Angostura bitters are a staple in so many classic cocktail recipes, but what happens if you make a whole cocktail with bitters as the base?
Does a whiskey sour still taste good if you turn the recipe on its head?
Yes it does, but in a whole new way. The strong clove and allspice notes of Angostura bitters grab you by your tongue and give a strong shake with each sip.
If you want to taste something unique make a Trinidad Sour.
An iconic Angostura bitters cocktail
Bitters are in so many cocktail recipes, but it's not often you find one where they are the main ingredient.
Angostura bitters are famous for adding a subtle layer of warm spice to Manhattans and Old Fashioneds and to taste them front and center is a new experience.
what does a Trinidad Sour taste like?
The Trinidad Sour has a bold dark spice bitterness with a kick of tart lemon and a unique sweetness from orgeat. Rich clove and allspice notes dominate while the other ingredients take a back seat to the base of Angostura bitters.
The cocktail has a rich thick texture and a really dark cloudy color that indicates the kick your tastebuds are about to get.
History of the Trinidad Sour
The Trinidad Sour was created in 2009 by barman Giuseppe Gonzalez who took inspiration from the Trinidad Especial cocktail that also uses an insane amount of bitters as the base.
Like the Penicillin and the Fitzgerald, the Trinidad Sour has worked its way into the world of modern classics and while never gaining massive recognition it has been served all over the world.
why is it called a Trinidad Sour?
The base of Angostura bitters is the flagship product of the House of Angostura, a company that is based in Trinidad and Tobago, so the name "Trinidad Sour" is likely a tribute to the roots of the cocktail.
Trinidad Sour Recipe
A whopping 1 1/2 ounce pour of Angostura Bitters makes up the base of the Trinidad Sour, and a little bit of rye whiskey brings the booze up to a standard 2 ounces.
TIP: you can carefully pry off the dasher top to the bitters bottle with a dull knife so that you can more easily measure them without splashing all over (I do that sometimes though so no judging).
Fresh lemon juice adds brightness and some zing to cut through all of the intensity in the bitters and orgeat softens the edges with its mellow tropical sweetness.
If you make the original recipe and want something a little less intense try lowering the amount of bitters and replacing it with rye whiskey. You can experiment with the ratios and even go down to 1/2 ounce of bitters (still a ton of bitters) and 1 1/2 ounces of rye whiskey for a more conventional style drink.
Trinidad Sour with eggwhite
A classic whiskey sour is usually made with an eggwhite shaken in the drink to add a rich creamy texture, but it isn't really necessary in the Trinidad Sour.
Angostura bitters have a thick texture and add their own creaminess that takes the place of the texture you get by adding an egg white. You could definitely give it a try if you want a super thick cocktail, but try it without first!
Using Orgeat in cocktails
Orgeat is an almond syrup made with a touch of orange flower water that has an incredible fruity sweetness. It is often used in tiki drinks and pairs especially well with tropical flavors like the strong allspice notes in Angostura bitters.
Some of my favorite brands that make orgeat are: Small Hand Foods, Liber & Co, and Latitude 29.
can you make a Trinidad sour without orgeat?
You certainly could make your Trinidad Sour with simple syrup in place of the orgeat, but the cocktail will miss the tropical sweetness that it brings.
Orgeat is an ingredient that is really tricky to substitute for because it has such a unique taste. I really recommend finding a bottle and then using the leftovers to make some Mai Tais too.
Some more deliciousness:
- 1 1/2 oz Angostura Bitters
- 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey
- 3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 oz Oregeat
- Lemon Peel - optional
- Add all the ingredients to your cocktail shaker.
- Add ice and shake hard for about 10 seconds.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Optional: Squeeze the oils from a piece of lemon peel and place on top as a garnish.
Share this cocktail!
If you love a good Angostura bitters cocktail you're going to have to try a Trinidad Sour at some point.
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