Angostura Bitters Shortage Affects Cocktail Boom
Posted by New York Barfly

Cocktail makers might have to ration the dashes of bitters in their recipes due to a looming shortage of the popular Angostura brand. Word has it that distributors and sales reps are running low on their supply of this valuable cocktail ingredient. The Guardian UK reported that the sole manufacturer of the proprietary liquid shut down for a time in November due to a “financial restructuring”.

It’s been reported that the Angostura Bitters maker, located in Trinidad and Tobago, is setting to get production back to capacity by February. Even so, the pain in the supply chain is now being felt. New York bars are having to shop for their product online, as the normal stores and distribution channels have dried up.

Though cocktails may be a little less aromatic as bars struggle to stretch out their supply, the anxiety in the bartending community really shows how far cocktail making has come. Drinks have become ever more elaborate as they balance a multitude of components. While missing one ingredient will throw the entire libation off, it’s really a sign of how creative drink mixing can be.

It’s certain that Angostura will be rushing their little bottles onto shelves soon. In the meantime, the shortage provides a good chance for bartenders to experiment with different brands (though, the thought of doing that is sacrilege to many).  Bittermens Bitters have made their way behind a lot of city bars. While the thought of changing one ingredient may turn some bartender’s stomachs, it’s likely that a sip of the resulting drink will put all worries at ease.

Photo from Annie Mole via Flickr Creative Commons. James Mulcahy writes about spirits and New York nightlife at

Posted by New York Barfly on January 25, 2010 11:04 am | Permalink 

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