There’s probably not a home bar in the world that doesn’t have a bottle of Angostura Bitters. And why not.
That iconic, universally recognised little bottle with concentrated gentian, herbs and spices, is a little workhorse behind the bar and the best-known product by House of Angostura in Trinidad and Tobago.
But if that’s the only Angostura product that you have, then we’re thinking it’s about time that you add another member of the family to your arsenal.
Packaged in a bottle that gives a sideways wink to their Bitters (including the distinctive yellow cap), Amaro di Angostura adds to the fine tradition of herbal liqueurs. But if you are thinking that you know what you are getting, … well, let’s just say this ain’t your granddad’s Amaro.
This is an Amaro that is rich, warm and spicy. It has notes of Cinnamon, Dark Chocolate and of course the distinctive spicy-bitter flavour of the brand’s original bitters. Expect therefore to find the flavours of Bitter Orange Peel, Licorice, Black Pepper, and Cinnamon Bark.
This is very much an Amaro that can be drunk on its own over ice. And, if you’re one of those people who has been known to take the odd shot of straight Angostura Bitters, then this is definitely the Amaro for you.
But this is an Amaro that has been created to work expertly in cocktails. While it definitely has the spice of the Bitters, it has a more well-rounded sweetness to it. It may be labelled a bitter, but it’s actually very balanced between bitterness and sweetness and has a thick, velvety mouthfeel that ends with a slightly soapy texture.
And, as you’d expect, it pairs with Angostura’s bitters impeccably, and a few dashes give this Amaro the punch it really needs to stand out.
Derived from the bespoke process the company uses to create their Aromatic Bitters, the Amaro is indeed a potable version, so the flavours explode on the tongue. The finish is perfectly balanced, with the true elements of an Amaro but is still somehow reminiscent of the exotic, lush and tropical climate from which it comes.
The company took seven years to settle on its final recipe. Amaro di Angostura is unsurprisingly made using a rum base, and the flavours of roots, barks and spices are extracted via cold percolation before caramel is added and the whole mixture is aged in stainless steel vats for three months.
Now if you’re thinking this Amaro is steeped in history, then you’d only be half right. Angostura only released this liqueur in 2014, to commemorate the brands 190th anniversary. It has already taken the cocktail world by storm, winning the category of “Best New Spirit or Cocktail ingredient” at Tales of the Cocktail in 2015,
While Amaro di Angostura has been made with the Amaro lover in mind, it is probably the only one that has a distinct spice-spice-orientation in the flavour.
And as the interest in the Amaro category continues to increase, this is one Amaro that creates a delicious candied bittersweet addition for your next balanced cocktail.