Experimenting with Angostura Cocoa Bitters

Angostura Cocoa Bitters is the third cocktail bitters from the company so famous for bitters that people often forget that they make rum.

For the cocktail community, this was the most exciting release from the company since they announced their Orange Bitters in 2007, largely because no iteration of Angostura No1 has ever received as much attention as limited edition releases from Saint Lucia Distillers, or Mount Gay Distilleries.

I was just as excited and sought out a bottle to try it in a few drinks.

Initial impressions are a bit disappointing because it doesn’t have any of the upfront aroma of their Orange Bitters or Aromatic Bitters. I mixed all three with Angostura Single Barrel and it reminded me of Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum and reinforced by belief that Angostura should make a Spiced Rum.

I experimented with a few cocktails and over time I understood what Angostura was going for. The conclusion that I came to is that it works better as a compliment for Angostura Aromatic Bitters rather than a substitute.

Trinitario Sour

What better way to properly experience this new product than with a modification of a cocktail that uses bitters as the base.

The name Trinitatio was chosen as an homage to the cocoa bean hybrid that emerged in eighteenth century Trinidad and lead to huge increases in cocoa production that lasted from the 1800s to the 1900s.

Ingredients;

3/4 ounce Orgeat

3/4 ounce Angostura Aromatic Bitters

1 ounce Anostura Cocoa Bitters

1 ounce lemon juice

1 ounce Angostura Reserva or Chairman’s Reserve White Rum

1 egg white

Method;

Dry shake the egg white before shaking with all of the other ingredients with large cubes of ice. Garnish with a final dash of each bitters.

Trinitario Sour, a riff of the Trinidad Sour using Angostura Cocoa Bitters

Amacuro Flip

In 2011, New Zealand bartender Andy Griffith won the coveted Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge with the Orinoco Flip, a concoction that incorporated Angostura Seven Year Old Rum, Angostura Aromatic Bitters, the yolk of an egg, and chocolate liquor.

The Orinoco river is important to the culinary history of the Caribbean. Ducks domesticated on her banks were found by the Spaniards as far north as the Bahamas. The currents aided Amerindians in getting sweet potatoes to Barbados where they brewed the mobbie referenced by Tristan Stephenson in The Curious Bartender’s Rum Revolution. The currents also brought seeds of the trees whose barks are still used as a tea all across the Caribbean. Rum enthusiasts might be familiar with this flavor in Mount Gay Mauby Rum, a well-regarded spiced rum that’s only available on the island where it’s produced.

The biodiversity of the Orinoco’s delta provided the seeds, barks, and herbs that Plantation owners in Trinidad would use to accent the nuances of their already highly regarded cocoa. These same ingredients were also instrumental in the tonic that Doctor J.B. Siegert would create to soothe the stomachs of soldiers fighting for independence from Spain.

The name Orinoco was derived from what the Warao people referred to the delta that they lived in as. It has always been a misnomer because it ignores the names used by everyone else who lived along the watercourse of the fourth largest river of the world.

Their name really only applies to the area they lived in, an area with an important history in the development in both cocoa and bitters.

Ingredients;

60ml Angostura 7 Year Old Rum

1 egg yolk

5 dashes of Angostura Aromatic Bitters

10 dashes of Angostura Cocoa Bitters

1 teaspoon rich simple syrup

Method;

Combine all ingredients and either shake until everything is well integrated, or pulse in a blender.

Amacuro Flip Angostura Cocktail

Two Spences

During her Ask Me Anything  session on Reddit, Master Blender of Appleton Estate Joy Spence shared her favorite cocktail with the online rum community.

2 1⁄2 parts Appleton Estate 12-Year-Old Casks Rums 1/2 part sugar syrup 1 dash Peychaud’s bitters 2 dashes Angostura bitters 2 dashes orange bitters Orange peel (garnish)

HOW TO MAKE Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with large cubed ice. Stir quickly until glass frosts then strain into old fashioned glass over large block ice or ice sphere. Finish it off with an orange twist.

Joy Spence explaining “Joy’s Cocktail”

Joy Spence recommended a cocktail that called for three different types of bitters, and Angostura released their third bitters just weeks apart.

Interestingly enough, John Spence is another distinguished alumnus of the University of the West Indies who has made invaluable contributions to Caribbean agriculture.

While Joy’s focus has always been on the science of sugar cane spirits, John applied his expertise to improving cocoa.

This cocktail is a celebration of iconic rum, iconic cocoa, and two Caribbean innovators in agriculture with similar names.

Ingredients;

2 1⁄2 parts Appleton Estate 12-Year-Old Casks Rum

1/2 part sugar syrup

1 dash Angostura Aromatic Bitters

1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters

3 dashes Angostura Cocoa Bitters

Method;

Follow Joy’s method, or shake on ice and enjoy neat.

Two Spences rum cocktail inspired by Joy Spence, John Spence, and their contributions to Caribbean agriculture.
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