Needing to substitute Angostura bitters in your cocktail? If you don’t have bitters on hand, there are still several ways to make your favorite drinks. Here are the substitutes you’ll need in a pinch to take your cocktails to the next level!
We’ve all been there. The ingredients are on the countertop, the cocktail shaker is ready to go, and you’re ready to impress your guests with your next amazing drink recipe. But where are the bitters?
If you’ve ever started a cocktail recipe and realized that you may not have bitters on hand, don’t worry. We’ve all been there! Thankfully, there are many ideas and solutions for substituting Angostura bitters in cocktails.
Table of Contents
- Types of Cocktails that Use Angostura Bitters
- Making an Old Fashioned Without Bitters
- Angostura Bitters Substitutes
- Angostura Bitters vs. Cointreau
- More Tips for Making Cocktails
Types of Cocktails that Use Angostura Bitters
What types of cocktails use bitters? Here are the 3 most famous types of cocktails that use Angostura bitters:
- Old Fashioned
- Pisco Sour
While there are many variations for these drinks, there are also many other cocktail recipes that feature Angostura bitters as one of the main ingredients.
Do Angostura Bitters Go Bad?
Bitters have a very high alcohol content that keep them from going bad. Angostura bitters, in particular, have one of the highest volumes! Because the alcohol acts as a preservative, bitters do not have an expiration date and essentially last forever.
Making an Old Fashioned Without Bitters
Yes, you can make an Old Fashioned without bitters! A traditional recipe features whiskey, sugar, orange peel, and a small amount of Angostura bitters. However, the bitters can be substituted for muddled fruit, such as orange or maraschino cherries!
To make an Old Fashioned without bitters:
- Muddle your fruit of choice in the glass along with sugar syrup.
- Add ice and the whiskey.
- Add club soda and garnish with orange peel.
Angostura Bitters Substitutes
You can substitute Angostura bitters (or any type of bitter) in a cocktail using these easy methods:
1. Use Other Types of Bitters.
Peychaud’s and orange bitters are both wonderful substitutions to cocktails that normally use Angostura aromatic bitters! However, it’s important to note that the flavor profiles for these bitter are very different from each other. Proceed cautiously and think about the desired taste of the cocktail before substituting Angostura aromatic bitters with another type of bitter!
2. Use Other Types of Liqueur.
Campari, Absinthe, or an Amaro are all great options! In general, 4 dashes of Angostura bitters can be substituted with 1/4 teaspoon of these liqueurs.
3. Make Your Own Quickly-Infused Bitter.
While making your own bitters is actually a long process, you can easily make a quick infusion with a mortar and pestle. Simply grind up whole spices (like cinnamon, cloves, gentian, allspice, nutmeg, and/or coriander) and add 1-2 tablespoons of everclear, vodka, or rum. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes and strain!
4. Muddle Fruit.
This is one of the easiest Angostura bitters substitutes! Muddle fruit and simple syrup in a glass or cocktail shaker, then mix your drink together. The fruit acts as your “bitter” and can bring the cocktail together!
Angostura Bitters vs. Cointreau
Can Cointreau be used as a substitute for Angostura bitters? Unfortunately, the flavor profiles for these two are very different from each other. Along with that, Cointreau is an orange liqueur and has a milder taste in cocktails in comparison to the strong taste of orange and Angostura bitters.