Aromatic Bitters

This has been shamelessly lifted of the packaging of a bottle of Angostura bitters. As the story goes,we owe this concoction in an oblique manner to Simon Bolivar, for it was while serving under M/s Bolivar, in the fight for South American independence from the yoke of the evil empire in the 1820’s that a certain Sr. J.G.B.Siegert perfected the formula for his Angostura aromatic bitter, which was made extracted from tropical herbs and spices. Don’t ask for the recipe, it’s a close family owned secret. Whenever I read something like that, it makes me suspect that they’ve just lost the damn piece of paper, and are now making it by gut feel. Anyway, to confuse things a little bit, aromatic bitters, are not in fact called Angostura bitters, because they contain Angostura bark (which I’m sure, is what u our knowledgeable reader would have guessed) but because it originated in the town of Angostura, Venezuela (now renamed Ciudad Bolivar). Let me repeat, Angostura is merely a brand name for Aromatic bitters. If your head’s not spinning by now, then mine is while writing this. There are other aromatic bitters, but only one branded Angostura, which as the company claims is the original. Who knows. They may be other brands of aromatic bitters (which are not called Angostura) which do in fact contain Angostura bark. Anyway, be that as it may, Angostura’s aromatic bitters are generally regarded as the real mccoy the world over (they’re even By appointment to Q.Elizabeth II) and u can make out a genuine bottle of the same, with a signature of the same Dr. Siegert scrawled down the side. Anyway, amongst its many uses is that as a stimulant for the appetite and for flatulence. However that’s not why it finds favour in these pages, but due to its usage in several most excellent cocktails, such as the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned. So spring to it and buy that bottle. No home bar, would be seen dead without one.