Here’s the bitters truth (pun intended); if you’ve come to our site looking for a bottle of the classic Angostura Aromatic Cocktail Bitters in the last six months or so, your success has been has been entirely hit or miss. It’s not that our buyers are slacking; the world has been afflicted by a severe shortage of the distinguished drink ingredient. Some are even calling this cocktail world shake-up the "Angostura Apocalypse" – it’s that serious.
Following a shutdown at the sole manufacturer, a struggling firm in Trinidad and Tobago, Angostura has been extremely hard to find. That firm, the House of Angostura blames a shortage in ingredients and "financial restructuring" and it has been reported that the Caribbean conglomerate who owns the company was hit by a liquidity crisis and had to be bailed out by their government early last year.
The toughest part is, you can’t just stop and start production of bitters over and over again– it’s an intricate process and it takes time. Angostura is made from a secret recipe of herbs, barks, roots, spices and rum – so it’s impossible to duplicate and they need to be continuously in production.
Here in the US, it’s estimated that we drink about 750,000 four-ounce bottles of Angostura each year, so not having any coming in is causing quite a stir. Here at KegWorks, we’ve been known to take extraordinary measures to get our hands on any Angostura that we can find and we’re actively seeking it out, all the time. Our stock has been somewhat random and sporadic, so we wanted to make it easy for anyone looking for Angostura to know when we have it available.
In the meantime, you might want to consider trying out some of the alternatives available. Try Peychauds Aromatic Cocktail Bitters, Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters, Urban Moonshine Original Organic Bitters or Angostura Orange to keep your cocktails full of flavor.
Questions? Feel free to ask via comments. Otherwise, we’ll keep you posted and do our very best to keep your bar stocked.