Angostura Bitters

December 15, 2015

Angostura bitters

Angostura bitters is the go-to bitters within the [American] bartender’s toolkit. It originated in the Americas, is still produced there, and its ubiquitous in any bar that caters to North American tastes.

Bitters in general are a set of flavored alcohols that have roots in pharmacognosy, the study of medicinal drugs derived from natural sources–usually plants. Bitters with a long history were certainly developed for this purpose.

Angostura bitters was originally purposed for a number of maladies that could befall sailors. Creator Dr. Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert began production while acting as surgeon general of Simon Bolivar’s army.

Angostura bitters does not contain angostura bark; both the tincture and small tree happen to be named for the same city. Angostura bitters originated in Angostura, Venezuela (now Ciudad Bolivar) until production was moved to Port of Spain, Trinidad, where it remains today.

This bitters is a aromatic or spice-based bitters. Other types of bitters are grouped for their contents that extend from citrus, chocolate, chili, or some combination of these general classes.

Medicinally, Angostura bitters is used to alleviate

  • seasickness,
  • stomach distress,
  • hiccups, and
  • hangovers.

Both available in bars, club soda and bitters is a common hangover cure.

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