Perhaps the most famous brand for bitters these days is Angostura, whose aromatic bitters have managed, despite all odds, to maintain excellent distribution in many countries. However, orange and aromatic bitters are two very different beasts so while making drinks that require aromatic bitters isn’t a problem, if you’ve been after orange bitters you’re out of luck unless you have a decent off-license nearby, or you can order them over the internet.
However this is all about to change with the recent release of the eagerly anticipated Angostura Orange Bitters, which Angostura hope to have stocked everywhere Angostura Aromatic Bitters are. This hopefully means that more people will start to experiment with them in the same way they might with Angostura Aromatic bitters currently. They might even start turning up in more bars, though I can’t wait to see the look of confusion on the barman’s face when I spot it behind a bar and ask for it in a drink!
I will be posting a full comparison of Angostura, Fee Brothers, Regan’s, Stirrings and The Bitter Truth orange bitters later this week once my bottles from The Bitter Truth have made their way over here from Germany. However, tonight I was eager to give these new bitters a try so I sampled them both in a little water to get an idea of their taste, and then in a Martini to see how it worked in a cocktail that makes great use of orange bitters.
The bitters have a strong orangey smell, much like the smell orange zest gives off when you squeeze it. With water the bitters give a faint, sweet orange hit before revealing the bitter aftertaste. It’s a very natural tasting bitters, unlike some bitters which can have quite a chemically taste to them. In a Martini the bitters work very nicely, adding a subtle orange taste you probably wouldn’t be able to name as orange if you weren’t told. There’s also that complex spiciness that reminds me of their aromatic bitters, a complexity not present in some orange bitters.
From these first impressions, if Angostura Orange bitters really do become as ubiquitous as Angostura Aromatic bitters than that will be no bad thing at all. Now you know all about Angostura Orange bitters, check out my comparison of orange bitters where I compare the Angostura bitters to products from Fee Brothers, The Bitter Truth, Gary Regan and Stirrings.
Angostura Orange bitters are available at better off-licenses and online at Amazon.com.
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