I made the Trinidad Sour and Survived

As a lover of cocktail history, I thought M. Carrie Allan’s Washington Post article on the Trinidad Sour was just perfect — concise story on a cocktail of note, fun trip through its history, beautiful description of its taste and, most importantly, the recipe! Ms. Allan is upfront about the Trinidad Sour’s weirdness — rather than employing Angostura bitters in dashes, this concoction uses it as a primary ingredient, exploding the heads of bar tenders and mixologists everywhere.  She even quotes a college professor who swears no one could physically drink a bitter-majority cocktail.  Hey, pound buddy, we’re moving forward on this.  Ms. Allan describes the powerful, unique, bitter-shotgun taste of this drink and also helpfully assures the nervous reader “It probably won’t make you sterile.”


Now I’ll be honest I had a ton of reservations about this drink when I mixed it, and they had nothing to do with my ability to father children.  One, the texture is just odd, thick and crimson, almost tomato juice-ish; not what you’re expecting when you pour out a cocktail.  Two, the smell was strong and not attractive.  But I pressed on, much to my benefit – this is a shockingly good cocktail, with a thick but not overwhelming mouth feel, a nice taste that hits with you with the bitters throughout but doesn’t overwhelm.  I also loved the tint of the lemon juice off of the big, angostura taste.  Surprisingly, I didn’t pick up much of the rye, but the taste doesn’t suffer.  So interesting…..so weird!  Definitely give this a try, it’s one of those experimental mixes that challenges convention but leaves a good, lingering, and challenging taste in your mouth.  Be careful though, it packs a devastatingly powerful punch, so plan a few hours around this one!  Thanks to Giuseppe Gonzalez for taking chances and making this and to Ms. Allan for spreading the word!

  • Ice
  • 11/2 ounces Angostura bitters
  • 2 ounces orgeat (see related recipe and headnote)
  • 11/2 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce rye whiskey
  • 1 large egg white (optional; see headnote)

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