Introducing Amaro di Angostura

Amaro di Angostura Image
Amaro di Angostura Image

Even the crustiest of dive bars will carry a bottle of Angostura Aromatic Bitters (though in some cases, you might have to ask nicely for them to locate it.) It’s that little bottle with the label that sticks out at the neck, as though it’s playing dressup in oversized clothing. We know that taste so well. When someone says “bitters” it’s the first thing most of us dial up in our mental inventory of sense memory - that spicy, somewhat meaty, oaky, smoky flavor that adds an extra je ne sais pop! to drinks and even food recipes. Other bitters flavors may come and go (and some of them did and came back), but this one will always have universal recognition. The House of Angostura is also known for their delicious rums, produced in their Trinidad Distillery, which is now celebrating its 190th anniversary. Yet it’s taken all this time to combine their blending skills with their iconic bitters  and create an amaro liqueur. Until now.

Introducing Amaro di Angostura! A neutral spirit made from the same molasses as their rums forms the base that is infused for three months with a blend of herbs and spices. Much like their bitters, the exact ingredients and measurements that go into the amaro is a well-protected secret.

This past week, as part of the company’s Amaro Roadshow, they introduced Amaro di Angostura to New York City with a party at Clover Club in Brooklyn. Guests were treated to a neat pour of the spirit, as well as amaro cocktails, mixed up by resident talents Lacy Hawkins, who also happens to currently hold the title of Miss Speed Rack NYC, and Speed Rack co-founder Ivy Mix. Who better to serve a crowd of thirsty people quickly and deliciously?

I found the amaro to be exactly what it should be - a potable version of the bitters. The same spices and oakiness are folded into a somewhat sweeter liqueur that ends in a refreshing bite. It’s definitely quaffable in its naked glory, but those cocktails were all quite yummy.

The standouts:

Inception - easy peasy.

  • 1.5 oz/44 ml Amaro di Angostura
  • Prosecco
Amora Amaro, courtesy House of Angostura
Amora Amaro, courtesy House of Angostura

Chill the ingredients and a glass. Pour the first thing into the glass and and top off with the second thing. Done!

Amora Amaro - my personal favorite of the night.

  • 1.5 oz/44 ml Amaro di Angostura
  • .75 oz/22 ml Angostura Aromatic Bitters
  • 1 oz/30 ml Simple Syrup
  • 1 oz/30 ml Lime Juice
  • Garnish: lime twist

Shake all ingredients with ice until well chilled. Double-strain into chilled coupe glass. Garnish.

Road To Manhattan - tastes a bit like a Dark n Stormy sans fizz.

  • 1 oz/ 30 ml Angostura 1824 rum
  • 1 oz/30 ml Amaro di Angostura
  • .5 oz Ginger Liqueur
  • 2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters
  • Garnish: 3 Cocktail Cherries

Stir all ingredients with ice until well chilled. Strain into Old Fashioned glass with large ice cube. Garnish.

Welcome to the world, Amaro di Angostura!