Liquor Laboratory

Peychaud vs Angostura Bitters: What’s the Difference? (2023)

Peychaud vs Angostura

Last Updated on December 16, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Today, we’re diving into a topic that’s near and dear to our hearts as cocktail enthusiasts: the age-old battle of bitters – Peychaud’s vs Angostura.

We’re not here to rattle off facts from an old book. Nope, we’ve rolled up our sleeves, mixed up countless drinks, and conducted our own taste tests to get to the bottom of this bitter (pun intended) rivalry.

Peychaud’s and Angostura are two of the most popular brands of bitters. But which one ultimately reigns supreme in the taste department?

Here’s our take on the Battle of the Two Bitters: Peychaud’s vs Angostura.

Angostura & Peychaud’s Bitters Compared

Bottle of Angostura & Peychaud's

Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters have made their marks in the cocktail world, and it can be impossible to compare the impact of both.

Angostura bitters have been around for almost two centuries and have added their signature spiced warmth to countless recipes, like The Manhattan and champagne cocktails. It has a classic, timeless taste and flavor with a certain je ne sais quoi.

“Sip the tale: Angostura’s warmth vs Peychaud’s sweet anise allure.” – Liquor Laboratory 

On the other hand, Peychaud’s is that striking newcomer, with its red color and licorice-like flavor profile. It’s the game-changer in cocktails like the Sazerac.

This is perfect for those up to trying something new and exciting.

Angostura vs Peychaud Comparison Table

What are Angostura Bitters?

Angostura bitters are used in the cocktail world to add flavor. They’ve been around for almost two centuries and are made from a secret blend of herbs, spices, and botanicals (like gentian root) to give them a warm, spiced flavor. It has the hue of watered-down cola.

You’ll find Angostura bitters in countless classic cocktails, like the Old Fashioned and Pink Gin Sour.

Read: Amaretto Sour vs Whiskey Sour

What Are Peychaud Bitters?

Peychaud bitters are made from a blend of herbs, spices, and a hint of anise. It’s famous for its captivating red color and licorice-inspired flavor profile.

It hasn’t been in the cocktail scene as long as Angosturas, as it had only been created in the early 19th century. Peychaud bitters are the star of cocktails like the classic Sazerac.

Head-To-Head Combat

Woman Holding Bottle of Peychaud Bitters

Origin

We can thank Antoine Peychaud for the Peychaud’s bitters recipe, as he had brought his family’s bitters recipe from San Domingo (now Haiti) to his new home in New Orleans.

The history isn’t exactly clear because his son, also named Antoine, was said to get the bitters you know and love today commercialized.

He first started making these special bitters (its recipe is a closely-guarded secret) in his French Quarter apothecary as a medicinal tonic. In 1857, Peychaud’s bitters got its time in the spotlight as a key ingredient in the Sazerac cocktail.

On the other hand, Angostura bitters was created in 1824 by Dr. Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert, a German doctor. These bitters were initially created as a medical tincture to help soldiers relieve stomach ailments. He crafted Angostura bitters in the Venezuelan town of Angostura, now known as Ciudad Bolívar.

When the sons joined the family business, they moved it to Trinidad. They are also behind the iconic Angostura bitters bottle that we recognize today. [1]

Read: Top Bitters For Manhattan Cocktails

Flavor Profile

The two bitters have distinct flavor profiles. Peychaud brings a unique blend to the party with candied cherry, orange peel, and spicy clove notes.

Angostura bitters are deeper and savory, with other flavors like cinnamon and cloves.

Finish

Angostura’s has the cozy flavor of cinnamon and cloves in its finish. Meanwhile, Peychaud’s has a more bitter finish, with notes of licorice and anise.

Cocktail Bitters vs Aromatic Bitters

Pouring Angostura Bitters on a Glass

Both Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters are cocktail bitters, but only Angostura bitters are considered aromatic bitters.

 Price & Value

Peychaud’s and Angostura evidently differ not only in taste but also in price.

Angostura bitters have been a staple in many bars and home setups for ages. You can find them hanging out on liquor shelves with a modest price tag, so this is a better choice for everyday mixing into classic cocktails worldwide.

Peychaud’s bitters are more expensive than Angostura bitters because you’re paying for that special touch of New Orleans tradition. We recommend using it for signature cocktails and special occasions.

 How It’s Used in Cocktails

Peychaud’s Bitters is the star ingredient of the Sazerac drink, which some say is New Orleans’ official cocktail. These are the best bitters to add sweet and bitter notes to many cocktails.

Conversely, Angostura is the chameleon of the cocktail world and can easily adapt to various recipes. They are found in many classic cocktail recipes, like the Manhattan, Old Fashioned, and Pisco Sour. [2]

“Angostura bitters: a bartender’s best friend, adding depth to drinks.” – David Martinez, Professional Mixologist

Its savory profile also makes it perfect for the kitchen – you use it as a special ingredient to your devilled eggs or roasted veggies.

Read: Top Alternatives For Orgeat Syrup

Do These Bitters Have Similarities?

Bartender Making Drinks with Angostura Bitters

Yes, Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters have a few similarities. When it comes to their role in cocktails, the two bitters share a similar mission – to elevate your drinks with a few dashes of magic. We like to think of Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters as flavor cousins from the same bitters family tree.

And even though Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters have their signature cocktails, they aren’t afraid to be friends. The Vieux Carré cocktail showcases both Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters alongside rye whiskey and sweet vermouth.

FAQs

Can you substitute Peychaud’s bitters for Angostura bitters?

Yes, you can substitute Peychaud’s bitters for Angostura. However, doing so might give your drink a slightly different twist, but that’s the fun of experimenting with flavors! But what’s the best substitute for Angostura bitters?

Can Peychaud’s bitters be used in an Old Fashioned?

Yes, Peychaud’s bitters can be used in an Old Fashioned. While the classic drink traditionally calls for Angostura bitters, Peychaud’s can be used to add sweeter notes.

Should Peychaud’s bitters be refrigerated?

No, Peychaud’s bitters do not need to be refrigerated. They would be fine in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat.

What do I use Peychaud’s bitters for?

Peychaud’s bitters are commonly used in New Orleans’ famous Sazerac cocktail.

In Summary

Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters have shown us their unique personalities in the world of bitters. The two brands of bitters are iconic in their own right and are used to add complexity, depth, and flavor to our cocktails.

Peychaud’s shine with its sweeter, anise-infused touch. It is an essential ingredient in classics like the Sazerac. On the other hand, Angostura bitters have a versatile warmth, perfect for enhancing drinks like the Old Fashioned and Manhattan.

And while these popular bitters have their special place and can be used in various drinks, if we were to pick a clear winner, we would have to go with Angostura bitters. Its adaptability ensures endless possibilities, and its affordability makes it an ultimate staple in bars and homes everywhere.

References:

  1. https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20210512-the-secret-history-of-angostura-bitters#
  2. https://www.thrillist.com/vice/history-and-origin-of-the-old-fashioned-cocktail
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