It all began almost 200 years ago, in 1824, in the Venezuelan town of Angostura. There, in the midst of a raging battle, Dr. Johann Siegert, Surgeon General of Simon Bolivar’s army, created his original aromatic bitters as a curative elixir for soldiers fighting on the frontlines.
Just about 50 years later, Dr. Siegert’s three sons migrated to Trinidad, the southernmost island in the Caribbean, and began manufacturing Angostura aromatic bitters in earnest, cleverly transforming it into a truly global brand and the essential ingredient in a host of cocktails.
By the 1950’s, eight decades after Dr. Siegert’s sons relocated to Trinidad, Angostura aromatic bitters was so popular and of such high quality that it was granted Royal Warrants of Appointment to the royal households of Prussia, Spain, Sweden and Great Britain (Angostura® still holds the Royal Warrant as manufacturer of Angostura aromatic bitters to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II).
Fast forward to today. In addition to two iconic bitters brands (recently named the # 1 selling bitters in the world and the # 1 trending bitters in the world), Angostura produces an appealing range of premium rums, the popular RTD Angostura Lemon Lime and Bitters, and the magnificent Amaro di Angostura.
So what exactly is Angostura aromatic bitters? Made with the same original recipe invented by Dr. Siegert, it’s a botanically infused alcoholic mixture, made of water, 44.7% ethanol, gentian, and a mix of herbs and spices. While it is presented in similar iconic packaging, Angostura orange bitters contains entirely different ingredients and is made using citrus oils.
Sodium and Gluten-free, both bitters’ recipes remain a closely guarded secret, known to just a few people who are so serious about their responsibility that they never travel, or even eat in a restaurant, together. Mixologists will tell you that a cocktail cabinet without Angustora bitters is like a kitchen without salt and pepper.
“Our bitters are the definitive ingredient in classic and contemporary cocktails,” says Natasha Mustapha-Scott, executive manager of marketing, “They add a layer of complexity, bringing balance while intensifying, improving, accentuating and aligning other flavours.
“The versatility of Angostura bitters goes beyond the bar. In fact, cooks-in-the-know use it as a flavor enhancer and to marry flavors in recipes. No kitchen is complete without it.”
The House of Angostura also enjoys a singular reputation unmatched rum makers. The company is known for its multiple award-winning premium rums, blended by masters with years of experience and training in original traditions, closely maintaining guarded formulas and techniques. The entire rum portfolio is created with artistry and craftsmanship, offering subtle, complex flavor profiles that can be sipped or blended in cocktails.
Mrs. Mustapha-Scott asserts that Angostura “could only create its superlative rums in Trinidad. “The country is home to adventurous peoples from almost every corner of the world,” she says. “That daring spirit is manifest in Trinidad’s music, food, art, and in our expertise in creating exquisite rums.”
Such premium rums as Angostura 1787®, Angostura 1824®, Angostura 1919®, and Angostura® Seven-Year- Old, are perfect for sipping on their own or straight up or on the rocks. The entire range can be enjoyed with mixers and are excellent in cocktails.
Angostura’s products have been kosher-certified for 22 years, aiming to meet the demands for a mark of quality and compliance from distributors in North American and European jurisdictions, where the expansion of the kosher market is significant and ongoing.
“To the best of our knowledge, the House of Angostura is the only manufacturer in the Caribbean whose entire range of products is kosher-certified,” says Mrs. Mustapha-Scott. “We are extremely pleased and very proud to be able to offer the taste of our Caribbean heritage to the OU Kosher consumers.”