11 Peychaud’s Bitters Substitutes [Budget & Allergy Friendly]

I love using Peychaud’s Bitters to make Sazerac cocktails and Old Fashions, that is when I can find it. While Peychaud’s is one of the best cocktail bitters, it can be hard to find in stores.

Ordering online in advance isn’t always an option when spontaneous plans arise. Luckily, there are numerous substitutions we can use to achieve the same effect as Peychaud’s.

For options with gentian root, try Riga Black Balsam, Angostura, Hummingbird Bitters, or Suze. Scrappy Bitters, Boker’s, and Woodford Reserve offer allergy-friendly options by using all-natural ingredients and being gluten-free. Free Brothers, Jack Daniels, and Old Fashioned are good budget-friendly options.  If you’d like to opt for a nonalcoholic choice, try making a Moxie reduction.

In this article, we’ll discuss the best substitutions for Peychaud’s by assessing the specific flavors of each substitute. The key to choosing the right substitute lies in channeling Peychaud’s Bitters origin.

Like pharmacist Antoine Peychaud, let your creativity guide your creation of the perfect tincture.

Gentian Root Substitutes For Peychaud’s Bitters

Peychaud’s Bitters Substitutes

1. Angostura Bitters

Arguably the closest substitution for Peychaud’s Bitters, Angostura Bitters carry nearly the same aromatic properties and an intensely bitter taste.

The gentian blend responsible for Peychaud’s bitter taste also holds medical properties that support digestion, liver function, and balance hormones.

Angostura Bitters are also gluten-free, making them a safe option for large parties. Like Peychaud’s Bitters, angostura relies on gentian root as a bittering agent.

The other ninety-nine percent of ingredients are kept under strict secrecy, but angostura tastes of orange zest, vanilla, cloves, and juniper.

You can use angostura and Peychaud’s bitters at a 1:1 ratio. Be aware that while these ingredients are comparable, angostura will yield a slightly different taste to cocktails.

Compared to Peychaud’s, angostura makes cocktails sweeter and sharper.

Due to its rich flavor profile, you can rely on Angostura to make the perfect Manhattan and Sazerac cocktails.

2. Riga Black Balsam

Like Peychaud’s Bitters, Balsam is comprised of intense botanical accents which produce a distinctive bitter herbal flavor.

Balsam is famous for its health-giving abilities and was even created by Abraham Kunze, a Latvian pharmacist, in 1752.

It also contains Gentian flower root, giving it the same medicinal properties that Peychaud’s is lauded for. Because Balsam is more bitter, try using this substitution at a 1:2 ratio.

While it tastes of ginger and black currant, its medicinal flavor can be overpowering if you use too much. Due to its complex flavor, Balsam is suitable for a variety of cocktails.

For a fruity twist, try using Gin, Maraschino Liqueur, and this recipe to make a berry-inspired cocktail.

3. Old Forester Hummingbird Bitters 

A unique twist on Peychaud’s hallmark bitter taste, these Hummingbird Bitters combine clementine zest and orange peel.

This dual-citrus infusion adds a pop to Peychaud’s traditional herbal bitter flavor, making this substitution a must-have.

Additionally, Old Forester adds hints of Quassia, rose, and cardamom for undertones of toasted spice.

Like Peychaud’s, gentian root is one of the main ingredients in Hummingbird Bitters. The prominence of gentian root makes Hummingbird Bitters great for aiding digestion.

Hummingbird Bitters is interchangeable with Peychaud’s, but if you want stronger hints of spiced citrus try a 2:1 ratio.

This substitution is especially suited for whiskey cocktails. Try using it in a Rye Sazerac cocktail or an Old Forester Bourbon Alexander.

4. Suze Bitters

A close substitute for Peychaud’s, Suze Bitters is just as bitter due to gentian flower extract being a primary ingredient.

Some say Suze Bitters are even stronger than Peychaud’s due to their lingering aftertaste.

Their strong bitter flavor combined with undertones of cinnamon and cardamom makes Suze Bitters a powerful addition to any cocktail.

You can use Suze at a 1:1 ratio with Peychaud’s, but the flavor will be very strong. If you want a more subdued taste, try using half the amount of Suze to Peychaud’s.

