J.G.B. Siegert, a young German army doctor who volunteered to fight for Simon Bolivar and Venezuelan independence, first created Angostura Bitters in 1824 as a stomach tonic for Bolivar’s jungle-weary troops. His first production plant was in the town of Angostura, but when the government became unstable he moved offshore to the island of Trinidad, where it remains to this day in Port of Spain. The formula for Angostura is secret, but the top flavor notes are cinnamon, allspice and clove. Angostura is officially categorized as a food additive, even though it is 40% alcohol.
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