ANGOSTURA© aromatic bitters celebrates the myth behind the legend with the launch of their new campaign, A Story In Every Dash.
The novelist who remains best known for his adventure stories of American boyhood, Mark Twain said it best, “Nothing but Angostura Bitters will do.”
We’re not surprised though… an epic journalist like Twain knew a good story when he saw one. A centuries-old secret, legend and lore, these can all be found in a single dash that conjures vivid images of sun-drenched days and sultry soft scented nights stirring with native rhythms. Nearly 150 years later, and the world still can’t get enough of ANGOSTURA©.
Join ANGOSTURA© aromatic bitters as they take you on a journey of many tales, through each story of every dash over time in their latest campaign, A Story In Every Dash.
The world’s top-selling, top-trending and first bitters brand in production, ANGOSTURA© aromatic bitters’ oversized label and bright yellow cap make it instantly recognisable on the shelves. But, to this day, the only ingredients listed on the oversized label are alcohol, water, sugar, gentian, spices, aromas and caramel colourant. The exact formula for this iconic bitters remains a long-held secret. Legend says that only five people have the recipe, known collectively as the Five Manufacturers, and they are never in the same place at once. Though the recipe may be kept under lock and key, its inspiring flavour combinations in reimagined food and cocktails recipes are well-known.
ANGOSTURA© aromatic bitters is a national treasure to the Caribbean twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago, where produced and bottled. It appears in every hotel, restaurant, and watering hole. Exploring the nations diverse cuisine, bitters is provided in everything from baked goods and traditional dishes. “My mum, grandmother, my aunts, everyone used Angostura bitters for cooking,” says Raymond Edwards, Angostura’s chief brand educator and mixologist. “The crazy flipside is globally it’s used for drinks.” The trend of cooking with ANGOSTURA© aromatic bitters is gaining momentum with chefs and home cooks around the world realising that it adds a complexity to a dish that would otherwise have been overlooked. You’ll even find a bottle in the cupboard for treating tummy ailments – the original purpose for this secret recipe.
The origins of ANGOSTURA© aromatic bitters can be traced back to Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert, a German army surgeon whilst stationed in Venezuela in the town of Angostura (now Ciudad Bolivar) in 1824 who used this elixir as a stomach treatment for soldiers. The family business later relocated to Trinidad and set up a distillery named The House of Angostura – in Port of Spain. It was Johann’s sons who discovered that just a dash or two could change cocktails.
The recognisable oversized label? A printing error that became a brand statement. During the second half of the 19th Century, one brother was in charge of creating the bottle for the Bitters and the other the label, in typical brotherly form, neither consulted with the other. This was remembered as most unique in the industry at the time and this distinction is still clear today.
By 1900, the cocktail era had arrived, and ANGOSTURA© aromatic bitters was cemented in history with cocktails such as the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan growing in popularity.
Fast-forward to 2021, and ANGOSTURA© aromatic bitters is as important to the bartender as salt to the chef and the cocktails that require a dash of it number in the hundreds. Bruce Dorfling, a Kwa-Zulu Natal-based mixologist, The Forager winner SA, Campari Bar Academy Bartender of the Year SA winner and restaurant and bar manager at Lucky Shaker’s, explains “The rich and dark flavours of ANGOSTURA© aromatic bitters lift and intensify the experience by balancing the tropical and honey tones in my whisky sour twist.”
The story of ANGOSTURA© aromatic bitters is in every dash of your favourite sipping cocktail or culinary experience, its future constantly evolving with reinventions of the old and creating of the new.
So, order your favourite bitter-forward cocktail, experiment with a bottle of your own or even get creative in the kitchen. Tell us your tales, because as we know, there’s a story in every dash…