Trinidad Sour cocktail

Trinidad Sour - A cocktail based on Angostura bitters

By Timo Torner / Last updated on May 16, 2022 
The Trinidad Sour is one of the most unique cocktails. Deep red-brown in color, it is not based on a typical spirit, but Angostura bitters instead.

There are many cocktails that are special and not to everyone's liking. A famous example is the Bloody Mary, the tomato cocktail only a few dare to order. But the Trinidad Sour might polarize even more than this classic. It contains one and a half ounces of Angostura bitters as a base. And it can be accused of many things but certainly not of a lacking in flavor.

If you've tried Angostura bitters before in a drink, you might know that only a few drops can drastically deepen the flavor profiles of cocktails. Famously used on an Old Fashioned or Manhattan, the cocktail bitters bring bursts of flavor to your drinks.

Now imagine not using a few drops but 4.5cl of it. The flavors are insanely intense, and all the other ingredients are more about calming the bitters down. Every element is needed for balancing that cocktail.

And surprisingly enough, the result is unique but actually enjoyable. Not for everyone, of course, but there are definitely some that indulge in this cocktail-bitter madness.

The history of the Trinidad Sour

The Trinidad Sour got invented in 2009. Giuseppe Gonzales, back then bartender at New York's famous Clover Club bar (named after the Clover Club cocktail), created this flavor bomb of a cocktail. But the idea wasn't entirely new at this time. In fact, the drink was inspired by another cocktail - The Trinidad Especial.

The inventor of the Trinidad Especial is Valentino Bolognese. The Italian Bartender from Palmoli, a small town in the region of Abruzzo, where he was an eminent and popular bartender. In 2008 he decided to take part in the "Angostura European Cocktail Competition". His two contributions were the aforementioned Trinidad Especial and RI.PA. Deuxième.

The recipe of the Trinidad Especial is also relying heavily on Angostura. And it gets balanced by lime juice, orgeat syrup, and a touch of Italian Pisco. And, perhaps you already guessed, Bolognese won the competition. That not only made him and his Trinidad Especial cocktail famous, it also laid the ground for the Trinidad Sour.

Gonzales took the winning cocktail and transformed it into a sour cocktail based on Angostura. He increased the amount of Angostura, kept the orgeat to sweeten the drink, but replaced Pisco and lime juice with a more complex mix of Rye Whiskey and lemon juice.

The Ingredients of the Trinidad Sour

The key ingredient is evident by now: Angostura bitters are unique in taste and irreplaceable in this cocktail recipe. And they are complemented by Rye Whiskey, orgeat, and lemon juice.

Rye Whiskey is used to add a bit more structure to the drink. With half an ounce, it's just enough to support the rich flavors of the bitters without distracting from them. A solid Rye Whiskey you would use for making your occasional Manhattan will do the trick here, too. It doesn't have to be a top-shelf one as the flavors are dominated by the cocktail bitters anyways.

Orgeat is the sweetening ingredient of the Trinidad Sour cocktail. It is a syrup made of almonds, sugar, and rose water. A mix that is difficult to find but more and more used in cocktails.

Optional ingredients

There are not many variations on this cocktail recipe. But adding an egg white to create a silky texture and an additional foam on top of the drink is widely accepted. If you decide to shake up your Trinidad Sour with an egg white, make sure to dry shake your drink first. This way, the egg white will emulsify much quicker and better, creating a thicker foam for your drink.

If you've never done a dry shake before, here's how to do it. Add the ingredients plus egg white to your cocktail shaker. But don't add ice yet. Shake the mix for 10-15 seconds without ice. That's your dry shake.

Now open the shaker, add your ice, and shake again. -This time, to chill your drink.

That's it already. And a perfect egg white foam will be your reward.

Trinidad Sour cocktail

Trinidad Sour

An IBA listed cocktail based on Angostura bitters
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: angostura
Servings: 1
Cost: 4.50$

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz Angostura bitters
  • 0.5 oz Rye Whiskey
  • 1 oz Orgeat syrup
  • 0.75 oz Lemon juice
  • 1 egg white

Instructions

  • Add Angostura bitters, Whiskey, orgeat, and fresh lemon juice into your cocktail shaker. If you're using egg white, do your dry shake first. If you don't, add ice and shake the cocktail.
    1.5 oz Angostura bitters, 1 oz Orgeat syrup, 0.75 oz Lemon juice, 1 egg white
  • Then double-strain the Trinidad Sour into a chilled glass.
  • You can garnish the cocktail with a twisted lemon peel.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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2 comments on “Trinidad Sour - A cocktail based on Angostura bitters”

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! I've tried this recipe before without the egg white (from another website),
    and now I decided to use yours including the egg white. Wow! My Trinidad Sour turned out even better! Bravo!

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