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Nov 2, 2011 06:41 PM

What to do with Angostura Bitters?

OK; this was an impulse buy on vacation since I have never seen them in my area. Now I have two small bottles and they are 40% alcohol. Any recipes that won't put me under the table after one drink?

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  1. The Trinidad Sour uses a full ounce of Angostura. I can't guarantee that it won't put you under the table, though. It's a great drink (at least to my taste).

    I'm surprised that you can't get Angostura in your area. It is ubiquitous wherever I've shopped (once the shortage a year or so resolved). It is classified as a "non-potable" bitters, which means that in some states, it is sold where food is sold, rather than where liquor is sold. (Stupid, I know....)

    If you are just looking to use it a dash at a time, the Manhattan would be probably as good a place to start as any.

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    1. besides a dash or two in almost any cocktail, they can be used in soups and stews, sauces, stir fries, etc. just like any seasoning. Don't go too heavy, a wee bit works well.

      1. We've been enjoying drinking seltzer with a few healthy splashes of Angostura, over ice, for a refreshing non-alcoholic (well, barely alcoholic) drink.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Chris VR

          I love Angostura and seltzer over ice. It is my favorite non-caloric, non-alcoholic drink.

          FYI, it is supposed to have medicinal I discovered this lovely combination was at a restaurant when my daughter all of a sudden turned green and queasy. A waiter offered to get her a soda and definitely took the edge off her nausea. I tried it just to see how it tasted and have been hooked ever since. I have a bottle at home and a bottle at the office.

          1. re: jlhinwa

            I got this from an old Julia Child French Chef PBS recipe -- a cocktail for non-drinkers. Soda, Angostura and a wedge of lemon. Refreshing and (very nearly) non-alcoholic.

            It may have been the same episode where she entertained -- with veiled disdain -- vegetarians.

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            1. re: jlhinwa

              Mine says 40% alcohol and was sold in a locked, alocohol cabinet. Are there two different kinds?

              1. re: itryalot

                Mine says 44.7% and is sold around here in NC grocery stores with the mixers.

                1. re: ncyankee101

                  What mixers? Specialty drinks? i just have two bottles of the bitters.

                  1. re: itryalot

                    Here in Ohio, just as ncyankee notes in NC, it's sold in the grocery stores with the non-alcoholic mixers, and is extremely easy to find .

                    Ohio has crazy laws about proof and licensing and such. There's the state-run (controlled, actually, I believe) section of the higher-proof liquor, with seperate doors, walls, etc... inside some groceries, but not all.

                    Then, pretty much every grocery (other than those in dry counties/towns) has a section that sells beer, wine, diluted liquor, lower-proof cordials, etc... These aren't seperated from the grocery at all - just another section of the store.

                    Somewhere in this beer/wine section is an area that has non-alcoholic mixers and other things commonly used in making drinks, such as sour mix, margarita mix, grenadine, key lime juice, sugar cubes, cherries, cream of coconut, seltzer water, ginger ale, etc... Kind of a "one-stop bar shop" for the most common mass-market drink mixers. Angostura Bitters are always found there, and even though they are high in alcohol content, they are considered a food product and are not regulated. Anyone can buy them, including me when I was 12 - my mother ran out and sent me to the store to get some so she could continue making champagne cocktails for a party.

                2. re: itryalot

                  After a search of local grocers I found a small bottle of Angostura at T. Phat in Pickering, for about $5. It is 44.7% alcohol. The label recommends using a few drops in soups, salads, and fruit dishes. I use it for Manhattans and rum punch.

            2. I like pink gin, which is a good drink for foregrounding the bitters, but might not be to everyone's taste. Angostura is also a star player in the Pegu Club cocktail.

              A British friend introduced me to vodka, Sprite, and Angostura, which is one the few vodka drinks I like.

              1. I use them pretty regularly for 3 drinks:

                a - Old fashioneds (bourbon, sugar, bitters, orange slices)
                b - Corn n' Oil (black strap rum, falernum, bitters)
                c - Lion's Tale (bourbon, allspice dram, lime juice, simple syrup, bitters)

                1 Reply
                1. re: bg90027

                  The other night I experimented with several different liquors in place of the blackstrap in the corn n'oil, and I found Bourbon works well also. Rye also.

                  I was using the ratios 6:2:1 liquor : falernum: lime with 1 dash bitters per 1 oz liquor.