What do Peychaud’s Bitters taste like? How are Peychaud’s vs. Angostura?

  • Peychaud’s is the classic bitter that pushes licorice root to the fore. It is also unique among aromatic bitters for its tart and fruity flavors, with lots of rhubarb-like vegetal twang and the sweet juiciness of cherry candy. There is some spice, mostly clove, with a pop of saffron and orange zest before a long and moderately bitter gentian finish.
  • Compared to Angostura, Peychaud’s are sweet and light, more sunny afternoon slushie than dusty leather armchair. While Angostura is hefty, with a woodiness and more pronounced bitterness, Peychaud’s is tart and juicy with a strong licorice wallop. The assorted baking spices of Angostura (clove, allspice, cardamom, and cinnamon) is dialed down significantly, with citrus and floral flavors rounding out the clove of Peychaud’s.

How to use Peychaud’s Bitters

  • Created in New Orleans, they are essential to classic Peychaud’s Bitters cocktails from the region, including the Sazerac, Vieux Carré, Cocktail à la Louisiane, and Seelbach. Given its distinct flavor, substituting Angostura for Peychaud's would change these cocktails significantly.
  • When riffing with Peychaud’s, we usually reach for Rye, Rum, and Tequila. Rye whiskey loves the contrast of Peychaud’s, with cooling licorice set against Rye’s herb and spice. Like Peychaud’s, Rum and Tequila share a mix of vegetal and fruit notes, making for complementary glass-fellows. It's vibrant red hue will create strikingly colored cocktails as well, dash onto a crushed ice drink for a bleeding effect, or use an atomizer to color the foam of an egg-white cocktail.
  • For an updated alternative, try Bitter Truth Creole, Scrappy’s Orleans, or the Sazerac Rye barrel-aged Peychaud’s Bitters, which tones down the tartness in favor of vanilla and spice.

The Peychaud’s Paloma Cocktail – use a pour instead of a dash!

  • 2 oz Soda Water
  • 2 oz Fresh Grapefruit
  • 1 oz Tequila
  • ½ oz Rich Simple Syrup
  • 1 ½ oz Peychuad’s

Pour soda water into tall glass over ice, shake grapefruit, tequila, and simple syrup with ice, strain into glass and top with bitters. Garnish with lime wedge.

Find Peychaud's Bitters in the Bar Supplies Shop.

For more bitters info, check out our Angostura Aromatic Bitters post, and our post on resurrected Old Fashioned Cocktail Bitters.

Comments

Ethan:

Seconded for the Creole Bitters as an ideal substitute for the standard Peychaud’s, which I like, but find relatively unsubtle – more emphasizing the two notes of anise and corn syrup, compared to the Creole, which seems to have more depth and integration.

Agreed that the Peychaud’s Barrel Aged Bitters are an improvement on the base, but generally just slightly. Sometimes I can’t quite even tell them apart.

Apr 12, 2017

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