In the News: Angostura Bitters Substitute

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GinaLast Thursday, Rachel Maddow celebrated the return of Angostura bitters with a segment on her show about this in-demand elixir.

"The word cocktail at its core means booze, sugar, water and bitters," Maddow says. "That's what a cocktail was. And this cocktail could become a million other things, but really, bitters is core."

Watch the video segment below.

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As you may recall, there has been a shortage of Angostura bitters since September. This shortage wasn't casued by a shortage of the liquid but by a bottle shortage. According to the New York Post, the trouble stemmed from a dispute with the company that supplies the Angostura bitters bottles. Read more here.

The recipe for Angostura bitters is very secret, says Genevieve Jodhan and Giselle Laronde-West, Executive Manager of Export Sales and Business Development, and Communications Manager from Angostura. Only five people know this secret, which has been around for more than 200 years. All Jodhan and Laronde-West could say on Maddow's show was that Angostura bitters is made of herbs and spices.

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Courtesy Urban Moonshine 

Although many discerning drinkers believe that nothing can ever replace Angostura bitters, remember that it isn't the only game in town. Urban Moonshine offers a variety of Herb Companion approved bitters, which include their classic mix, a citrus blend and a maple blend. They also have great bottles.

In addition to Maddow's Champagne cocktail (an Angostura bitters soaked sugar cube topped with champagne and served in a flute) and old school Manhattan (a stirred combination of three shots rye whiskey, one shot sweet vermouth and five dashes Angostura bitters), you can try any of the Herb Companion recipes found in our 2004 article Bitters: Beverages with Moxie.