2015 has already marked a year of accomplishments for Cellar Trends, with the addition of multiple brands to its portfolio, but the company is set to build on the foundations with the announcement of a significant deal with Angostura, the renowned rum and iconic bitters brand.
From the 1st July, the agreement will see Cellar Trends undertake all sales, distribution and marketing in the UK, with an initial focus on the Global Cocktail Competition. Genevieve Jodhan, Executive Manager – International Sales & Marketing, at Angostura says “Cellar Trends has fantastic experience in building brands. This knowledge and understanding will help us achieve our vision for the Angostura brand in the UK.”
With the recipe dating back to 1824, Angostura® Bitters is recognized as the leader in the aromatic bitters market and is the staple product on any back bar. Not only do the bitters add a distinctive flavour to any classic and contemporary cocktails, but they also have the ability to marry flavours together in all food dishes.
An exquisite range of rum brands ensures that Angostura® is one of the Caribbean’s leading rum producers, including award winning Angostura® Reserva, 7 Year Old, 5 Year Old,1919, and 1824 rums. The brands have a rich history behind them having been produced in their rum distillery in Trinidad since 1890, and they continue to this day to bring the carnival spirit of Trinidad to every consumer.
Sales and Marketing Director at Cellar Trends, Terry Barker, says “We are extremely proud to be appointed by Angostura® Ltd for this exciting and iconic range of Bitters and Rums. Both brands have such great kudos behind them already, but we look forward to building on the growth of these unique products. We have a great support programme which we are currently implementing to take the brand to the next level, starting with the Global Cocktail Challenge.”
The taste of Trinidad comes to London Cocktail Week as Angostura creates Butterfly House
A truly unique experience will be coming to this year’s esteemed London Cocktail Week as Angostura rum brings tropical Trinidad to London’s Shoreditch. Open from Thursday 9th – Sunday 12th October, The Angostura Butterfly House will bring fluttering moments of joy to all who take a stroll within it.
When the butterflies dance, the sugar cane is ready for harvesting and at the Angostura Butterfly House an array of butterflies will be dancing to the tune of Trinidad’s legendary rum and bitters. Bringing to life the story of Angostura, the pop-up will offer visitors the chance to experience the sweet, sweet sights and tastes of the most treasured plantation fields. Be embraced by friendly butterflies in the ethically created Butterfly House, press your own sugar cane juice and have it transformed into one of the delicious butterfly-inspired Angostura rum cocktails on offer, sure to send you fluttering into the night.
A series of masterclasses and other events led by Angostura’s Master Distiller, John Georges and Global Ambassador, Mike Tomasic will also take place within this this tropical paradise in the heart of Shoreditch at 31 New Inn Yard, including:
From Cane to Cocktail: all the way from Trinidad, House of Angostura’s Master Distiller, John Georges talks sugar cane and molasses while Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge winner and Global Brand Ambassador, Mike Tomasic leads a tasting of infused sugar cane juices v gomme syrups. Thursday 9th October, 3.00pm – 4.00pm (Tickets £9 – limited to 16 places)
A Bitters Heart: Angostura Aromatic Bitters is famed throughout the world for its ability to enhance flavours. Prepare to be surprised as Global Brand Ambassador, Mike Tomasic showcases an array of cocktails – each one of them including a whole shot of Dr Siegert’s classic creation. Friday 10th October, 3.00pm – 4.00pm (Tickets £9 – limited to 16 places)
Nectar and Nous: what would it be like to taste through your feet? Imagine only being able to see green, yellow and red. What an odd life you’d lead with no mouth to drink. Be fascinated by the life of a butterfly as expert, Luke Brown (who has over 30 years experience in creating perfect environments for butterflies and has helped bring the Angostura Butterfly house to life) fires facts and figures while the guys at The Cocktail Lovers will create cocktails they’ll love to savour. Saturday 11th October, 3.00pm – 4.00pm (Tickets £9 – limited to 16 places)
Float Like a Butterfly…: No punches will be thrown, but the fight will fast and furious as reigning champion, Australia’s Mike Tomasic takes on Scotland’s Angostura City Sessions winners in a title defence of the House of Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge middleweight belt he won in March. Three rounds, three drinks and plenty Ali-shuffles to some solid beats. Sunday 12th October, 3.00pm – 5.00pm. Free entry.
