Angostura Bitters

Angostura aromatic bitters is a blend of rare tropical herbs and spices that is used to flavour and season a great variety of food dishes and certain alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

The formula was first compounded in 1824 by Dr. Johann Siegert, Surgeon-General in the army of the great liberator of South America, Simón Bolivar. Dr. Seigert's headquarters were in the port of Angostura, Venezuela, a city now known as Ciudad Bolivar. The doctor experimented for four years before finding the exact formula he was after to improve the appetites and well-being of his troops. Sailors putting into the port discovered the bitters and bought bottles to carry away with them. Soon the fame of "Angostura" bitters spread around the world.

Angostura is now the single most widely distributed bar item in the world.


A common misconception is that Angostura aromatic bitters contains the bark of the Angostura tree. This is not so. In fact, only five living men know the actual formula. Beyond saying that it contains herbs and spices, the Siegert family has kept the formula for Angostura bitters one of the most guarded secrets in history. About twenty years ago, the ink started to fade on the slip of paper carrying the formula that was deposited in a vault in Barclay's Bank in New York City. From its hiding place on the island of Trinidad, where Angostura is now made, the only other copy of the formula was extracted.

Behind locked doors, the information was carefully transferred to another sheet of paper, the new copy was cut into four parts and sealed with sealing wax into four separate envelopes.

Individually - and separately - the four parts were sent by registered mail to New York. Each succeeding quarter was dispatched only after the arrival of the preceding one had been confirmed. Unopened, the four sealed envelopes remain in the vault.

...or so the story goes.

The following recipes on this site use Angostura Bitters:

Añejo Highball
rum, orange curaçao, lime juice, Angostura Bitters, ginger beer,
calvados, Dubonnet, Cointreau, Angostura Bitters,
dry vermouth, dry sherry, Angostura Bitters, orange bitters,
Black Feather
brandy, dry vermouth, Cointreau, Angostura Bitters,
gin, dry vermouth, Benedictine, Angostura Bitters,
Captain's Blood
rum, lime juice, simple syrup, Angostura Bitters,
Champagne Cocktail
champagne, sugar, Angostura Bitters,
Champs Elysées
brandy, Chartreuse, lemon juice, simple syrup, Angostura Bitters,
bourbon whiskey, Benedictine, Angostura Bitters,
brandy, dry vermouth, Angostura Bitters, orange bitters,
East India House
brandy, pineapple syrup, maraschino liqueur, orange curaçao, Angostura Bitters,
Fancy Whiskey Cocktail
rye whiskey, Angostura Bitters, simple syrup,
bourbon whiskey, maraschino liqueur, Angostura Bitters, orange bitters,
cachaça, lime juice, raspberry syrup, ginger liquer, Angostura Bitters, soda water,
Income Tax
gin, orange juice, dry vermouth, sweet vermouth, Angostura Bitters,
Intro to Aperol
Aperol, gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, Angostura Bitters,
brandy, orgeat, Angostura Bitters,
Jolly Roger
rum, rum, orange juice, falernum, Angostura Bitters,
gin, dry vermouth, sweet vermouth, triple sec, lemon juice, Angostura Bitters,
Lion's Tail
bourbon whiskey, pimento dram, lime juice, simple syrup, Angostura Bitters,
rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, Angostura Bitters,
Monte Carlo
rye whiskey, Benedictine, Angostura Bitters,
Morning Cocktail
brandy, dry vermouth, orange curaçao, maraschino liqueur, absinthe, Angostura Bitters,
bourbon whiskey, Cointreau, maraschino liqueur, simple syrup, Peychaud's bitters, Angostura Bitters, Amer Picon,
Old Cuban
lime juice, simple syrup, rum, Angostura Bitters, mint, champagne,
Old Fashioned Whiskey Cocktail
rye whiskey, simple syrup, Angostura Bitters,
Pegu Club
gin, orange curaçao, lime juice, Angostura Bitters, orange bitters,
Pink Gin
gin, Angostura Bitters,
Pisco Sour
pisco, lime juice, simple syrup, egg white, Angostura Bitters,
Queen’s Park Swizzle
rum, simple syrup, lime juice, Angostura Bitters, mint,
tequila, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, Campari, Angostura Bitters,
brandy, rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, Angostura Bitters,
bourbon whiskey, Cointreau, Angostura Bitters, Peychaud's bitters, champagne,
sweet vermouth, rye whiskey, absinthe, Angostura Bitters, orange bitters,
Singapore Sling
gin, Cherry Heering, Cointreau, Benedictine, pineapple juice, lime juice, grenadine, Angostura Bitters,
gin, apricot brandy, orange juice, Angostura Bitters,
rye whiskey, Lillet blanc, Angostura Bitters,
Stork Club
gin, Cointreau, orange juice, lime juice, Angostura Bitters,
Straits Sling
gin, dry cherry brandy, Benedictine, lemon juice, orange bitters, Angostura Bitters, soda water,
rye whiskey, rum, port, Angostura Bitters, orange bitters,
Suffering Bastard
gin, bourbon whiskey, lime juice, ginger ale, Angostura Bitters,
Tip Top
dry vermouth, Benedictine, Angostura Bitters,
Vieux Carre
rye whiskey, brandy, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, Peychaud's bitters, Angostura Bitters,
rum, Benedictine, falernum, lime juice, Angostura Bitters,
brandy, dry vermouth, Angostura Bitters, simple syrup,
Widow's Kiss
calvados, Chartreuse, Benedictine, Angostura Bitters,
Young Man
brandy, sweet vermouth, orange curaçao, Angostura Bitters,
lemon juice, lime juice, pineapple juice, brown sugar, passion fruit syrup, rum, rum, rum, Angostura Bitters,