Angostura bitters is a required ingredient in many classic cocktails, such as a Manhattan and Pisco Sour. When you don’t have it on hand, finding a suitable substitute can be tricky, because the recipe for this complex herb- and bark-infused alcohol is a closely guarded secret. You may serve other types of bitters in its place or whip up an elixir of pantry spices to mimic the flavors of Angostura.
The flavor of Peychaud’s bitters is comparable to Angostura, although it is slightly sweeter and possesses a more floral aroma. Use equal amounts in any cocktail that calls for Angostura. Orange bitters are another option, although the citrus notes are more dominant than those in Angostura bitters. Drinks containing vodka, gin, white rum and whisky are best paired with an orange bitter substitution; just swap equal amounts orange for Angostura bitters.
Make Your Own
In lieu of store-bought bitters, create a concoction that mimics the flavor. 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 have achieved a suitable-tasting alternative to Angostura. In a pinch, use a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce in place of Angostura bitters, but only in savory drinks.
References and ResourcesThe Food Substitutions Bible; David Joachim
Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas; Brad Thomas Parsons
Substituting Ingredients; Becky Sue Epstein
Angostura Bitters: Orange Bitters