Trinidad Sour
Trinidad Sour

Made with angostura bitters, orgeat, rye whiskey and lemon juice, the Trinidad Sour is a rebellious cocktail – the ratio of liqueur to bitter is reversed.

In this recipe

  • What is a Trinidad Sour?
  • What are Angostura bitters?
  • What does a Trinidad sour taste like?
  • Tips and tricks for making a Trinidad Sour
  • Make it your own cocktail
  • More spiced drinks to try

There are a few rules in the world of cocktails: 1 to 2 ounces of a base liquor, followed by a smaller amount of other liquors – maybe some citrus juice or tonic – and then a dash or two of bitters.

But then came a drink so different that even seasoned bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts would drop their jaws, shake their heads, and ask, “He made what?”

What is a Trinidad Sour?

The Trinidad Sour is a “reversed” cocktail in which the proportions of liquor and bitters are reversed. The drink is made with angostura bitters, orgeat (an almond-flavored syrup), rye whiskey, and lemon juice.

What are Angostura bitters?

Angostura Bitters is a brand of medicinal bitters that dates back to the 1870s. It was used as a tonic to relieve stomach problems. Angostura was the name of the city in Venezuela where it was founded – the city is now called Ciudad Bolivar.

There’s a lot of lore surrounding Angostura, from the secret recipe and ingredients to the oversized label on the bottle. But one thing is certain: without it, many of the cocktails that are considered cornerstones of the cocktail renaissance, such as the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned, would not exist.

Angostura alcohol by volume (ABV) is 44.7 percent. For reference, the ABV of an average gin sitting on your bar is 40 percent — they can go as high as 57 percent, like a marine-strength gin. This makes the Trinidad Sour an alcoholic cocktail even if the ratio of base liquor to bitters is reversed.

Angostura contains over 40 ingredients that give it its spicy, bittersweet profile. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact flavor, but you know when it’s there and when it’s not.

Bitters like angostura are brewed for their intense flavor and aroma – usually a squirt or two is used – it’s not usually a sip drink. However, with the right balance of accompanying flavors such as orgeat, rye whiskey and lemon juice, the bitter’s intense pungency makes for a drink worth sipping.

I absolutely loved it and I think you will be pleasantly surprised too.

What does a Trinidad sour taste like?

The deep brick red Trinidad Sour has a sweet, fruity start with a subtle nuttiness that ends with a strong, spicy clove aftertaste. There is a similarity in taste to allspice dram with the intense spice level, but it is softened by orgeat, rye whiskey and lemon juice.

Tips and tricks for making a Trinidad Sour

You’ve got your bottles and ingredients – now here are a few tips to make a great drink with ease!

  • Don’t hit the Angostura through the Dasher! You can detach the dasher from the top and pour it out like an ordinary bottle.
  • While a 4-ounce Angostura bottle is easier to come by, if you want to enjoy this flavorful drink and serve it to guests, you’ll need a 16-ounce bottle.
  • Shake the cocktail for 20 seconds to cool and dilute. This cocktail packs a punch, so proper dilution is needed to soften the flavors and ensure it’s not overpowered or overheated. If the orgeat is thicker, it needs to be loosened up so it can be easily incorporated into the drink. Shaking the cocktail properly will help.

Make it your own cocktail

The original recipe and what I’m using here calls for angostura bitters. Fee Brothers aromatic bitters, or any bitters marked as aromatic, have a similar taste.

Try it first to find out what you like. You’re looking for aromatic bitters with a spicy backbone to make this drink stand out. Some bitters fit this profile, others may be smoother and not as powerful. Others may just be undrinkable when sipped in large quantities.

Here are other swaps to consider:

  • I increased the lemon juice from 3/4 ounce to 1 ounce. This subtle change brightened the drink for me and softened the heavy clove in the Angostura. Feel free to keep it at 3/4 ounce lemon juice.
  • I swapped out the lemon juice for lime juice and find it more flowery and a bit more snappy.
  • Try substituting a different type of nut for the traditional almond orgeat. I tried a homemade hazelnut orange peel which gave the cocktail a more pronounced nuttiness.

More spiced drinks to try

  • Wintery spiced orange mocktail
  • Old fashioned cocktail
  • Sazerac cocktail
  • Whiskey Sour Cocktail
  • Pisco sour

Trinidad Sour

preparation time
5 minutes

total time
5 minutes

1 cocktail


  • Ice to chill

  • 1 1/2 ounces Angostura Bitter

  • 1 ounce organ

  • 1/2 ounce Rye Whiskey

  • 1 ounce Freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • Lemon peel Per garnishOptional


  1. Shake the drink:

    In a shaker two-thirds full with ice, combine Angostura bitters, orgeat, rye whiskey and lemon juice. Put the lid on and shake for 20 seconds. Strain into a coupé glass.

  2. Garnish and serve:

    Garnish with lemon zest, if you like, and serve.

nutritional information (per serving)
269 calories
1g Fat
33g carbohydrates
0g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!