The global supply of angostura bitters, a unique-tasting herbal additive to cocktails like the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned, is drying up after its manufacturer's financial woes caused a production shutdown at the sole plant that makes it in Trinidad and Tobago, the Guardian reports.
Patrick Sepe, chief executive of the US distributor, Angostura USA, told the Guardian that production halted in June and is just now getting back on track. "There has been a shortage," Sepe told the newspaper. "You can't just turn on and off supply of bitters. It's not like producing bottled water; it's a very delicate, intricate process."
Mixologist Scott Beattie, author of the cocktail how-to "Artisanal Cocktails," told Slashfood that for most bars, the angostura variety, invented in 1924, is the only type of bitters stocked and that a shortage will have an impact on cocktail drinkers everywhere.