Are Angostura Bitters Vegan?

Angostura bitters are a popular ingredient in cocktails and recipes, but for those following a vegan lifestyle, it’s essential to know if they are suitable. In this article, we will explore whether angostura bitters are vegan-friendly and look into the ingredients used in their production.

What are Angostura Bitters?

Angostura bitters are a concentrated alcoholic beverage flavored with botanical extracts. They are known for their strong and aromatic taste, which adds depth and complexity to cocktails and recipes. Originally created as a medicinal tonic in the early 19th century, angostura bitters have become a staple in the world of mixology.

The Origin of Angostura Bitters

The name “angostura” actually comes from the town of Angostura, now called Ciudad Bolivar, in Venezuela. The bitters were created by a German physician named Dr. Johann Siegert, who developed them as a remedy for stomach ailments. Initially used for medicinal purposes, angostura bitters soon gained popularity as a flavor enhancer in cocktails and recipes.

Ingredients in Angostura Bitters

While the exact recipe for angostura bitters remains a closely guarded secret, the official label lists the following ingredients:

  • Alcohol
  • Water
  • Aromatic herbs and spices
  • Gentian root
  • Glycerin

It’s important to note that even though angostura bitters contain alcohol, the amount used in cocktails and recipes is typically minimal and considered non-intoxicating.

Are Angostura Bitters Vegan?

Yes, Angostura bitters are generally considered vegan-friendly. The ingredients listed on the label do not contain any obvious animal-derived products. However, it’s crucial to be aware that some manufacturers may use different production methods or ingredients, so it’s always best to check the specific brand you are using.

Alternatives to Angostura Bitters

If you prefer to avoid alcohol or are looking for an alternative to angostura bitters, there are vegan-friendly options available. Some of the alternatives you can try include:

  1. Herb and spice-infused syrups
  2. Aromatic extracts and tinctures
  3. Fruit bitters
  4. Citrus peels and zest
  5. Homemade concoctions using various herbs and spices

Experimenting with different flavor combinations can lead to exciting discoveries in your cocktails and recipes, giving you a chance to create unique and vibrant flavors.


In conclusion, angostura bitters are generally considered vegan-friendly due to the absence of obvious animal-derived ingredients. However, it’s always prudent to check the specific brand and ensure they align with your vegan lifestyle. If you prefer to avoid alcohol or angostura bitters altogether, there are several vegan alternatives to explore. Remember to have fun while experimenting with different flavors and enjoy the creative process in your cocktail-making endeavors!