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May 11, 2005 08:29 PM

Angostora Bitters

  • r

Is there a substitute? I don't have it in the house, and I need to make a drink.....

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  1. j
    JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

    The only thing you could potentially substitute for Angostura bitters would be another non-potable bitters, most likely orange bitters or Peychaud's bitters. And if you don't have Angostura in the house, you sure as hell aren't going to have either of the other two. You *might* be able to do a small splash of potable bitters such as Campari if you're desperate, but that will drastically alter the profile of the drink.

    9 Replies
    1. re: JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

      I just went out and bought Angostora. My friend and I may soon make some orange bitters, as it is not that easy to find (I'd never heard of it til he mentioned it). I'm relatively uneducated on the subject, as I realized after yahooing. Thanks for the reply!

      1. re: rudeboy

        where you, by any chance, mixing a Sazarac? Just had my first Sazarac on a visit to New Orleans at Upperline, and I must say the bitters flavor really captured my imagination. My friend ordered one and the owner, Joetta, insisted I have one as well, despite the fact that I had ordered seltzer so as not to reawaken a serious cold I was getting over. Was I ever glad she did. If it wasn't for the cold, I don't know how I would have stopped drinking them. A real New Orleans specialty.....

        Link: http://www.sazerac.com/bitters.html

        1. re: bigskulls

          No, it wasn't that, but see my other reply. If only absinthe was still legal!

          I found 622 recipes for bitters-containing drinks here:

          Link: http://www.justdrinkrecipes.com/inxdb...

          1. re: rudeboy
            JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

            Thankfully there are a bunch of absinthe substitutes on the market. Pernod, Ricard, Absente, Herbsaint, and a few others all work for absinthe sans wormwood.

            The whole buzz surrounding absinthe is quite amazing. The drug in wormwood that purportedly gives absinthe its legendary effects, thujone, occurs in such small quantities in the absinthe that you'll be passed out on the floor before you've consumed enough for the thujone to take effect. It certainly won't take much, either- most absinthes clock in around 130-140 proof, about 65-70 percent alcohol. For perspective, most base spirits are 80 proof (40 percent alcohol).

            Regarding laws around absinthe... it's weird. From what I can tell, it is illegal to import absinthe into the US for sale, but it *is* legal to purchase it for individual use. Be warned, if it is being mailed into the US, Customs can seize it. If you would like to tempt fate, you can find several online retailers willing to ship to the United States. I hope you really, really want it- after shipping costs, a bottle will set you back approximately US$100.

            Link: http://www.eabsinthe.com

          2. re: bigskulls

            You'll need some Peychaud's bitters for one of those...

          3. re: rudeboy
            JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

            You can most likely find Peychaud's and a new brand of orange bitters by master cocktailian Gary Regan at high-end liquor stores in your area. If you're in the Phoenix area, I know that Sportsman's carries Peychaud's and will likely be carrying Regan's orange bitters any day now, if not already. If you are having a hard time locating a nice liquor store (the ones around here go by "fine wines and spirits"), you can order Peychaud's and Regan's direct from the manufacturer at www.buffalotrace.com

            I forgot to ask in the previous post, what cocktail are you making?

            1. re: JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

              To answer both of you at once: I made a drink that I made up last night. It's called a MoHound.

              It started like this. I had some rum, and I got my weekly veggie box yesterday. A bunch of mint was included. I was talking to a friend who also gets the box, and we were wondering how to combine mint with some of the other veggies that we had. She jokingly said "You can always make Mojitos."

              I like the uber-popular mojitos ok, but I wanted to change the recipe. I dissolved some turbinado sugar in a little bit of hot water, squeezed some lime with pulp, added the bitters, added the mint and mashed, added an heroic amount of light rum, then filled halfway with white grapefruit juice, then the other half with San Peligrino. I served it over crushed ice with a salt rim in a highball.

              So, Mojito + kind of a Greyhound but not really = MoHound. We made up the name after two of them and laughed and laughed.

              1. re: rudeboy
                JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

                If I may suggest, how about calling it a Salty Dog Named Mo? The addition of a salt rim to a Greyhound turns it into a Salty Dog. And if you use tequila in your Salty Dog instead of vodka, it's instead a Salty Chihuahua.

                1. re: JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

                  I'll make the correction. THe possibilities are endless - further exploration tonight!

        2. For those who can get to Brooklyn, NY, there's a liquor boutique in Red Hook named LeNell's that has the best selection of bitters I've found in NYState. Prior to finding LeNell's, I had been reduced to begging my friends to bring some home on their trips to New Orleans!
          They have the traditional Angostura, as well as Peychauds, Peach bitters, 2 different flavors of orange... This list goes on.
          LeNell's also has tastings 2-3 times per week with knowledgable staff. Highly recommended.

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