Peychaud’s vs Angostura

Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters are two of the most popular bitters used in cocktails around the world.

Bottle of Peychaud's-and Angostura at the bar

Both bitters have distinct flavors and characteristics that can make or break a cocktail. Understanding the differences between these two bitters can help bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts make the perfect drink.

Bitters are an essential part of any bartender’s toolkit, used to add depth and complexity to cocktails. They are made by infusing herbs, spices, and other ingredients in high-proof alcohol. Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters are both aromatic bitters, meaning they are used to add flavor and aroma to cocktails.

Peychaud’s bitters were created in 1838 by a New Orleans pharmacist named Antoine Peychaud, while Angostura bitters were created in 1824 by a German doctor named Johann Siegert in the town of Angostura, Venezuela.

Understanding Bitters

Bitters are an essential ingredient in many cocktails. They are a concentrated blend of botanicals and spices that add flavor and complexity to drinks. Bitters are typically used in small amounts, usually just a few dashes, to enhance the taste of a cocktail.

droppers for bitters and syrups stand in a row

There are two main types of bitters: cocktail bitters and aromatic bitters. Cocktail bitters are used to add flavor to drinks, while aromatic bitters are used to balance the sweetness of a cocktail. Peychaud’s and Angostura are both examples of cocktail bitters, and they are two of the most popular brands on the market.

Bitters are typically high in alcohol content, with most brands containing around 40% ABV. However, Peychaud’s bitters have a lower alcohol content of 35% ABV. Bartenders must be careful when using bitters in their drinks, as too much can overpower the other flavors in the cocktail.

When it comes to choosing between Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters, it often comes down to personal preference. Peychaud’s bitters are lighter and sweeter, with a finish that is slightly more bitter than Angostura’s. Angostura bitters, on the other hand, have a warm, spicy flavor with notes of clove, cinnamon, and citrus.

Both brands have their place in the cocktail world, and many classic cocktail recipes call for one or the other. Bartenders often have both on hand to ensure they can make any drink their customers request.

History of Peychaud’s and Angostura

Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters have a long and storied history, dating back to the early 19th century.

Bottle of Angostura Orange Bitters in a Glass

Peychaud’s bitters were created by Antoine Amédée Peychaud, a Creole apothecary from the French colony of Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) who traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana, around 1793. Peychaud used a family recipe brought to Louisiana by his father, who had fled Haiti 45 years earlier.

The bitters were originally created as a medicinal tonic and were used to treat a variety of ailments. Peychaud’s bitters became a staple ingredient in the famous Sazerac cocktail, which was invented in New Orleans in the mid-1800s.

Angostura bitters, on the other hand, were invented by Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert in 1824 as a medical tincture when he worked as surgeon general for Venezuelan military leader Simon Bolivar. The bitters were first used to treat soldiers for fever and stomach ailments. Siegert eventually moved to Trinidad, where he continued to produce the bitters on a larger scale. When the sons of Dr. Siegert joined the company, they created the iconic look of the Angostura bitters bottle.

Both Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters are still produced today. Peychaud’s bitters is a family business, and the recipe is still a closely guarded secret. In contrast, the House of Angostura has expanded its product line to include a variety of bitters, rums, and other spirits.

Today, Peychaud’s bitters are primarily associated with New Orleans-style cocktails like the Sazerac and the Vieux Carré, while Angostura bitters are more commonly used in classic cocktails like the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned. Despite their differences, both bitters remain essential ingredients in the world of cocktails, and their rich histories continue to influence the way we drink today.

Characteristics of Peychaud’s Bitters

Peychaud’s bitters is a brand of bitters that was first created by a New Orleans pharmacist named Antoine Amédée Peychaud in the early 19th century.

It is a gentian-based bitters that is commonly used in cocktails, particularly in the Sazerac cocktail, which is considered to be the official cocktail of New Orleans.

One of the most distinctive characteristics of Peychaud’s bitters is its flavor profile. Peychaud’s bitters is less bitter than other bitters, such as Angostura bitters, and has a more pronounced sweet note. It has a strong anise taste, which is due to the inclusion of anise in its ingredients. The bitters also has a background of mint, which gives it a refreshing quality.

Peychaud’s bitters is lighter in color than other bitters, such as Angostura bitters. It has a reddish-brown color that is similar to that of tea. The color of Peychaud’s bitters is due to the inclusion of caramel coloring in its ingredients.

Peychaud’s bitters has an alcohol content of 35%, which is slightly higher than that of some other bitters. The higher alcohol content can help to enhance the flavor of cocktails that include Peychaud’s bitters.

Characteristics of Angostura Bitters

Angostura bitters are a popular brand of bitters used in cocktails worldwide. They are named after the town of Angostura in Venezuela, where they were first made by a German doctor named Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert in the early 19th century.

Glass of Angostura Aromatic Bitters

Angostura bitters have a distinct amber or caramel color, which is similar in appearance to watered-down cola. They are made with a secret blend of herbs and spices, including cinnamon, clove, and orange peel, which gives them a complex and aromatic flavor profile.

One of the defining characteristics of Angostura bitters is their high alcohol content. They contain around 44.7% ABV, which is significantly higher than other bitters brands like Peychaud’s. This high alcohol content makes them more potent and allows them to add a strong bitter flavor to cocktails.

Angostura bitters are a common ingredient in classic cocktails like the Pink Gin, which is made with gin and a few dashes of Angostura bitters. They are also used in the famous Sazerac cocktail, which is a New Orleans classic made with rye whiskey, sugar, Peychaud’s bitters, and a dash of Angostura bitters.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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