I’m currently working my way through Brad Thomas Parsons’ new book Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classics Cure-All. Not only does this book tell the fascinating history of this crucial cocktail component, it has some intriguing recipes for making your own bitters at home. Personally, I can’t wait to try to make the apple bitters just as soon as I can find my friendly local cinchona bark retailer.
While I’m overall enamored with this book, the most interesting part so far was this little nugget that my wife found:
“In the case Siegert v. Abbott, the two bitters manufacturers fought over the use of the word “Angostura” in their name (it refers to both an ingredient in the bitters and to the town in Venezuela where they were made). After losing the case, Abbott’s had to change their labels and advertising, while Siegert’s Angostura went on to become the go-to bitters, the Angostura aromatic bitters that’s still around today. Despite the trademark lawsuit, Abbott’s actually survived Prohibition, but due to poor business management the brand dried up in the 1940s, and now it lives on only in memory, and on online auction sites.”
Worlds colliding. Love it. Pick up this book, and watch for some homemade bitters on this blog soon!