THE ANGOSTURA BUTTERFLY HOUSE will be located at 31 New Inn Yard, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3EY.
Opening times as follows:
Thursday 9th October 16:00 – 23:00
Friday 10th October 12:00 – 23:00
Saturday 11th October 12:00 – 23:00
Sunday 12th October 12:00 – 23:00
From Cane to Cocktail: Thursday 9th October, 15.00 – 16.00. £9 (16 places)
Float Like a Butterfly…: Sunday 12th October, 15.00 – 17.00. Entry Free
Everyone is welcome to enter the Angostura Butterfly House and entry is free. Tickets for the masterclasses are priced at £9 and can be purchased in advance via the London Cocktail Week website: http://www.londoncocktailweek.com/events
I’ve been lucky enough to travel around the UK to visit various cities as brands host themed evenings, master classes or even visits to distilleries themselves. But one event that I’ve been looking forward involved me travelling to a city that I’ve only been to as a child, so this counts as a relatively new experience, despite hearing so much about it within the trade.
The rum and bitters brand Angostura were my hosts as I made my way to Edinburgh yesterday to enjoy what I can only describe as a comedy night with plenty of rum. Not knowing what to expect, and of course doing my usual way of approaching these things with an open mind, my first port of call was the rather stunning building of The Assembly Rooms. This 230 year old structure has apparently played host to many an event including royal banquets and even readings from Charles Dickens. Last night though, they were the venue for a rather unique performance titled “The Thinking Drinker’s Guide to Alcohol”, created by the team aptly named Thinking Drinker’s, aka Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham.
With a background of being a triple-crowned winner of “British Beer Writer of the Year”, Ben brought to the show his unique understanding of the finer details of not only the history of alcohol, but also the production methods too. Tom has the impressive title of being a former editor of the well-known trade publication CLASS magazine, so able to combine his knowledge and experience of writing about many a brand to the sold out audience. Covering everything from Jesus Christ to Hemmingway, the Thinking Drinker’s played on the stereotypes of many a brand, whilst covering categories such as whisky, gin, rum and even absinthe. Of course, no drinks related show would be complete without samples to be enjoyed. Johnnie Walker Gold, Buffalo Trace, Angostura 1919, Tanqueray No.10 and Pernod were all on offer to run alongside the starter beer from the Czech Republic’s oldest brewery.
If you ever get the chance to check these guys out, I’d highly recommend, even if you’re in the trade. You’ll love some of the idea these guys have got when it comes to explaining the natures of alcohol. Just watch out for the samba!
After the show we headed to Timberyard restaurant, where we were to enjoy a four course meal with a list of Angostura based cocktails to enjoy and savour. A starter of iced pea, asparagus, mint and hyssop was a surprise, with the chilled peas going down well (and I’m not usually a lover of this either).
This was followed by lemon sole, langoustine, tomato, samphire, shallot, potato and sea plantain – beautifully presented and went down far too quickly. Beech smoked sirloin came next, complete with shallop, parsnip, beetroot, chickweed and wood sorrel. Cooked to perfection, but went cold a little too quickly for my liking. However, a clean plate was left and ready for our last course in chocolate pudding, Angostura ice cream, brown bread, oats, marshmallow and mint. A great final course to enjoy, to the point of some of us shared a second! The cocktails were well done too, with myself opting for a Woods – Angostura 3yr, Licor 43, Aperol, apple and juniper. A great venue to enjoy, with the food and drink pitching the standards I’ve heard so much about in Edinburgh.
Our last place to visit came in the form of one of Edinburgh’s more well-known haunts, Voodoo Rooms. The award-winning bar showcased a back-bar with delights to suit all, including Angostura Old Fashioned’s, Caorunn Negroni’s and my cocktail menu choice of Elixir of Life – Flor de Cana 7yr, Benedictine, almond and a shot of espresso with a peat whisky rinse for the glass. The bar’s reputation in my eyes was set pretty high as Voodoo Rooms are a name that pop up in some way or form whenever a cocktail competition is in the area, and they smashed it with their service and drink creativity.
