With its unique aroma, Peychaud’s Bitters is a complex and interesting ingredient.
Yet, it can be tricky to determine how best to use it or substitute it if necessary.
Have you ever wondered what makes Peychaud’s Bitters so special? Most commonly used in New Orleans’ iconic Sazerac drink, Peychaud’s Bitters adds an unmistakable flavor to all kinds of cocktails.
If unable to find this particular brand of bitters, there are suitable substitutes on the market such as Angostura Aromatic Bitters, Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged bitters, and others.
If certain flavors or notes are desired by the mixologist, then experimenting with alternate combinations may be appropriate for a successful substitution for this unique product.
What’s Peychaud’s Bitter?
Peychaud’s Bitter is an essential ingredient to the New Orleans classic cocktail, the Sazerac.
Although this bitter syrup has become a bar staple in many establishments, many people may not have heard of it.
First created by French pharmacist Antoine Amédée Peychaud in the 1830s, this flavor enhancer packs a punch when added to cocktails.
It typically comes in bottles with dropper tops and has a bright red hue and a sweet yet tart taste.
When adding it to drinks, use it sparingly as its intense flavor can easily overpower other ingredients.
A dash or two is usually all that’s needed for the desired effect.
Used mainly for classic cocktails such as the Sazerac and Old Fashioned, Peychaud’s Bitter can also be used in more contemporary creations like new takes on tequila Margaritas or Whiskey-based drinks.
There are numerous ways to use Peychaud’s Bitter; so don’t be afraid to experiment.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Peychaud’s Bitters
However, if you’re out of Peychaud’s Bitter or simply want to give your drinks a bit of variety, there are several alternatives that you can use.
Below we will discuss the five best substitutions for Peychaud’s Bitters which are widely available and easy to get hold of.
1 – Angostura Bitters
Angostura Bitters is a popular substitute for Peychaud’s Bitter.
This bitters is created through a combination of herbs, bitter orange and spices, similar to Angostura’s formula, except that it’s not red in color.
Unlike the sweet-and-sour flavor of Peychaud’s Bitter, Angostura Bitter has a more spicy flavor profile.
If you’re looking for something that tastes less sweet than Peychaud’s or have an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients found in this blend, then Angostura Bitters is an excellent choice.
2 – Suze Bitters
Suze Bitters were first made in France in 1889 and are a very versatile bitter.
It has an intense, herbal flavor with notes of gentian root, angelica root, and citrus.
In addition to being used as a substitute for Peychaud’s bitters, it is often used to add depth and complexity to a wide range of drinks.
Its vibrant flavor profile complements gin-based cocktails, aromatic whiskey drinks, and highballs.
To make your own Suze Bitters at home:
- 1/2 cup water.
- 2 tablespoons dried herbs (gentian root and angelica root).
- 5 teaspoons citric acid.
- 4 teaspoons sugar or honey.
- 1 teaspoon salt.
- 6 drops orange flower extract.
- Combine the ingredients in a jar with half cup of water until well mixed.
- Let the mixture steep overnight at room temperature before straining it into a bottle or jar with an airtight lid to preserve freshness.
- Enjoy your homemade Suze Bitters.
3 – Boker’s Bitters
Boker’s Bitters was developed in 1863 by J.
Boker & Co.
of New York City and is still in production and is a great substitute for Peychaud’s Bitters.
Boker’s Bitters is made from an aromatic blend of herbs, roots, spices and bitter orange peel which gives it a unique flavor profile.
It has the same bittersweet taste as Peychaud’s but with a milder flavor and slightly less of the cherry bitterness found in Peychaud’s bitters.
Additionally, Boker’s Bitters have a unique juniper note that adds an additional layer of complexity to cocktails.
This makes them especially suitable for gin-based drinks and food pairings such as aged cheeses or cured meats where their herbal notes can really shine through.
4 – Old Fashioned Bitters Company
The Old Fashioned Bitters Company produces a unique blend of cocktail bitters made with a combination of spices and herbs.
Each blend is crafted with natural botanicals and flavoring agents to bring out the flavors of spirits in all types of cocktails.
The company’s Peychaud-style bitters are especially popular, highlighted by notes of anise, clove, and cardamom.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Peychaud’s Bitters, you won’t be hard-pressed to find one that fits the bill.
The Old Fashioned Bitters Company offers other blends that provide similar notes and a kick to any classic cocktail.
Some of their top offerings worth tasting include:
- Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters – This distinct aromatic blend combines allspice, licorice root, and gentian root for a flavor that will have your favorite drinks tasting like their classic counterparts in no time.
- Celery Bitters – A twist on the traditional aged mixture with deep bitter flavor made from celery seed extractives and ground juniper berries.Try it in your next Tom Collins or daiquiri.
- Habanero Orange Bitters – For those who like it spicy – this concoction features a unique combination of habanero peppers, paprika extractive oils, sassafras bark extractives, and ground black pepper. Perfect when you want some serious heat in your favorite drink.
- Burnside Bitters – These are ripe with flavors like cardamom pods, caraway seed extractives, cinnamon bark extractive oil and dried oranges for subtle yet complex taste sensations in every sip.
- Barrel-Aged Cocktail Bitters – Try this aged favorite that has been steeped in bourbon whiskey barrels for weeks so its herbal botanicals can infuse flavor into even the strongest spirits – perfect for finishing off both classic cocktails as well as your own creative concoctions.
5 – Old Forester Hummingbird Bitters
The Old Forester Hummingbird Bitters are a unique and modern rendition of classic, old world aromatics.
Perfect for cocktails and craft-spirits, Hummingbird Bitters feature natural spices and herbs that bring a modern take on traditional flavors.
They offer an enjoyable bitter orange zest and a hint of tart cherry which help to cut through sweet ingredients while adding complexity to drinks.
The spices are extracted using cold-extraction methods to bring out subtle flavors of cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice which add balance to drinks without being overly dominant.
If you’re looking for the perfect substitute for Peychaud’s Bitter, the Old Forester Hummingbird Bitters will provide you with the same notes at a slightly lower alcohol content.
When all is said and done, choosing the best substitute for Peychaud’s bitters can be difficult.
Depending on the flavor profile of your cocktail recipe and what’s on hand in your home bar, you may find that one of the five alternatives works well in place of Peychaud’s.
If nothing else, these five options open up a world of possibilities when it comes to exploring new and interesting cocktails.
No matter which substitute you use, be sure to experiment and taste as you go.
A slight adjustment can make a big difference when substituting bitters, so feel free to experiment with different combinations until you find the perfect balance.