If you enjoy sipping on a classic Old Fashioned, you most likely have a bottle of Angostura bitters in your home bar. Adding a dash to classic cocktails or even plain soda water is a simple way to integrate more nuance to whatever you're drinking.
With its iconic yellow cap and extra-tall paper label, Angostura bitters is a fixture in any liquor cabinet. But did you know how it was invented? Delish stopped by the House of Angostura in Port of Spain, Trinidad, to learn more about the brand's nearly 200-year history.
The recipe for Angostura bitters was invented in 1824 and still remains a secret to this day. However, it wasn't made to be a cocktail flavoring—it was originally intended to be medicinal.
German surgeon Dr. Johann Siegert created Angostura bitters to be an elixir for stomach problems. Its name was derived from the town of Angostura, Venezuela (now Ciudad Bolívar), where he lived with his family. As the surgeon general for Simon Bolívar's army in Venezuela's fight for independence from Spain, these bitters were distributed amongst the soldiers as a medicinal tincture.
As the popularity of Angostura bitters grew, Dr. Siegert started exporting bottles to England, the Caribbean, and the United States. Eventually, the entire operation moved to Trinidad in 1875—right around the time the Manhattan was invented.
Cut to present day, and the House of Angostura is a major player in the international spirits industry. They ship their products to over 170 countries around the world and have expanded their lineup to include multiple types of bitters, rums, and liqueurs.
Want to learn more about how the House of Angostura makes their world-renowned spirits? Check out the video above.2023-03-17T18:25:56Z dg43tfdfdgfd