Although a whistle-stop tour of Edinburgh, a thoroughly enjoyable time has been had. I’ve met new colleagues, visited some great venues that I would highly recommend, and of course, the whole idea of the trip in the first place, drank Angostura rum alongside plenty of laughs.
There are not many rums that hail from Trinidad and Tobago, but the most well-known comes in the form of Angostura. Although you may be more familiar with its range of bitters.
The distinctive slender bottle of the bitters, wrapped in an oversized label, began in Venezuela. In 1820, Dr. J.G.B. Siegert, a decorated, 24-year-old surgeon from the Napoleonic Wars, enlisted in the cause of South American independence under the liberator, General Simon Bolivar. Four years later, as Surgeon General of the military hospital in Venezuela, Dr. Siegert perfected his mixture of tropical herbs, spices, and alcohol to be used as a tonic for the tropical disorders that faced the European armies in the South American jungles. Originally known as Dr. Siegert’s Aromatic Bitters, the secret blend later took the name of the town on the banks of the Orinoco River where Bolivar headquartered his liberation army. Soldiers and ship crews returning home from South America spread the versatile bitters around the world. Inevitably, the demand for the prescription grew and became sought after as a stomach, pick-me-up, and an important ingredient in mixed drinks. By 1850, Dr. Siegert left the military to concentrate his efforts on the manufacture.
The revolutionary atmosphere of Venezuela in 1875 persuaded Dr. Siegert’s sons to move the family business to the British island of Trinidad. In 1936, Robert W. Siegert, the great-grandson of the founder, concentrated on the manufacturing and quality control of Angostura and began making its own rum and alcohol to be used in the famous bitters.
So how does Angostura create such a recognised rum range?
Angostura uses molasses produced in Trinidad, fermented in 24 hours and then distilled. Only distillate from the first and last of the five columns is collected and matured in oak barrels.
But how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes on the range that I have tried so far –
Angostura 1919– 40%
Named after a chance discovery after a fire in 1932 which destroyed the Government Rum Bond. The master blender of Fernandes Distillers, J.B. Fernandes, bought the charred casks, only to discover they had been filled in the year 1919. This bottle contained blended rums that spent at least eight years in bourbon barrels. A rich mixture of oak, vanilla and caramel on the nose leading to a light palate sweet fudge. Developing spice entwined with vanilla creates a rather short offering.
Angostura 7yr – 40%
Soft bourbon, vanilla and cocoa are present on the nose, with a smooth flavour of fudge on the palate followed by male syrup, smoked dark chocolate and vanilla. Lingers sweetly.
Angostura have also released the first in their ‘The Cask Collection’, the aptly named Angostura N0. 1. This is a blend of rums aged between ten and twelve years, then left to marry for an additional twelve months within Fir Fill Bourbon Casks.
Angostura No. 1 – 40%
Green apple and pine notes on the nose, with good doses of caramel and hints of nuts coming through. Incredibly smooth on the palate, plenty of caramel and nuts blending well. A well-rounded smack of wood finishes on the short, yet moorish finish.
As for its range of bitters –
Angostura Aromatic – 44.7%
Dominating soft herbal, with hints of bitterness sliding in. A developing herbal flavour on the palate stops just short of overly bitter, but lingers for a long finish that slowly dries.
Angostura Orange– 28%
Herbal orange notes on the nose, fresh to begin but mellow quickly. Ripe orange zest on the palate but again soon mellows. Slightly sweet until it burst a hint of herbal orange again at the finish.
As you can imagine, both the rum and the bitters can be found in many a cocktail –
Angostura Jammy Rum Sour
50 ml Angostura Reserva Rum or Angostura 5 Year Old Rum
Two fairly generous teaspoons of Jam Raspberry or Strawberry)
25 ml Lemon juice
Half an egg white (No yolk)
Add ingredients into shaker. Add cubed ice and shake it viciously. Strain through sieve into an ice filled rocks glass.
1 White Sugar Cube
2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
1 dash Angostura orange bitters
Top with Champagne
Drop sugar cube into champagne flute, saturated with the bitters. Top with champagne. Garnish with lemon peel.
The Angostura range also includes a Reserva, 5yr as well as a rare 12yr 1824 and Legacy. A great portfolio, one not to miss in the bars or indeed your own drinks cabinet. And a bottle of bitters is always a handy ingredient to have.