Is the Angostura Bitters crisis really over? The most popular bitters brand in the country, that get dropped in everything from the Old Fashioned to the Manhattan, had an issue with its bottle manufacturer that led to nationwide shortages. Company spokesmen told noted mixologist, Rachel Maddow last week that everything was back to normal. But is that really the case?
Not yet. Rumors are spreading about when and were the Angostura will return, but there’s still some basic confusion about the actual supplier. Wirtz Beverage had been distributing the product until about six months ago. Several sources told Grub Street that Southern Wine & Spirits will eventually pick up the brand, but a rep for the store couldn’t confirm that for us.
Paul McGee at the Whistler is still searching for an Angostura source. “I called last week and they just chuckled,” he told us. He said that he checks up every time the rumors pick up, but so far nothing has turned up. Phillip Walters from The Bristol, said he had heard the rumors about Southern, too, but nothing has shipped. He stocked up before the crisis and still have a few bottles left. Retail shop Drinks Over Dearborn has an extensive bitters selection, but Angostura is available only in large bottles.
The crisis hasn’t yet driven anyone here to commit crime, as they did in New York, Instead, many bars are utilizing a mix of Fee’s Bitter and homemade bitters to tide them over until the Angostura flows again.