Last week we were invited to the official UK launch of THE HOUSE OF ANGOSTURA’s® AMARO DI ANGOSTURA® in conjunction with Lightbox Brands at the Islington branch of the London Cocktail Club. Its arrival was much anticipated on these shores after making its world premier in 2014.
To uninitiated, The House of Angostura, which is based in Trinidad & Tobago, produces rums and aromatic bitters which have become staple ingredients for every bartender around the globe who is worth his or her salt. Even I, and amateur cocktail maker, have a bottle of Angostura Bitters in my cupboard because it is an essential part of an Old Fashioned, which I love making and we both love drinking.
Brand ambassador Daniyel Jones had come all the way from Trinidad to introduce us to this innovative and unique drink and give us a quick masterclass. His connection with THE HOUSE OF ANGOSTURA’s® goes back to his childhood, as he virtually grew up in their backyard, and he knows all there is to know about all the products. He was obviously very excited about introducing the UK to AMARO DI ANGOSTURA®, which has already been awarded several gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and the World Spirits Awards, as well as winning the 9th Annual Tales of the Cocktail® Spirited Awards® for “Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient.” Amari have become incredibly popular over the last few years, but the AMARO DI ANGOSTURA® is the only one that is a perfect mix of bitter, sweet and spicy.
He told us how the THE HOUSE OF ANGOSTURA’s® experimented for seven years before settling on the final secret recipe which, apart from rum, includes a unique blend of different spices, roots and barks, which are extracted by cold percolation and give the amaro warm cinnamon, dark chocolate and liquorice notes with hints of other spices like cloves, pepper and lime peel. The final ingredient is caramel, also produced on site, and, after aging in stainless steel vats for three months, it is ready to be called AMARO DI ANGOSTURA®. At the end of his talk Daniyel prepared a lovely cocktail called Amora Amaro for us, a take on a daiquiri made with amaro, Angostura Bitters and lime juice.
We also got to experience the AMARO DI ANGOSTURA® in a variety of other cocktails, all expertly executed by the always spot on bar staff at the London Cocktail Club and we loved them all. The welcome drink was a Trinidad Hi-Ball, a refreshing long drink made with the amaro, ginger syrup, lemon juice and soda. The ginger accented the spicy amaro perfectly. We also had the two special AMARO DI ANGOSTURA® cocktails from the LCC: a Mint Julep with Jim Beam Double Oak, amaro & mint and the Devilled Tamarind Sour, a beautifully balanced drink using the amaro, Angostura 1919, Tamarind jam, lemon, honey and a dash of Tabasco.
But we were also quite smitten with AMARO DI ANGOSTURA® on the rocks, which we would happily drink both as an aperitif of a digestif.
Food came in the form of burgers, hot dogs, wings and fries from the excellent MEATLiquor.
THE HOUSE OF ANGOSTURA’s® AMARO DI ANGOSTURA®
35% abv, Lightbox Brands, 020 3239 2939