Angostura bitters is a key ingredient in many classic cocktails like the Manhattan and Pisco Sour. When you don’t have it on hand, finding a substitute that measures up can be tricky, since the recipe for this complex herb- and bark-infused alcohol is a closely guarded secret. You could, however, get away with serving other types of bitters in its place or whipping up an elixir of pantry spices to mimic the flavors of Angostura.

Things You'll Need

Other Bitters

The flavor of Peychaud’s bitters is comparable to Angostura, only slightly sweeter with a more floral aroma. Use equal amounts in any cocktail that calls for Angostura. Orange bitters are another option, but the citrus notes are more dominant than those in Angostura bitters. It does work well in drinks containing vodka, gin, white rum, and whiskey; just swap equal amounts orange for Angostura bitters.

Make Your Own

In lieu of store-bought bitters, create your own concoction. Mix pinches of cinnamon, cloves, mace, and nutmeg with finely diced orange or lemon peel and prunes in 2 tablespoons of vodka or rum. Taste and adjust the ingredients until you’ve achieved a similar flavor to Angostura. In a pinch, use a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce in place of Angostura bitters, but only in savory drinks.