What is the difference between Angostura and Peychaud bitters?

Answered by Marvin Richey

As a sommelier and brewer, I have had the opportunity to explore and appreciate the nuances of various ingredients, including bitters. When it comes to comparing Angostura and Peychaud's bitters, there are distinct differences in their flavor profiles that set them apart from each other.

Angostura bitters, known for its iconic oversized label, is a robust and weighty bitters. It has a prominent woodiness that immediately makes its presence known. The bitterness in Angostura is more pronounced, adding a strong and lingering taste to . This bitters also showcases a medley of baking spices, including clove, allspice, cardamom, and cinnamon. These spices contribute to its complex flavor profile, providing a warm and comforting sensation. Angostura bitters also exhibits subtle citrus and floral undertones, which help to round out the overall taste.

On the other hand, Peychaud's bitters offer a contrasting flavor experience. This bitters is tart and juicy, with a strong licorice wallop. The licorice flavor is particularly pronounced, adding a unique and distinctive character to cocktails. Unlike Angostura, Peychaud's bitters dial down the intensity of baking spices, resulting in a more focused and singular taste. While clove remains present in Peychaud's, the other baking spices take a backseat. Instead, citrus and floral flavors become more apparent, complementing the licorice notes and adding brightness to the overall profile.

In terms of personal preference, the choice between Angostura and Peychaud's bitters often depends on the desired flavor profile for a specific cocktail. Angostura, with its bold and complex nature, works well in cocktails that require a rich and layered taste. It can enhance the flavors of classic cocktails like Old Fashioned or Manhattan, providing depth and a touch of bitterness.

On the other hand, Peychaud's bitters shine in cocktails where a touch of tartness and licorice-forward notes are desired. It is a key ingredient in the famous Sazerac cocktail, where its distinct flavor profile plays a starring role alongside and absinthe. Peychaud's also adds a unique twist to other cocktails, bringing a refreshing and tangy element to the mix.

The differences between Angostura and Peychaud's bitters are quite apparent. Angostura offers a robust and woodsy experience with pronounced bitterness and a medley of baking spices. Peychaud's, on the other hand, is tart and juicy, showcasing a strong licorice presence with hints of citrus and floral notes. Both bitters have their own unique characteristics and can elevate cocktails in different ways. So, the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference and the desired flavor profile for the drink at hand.