaud’s Bitters

Peychaud’s Bitters offer a lighter, more floral flavor compared to Angostura bitters. Originating from New Orleans, they’re a key ingredient in the famous Sazerac cocktail but can also be used in various other drinks to add a touch of anise and mint flavors.

3. Cardamom Bitters

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to experiment with something more exotic, cardamom bitters are a great choice. Made from the aromatic cardamom spice, these bitters have a spicy, herbal profile that can add a unique twist to your cocktails. They are especially complimentary in gin or vodka-based drinks, providing an unexpected layer of flavor.

4. Chocolate Bitters

Chocolate bitters might sound unusual, but they can act as an intriguing substitute for Angostura bitters. They lend a rich cocoa flavor that pairs well with dark spirits like bourbon or rum. Consider using them in an Old Fashioned for a chocolatey twist.

5. Grapefruit Bitters

Grapefruit bitters are perfect for summer cocktails. They are made by infusing grapefruit peel in alcohol, resulting in a citrusy, tangy profile that can add a refreshing edge to your drinks. For summer cocktails, grapefruit bitters are a fantastic choice. Their citrusy, tangy profile can add a refreshing edge to your beverages. tequila or rum-based cocktails.

6. Lemon Bitters

Lemon bitters, made from lemon peel and other botanicals, offer another citrus-based option as an Angostura bitters substitute. Their tart, zesty character can brighten up any cocktail, making it taste fresher and more vibrant. They are excellent in a Whiskey Sour or a Tom Collins, where their lemony kick adds a tart balance to the sweetness of these drinks.

7. Celery Bitters

For those looking to explore unique flavors, celery bitters offer an intriguing choice. Their vegetal profile can add depth to savory cocktails or even soups and salads if you’re looking to use them in culinary applications.

8. Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters

Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters provide a sweet substitute for Angostura bitters. Their uniquely sweet and woody profile pairs well with whiskey-based cocktails and can even be used in dessert cocktails for an extra layer of flavor.

9. Ginger Bitters

Ginger Bitters pack a spicy punch that can serve as an exciting substitute for Angostura bitters. Their heat can add complexity to any cocktail and pairs particularly well with rum or bourbon-based drinks.

10. Aromatic Bitters

Aromatic bitters are like the cousins of Angostura bitters, offering a versatile flavor profile that includes hints of cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. They can be used in virtually any cocktail recipe that calls for Angostura bitters.

11. Cucumber Bitters

Cucumber bitters offer a light, refreshing alternative to Angostura bitters. Their cool cucumber flavor works great in vodka-based cocktails or any drink where you want to add a refreshing element.

12. Coffee Bitters

For coffee lovers, coffee bitters can bring a robust flavor to your cocktails or even culinary creations. Try using them in an Espresso Martini or mix them into your cooking for an extra depth of flavor.

13. Lavender Bitters

Lavender bitters bring a floral note as an Angostura bitters substitute. Their calming lavender flavor pairs well with gin and champagne-based cocktails and can also be used to infuse desserts with an aromatic touch.

14. Rhubarb Bitters

Rhubarb bitters offer a unique, tart flavor that can serve as an interesting substitute for Angostura bitters. Try using them in whiskey-based cocktails or even incorporate them into your cooking for a tangy twist.

15. Sarsaparilla Bitters

Lastly, sarsaparilla bitters bring back nostalgic memories of root beer floats with their distinct flavor profile. They work great in fun, nostalgic drink recipes where you want to introduce a hint of root beer-like sweetness.

See Also: 15 Mushroom Substitutes

What can I use if I don’t have Angostura bitters?

If you don’t have Angostura bitters, there are several substitutes you can use. Orange bitters can provide a citrusy brightness, while Peychaud’s Bitters offer a more floral flavor. For something more exotic, consider cardamom bitters or chocolate bitters for a unique flavor profile. Grapefruit bitters and lemon bitters are also great alternatives, especially for summer cocktails.

Can I replace bitters with Aperol?

Aperol is a type of bitter aperitif, known for its orange flavor and bright color. Although it’s not as concentrated as most cocktail bitters, it can be used as a substitute in certain cocktails. Keep in mind that Aperol is sweeter and less bitter than most bitters, so the flavor profile of your cocktail will change.

How to make Angostura bitter?

Making Angostura bitters at home can be a complex process, as the exact recipe is a closely guarded secret. However, you can make a homemade version by soaking a blend of herbs and spices (such as gentian root, cinchona bark, and various other botanicals) in a high-proof alcohol for a few weeks, then filtering it out.

Remember, homemade bitters won’t taste exactly like the original Angostura, but they can still add depth and complexity to your cocktails.

What flavor is Angostura Bitters?

Angostura bitters has a complex flavor profile that is primarily characterized by its strong, aromatic bitterness. It is known for its balance of spicy, sweet, and bitter flavors, with notes of tropical fruits, spices, and herbs. Ingredients such as gentian root and cinchona bark give it its distinctive taste. It’s often used in small quantities to add depth and complexity to cocktails, and can help to balance out the sweetness or acidity of other ingredients.

Conclusion

As you venture into your summer internship in the food and beverage industry, remember the importance of knowing your ingredients and being able to adapt when needed by using suitable substitutes. This knowledge will not only make you more versatile but also allow you to get creative and experiment with different flavor profiles, which are critical skills for any aspiring food and beverage professional.

15 Best Angostura Bitters Substitutes

5 from 3 votes
Recipe by Laura Ritterman

Ingredients

  • Orange Bitters

  • Peychaud’s Bitters

  • Cardamom Bitters

  • Chocolate Bitters

  • Grapefruit Bitters

  • Lemon Bitters

  • Celery Bitters

  • Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters

  • Ginger Bitters

  • Aromatic Bitters

  • Cucumber Bitters

  • Coffee Bitters

  • Lavender Bitters

  • Rhubarb Bitters

  • Sarsaparilla Bitters

Directions

  • Check your pantry for available substitutes
  • Choose an appropriate option
  • Add to your drink of choice

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