How Do Our Bitters Compare to Angostura?

How Do Our Bitters Compare to Angostura?

Because Angostura bitters are the most widely available bitters, they are often a reference point for people when first discovering The Bitter Housewife. Then they want to know how we compare. So, how are we different than Angostura? The biggest differences are flavor and ingredients. 

But let’s start with style. The classic flavor of Angostura bitters is Aromatic, which I’ve heard referred to as both a style and a flavor. But what are aromatic bitters? They are bitters made from bakings spices, like clove and cinnamon as well as dried fruit like cherries and orange peel. They are also generally what folks are referring to if they just say bitters without specifying a flavor. Our Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters is my take on aromatic bitters and can be used interchangeably in any cocktail recipes that call for aromatic bitters. If you want to learn more about aromatic bitters, take a look at this blog post.

But back to the flavor. To me, Angostura is heavy on the clove and cherry. I wanted a flavor that had way less clove and more of a ginger spice and deep warm flavors. I focused on a mix of baking spices like ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice, with just a touch of cloves. Then added sweet dried cherries and a mix of bittering agents like black walnut leaf and wild cherry bark, not just gentian.

Our bitters also differ from Angostura because they are craft bitters. We make everything in significantly smaller batches. And while we use a few machines to help make the process faster, a human is needed for every step along the way, whether it’s measuring and prepping ingredients, filling our bottles, putting on labels, or getting the finished bottles in boxes.

And all our flavors are crafted from whole ingredients. Angostura only lists five identifiable ingredients - alcohol, water, sugar, gentian, and caramel color. Everything else is lumped under natural flavorings and added colors. We list every single one of our ingredients on our labels, 17 in total for our Aromatic bitters, so you know exactly what is in each bottle. You will never find flavorings or coloring added to anything we make.

So, the comparison is much like comparing any mass produced product to a small-batch craft product. They each have value, but in the end it really comes down to what you prefer. 

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