For a vibrant twist on an old classic, add Suze to half Dry gin and half sweet vermouth.

5. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Cocktail Bitters

A versatile – and budget-friendly – option, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Cocktail Bitters work well with just about any cocktail imaginable.

With hints of vanilla, smoked wood, dark berry, and ginger, this substitution can be added to any drink.

This can be used at a 1:1 ratio with Peychaud’s but be mindful of the sweetness. If you’d like the taste to be more bitter, try a 1:2 ratio.

Of course, you can add this to Jack Daniels, but you can also try using it in a peach-flavored mule.

6. Old Fashioned Bitters Company

While slightly less aromatic than Peychaud’s Bitters, undertones of bitter orange and honey make this substitute great for Old Fashions.

Additionally, this brandy-based substitution carries notes of barrel-aged wood, making it most suitable for whiskey cocktails.

Due to the use of bitter orange, this substitute can be used at a 1:1 ratio with Peychaud’s Bitters.

Old Fashioned Bitters is an affordable alternative for other cocktail bitters and is widely available at liquor and grocery stores.

7. Free Brothers Black Walnut Cocktail Bitters

This substitution differs from Peychaud’s in its signature sweet cherry flavor. Infused with cocoa and cola, this bitter substitute is often a polarizing option. It’s best for people that like sweeter drinks with

This substitution is much sweeter than Peychaud’s, so I recommend using a 1:2 ratio.

Try using this substitution to make a walnut Manhattan or for a bourbon Old Fashion.

8. Scrappy Bitters

With no artificial flavors, synthetic extracts, or dyes, Scrappy Bitters is one of the most allergen-free options for cocktail bitters.

This all-natural brand offers eight flavors that are all manufactured in the U.S., making it a truly unique substitution.

Scrappy Bitters are heavy on complex that mimic the aromatic properties of Peychaud’s Bitters.

Depending on the flavor, this substitute is not overwhelmingly sweet. Try using a 1:1 ratio for substitutions.

Try Scrappy’s Chocolate Bitters to accentuate sweet undertones in whiskey-based cocktails.

9. Woodford Reserve Aromatic Bitters

Like Scrappy Bitters, Woodford Reserve offers a variety of flavors ranging from chocolate to spiced cherry and all-natural ingredients.

The assortment of flavors allows you to find a substitution that best complements whatever cocktail you decide to make.

Though some say Woodford Reserve lack in intensity compared to Peychaud’s, this bitters substitute is widely available and budget-friendly.

Its range and accessibility make Woodford Reserve a great option for the spontaneous after-work cocktail party or surprise celebration.

Because this substitution is less intense, try using a 2:1 ratio.

This option best complements a martini or Manhattan, and its gentian base makes it optimal for a health-conscious crowd.

10. Boker’s Bitters

The use of only three ingredients makes this substitution easy to review for potential allergens. Boker’s uses cassia, cardamom, and bitter to create a cocktail additive that carries chocolate, coffee, and dark spice notes.

This substitution is more spicy than bitter. Because it’s not overwhelming, you can use a 1:1 ratio to Peychaud’s for cocktails.

Boker’s Bitters is well-suited for a variety of cocktails including soda cocktails, whiskey cocktails, gin cocktails, and even Absinthe cocktails.

While this substitution can be hard to find in stores, it is readily available online.

Non-Alcoholic Substitutions For Peychaud’s Bitters

While Peychaud’s is most notably a cocktail supplement, there are nonalcoholic substitutes.

You can use these substitutes in nonalcoholic beverages like tonic or seltzer water.

Non-Alcoholic Substitutions For Peychaud’s Bitters

11. Moxie

Notable as a staple soft drink in Maine, Moxie can also be used as a nonalcoholic substitution for traditional bitters.

Like Peychaud’s, Moxie uses gentian root extract as a core ingredient, giving it a distinctively bitter taste.

Moxie also contains citric acids, which compare to Peychaud’s herbal properties. To use as a substitute, you can either use the soda as is or boil it down into a reduction.

Once thickened, this substitute will be bitter and can be used at a 1:1 ratio with Peychaud’s.

How To Choose The Best Peychaud’s Bitters substitute?

Choosing the best substitute largely depends on the drink you’re making. Some substitutes, like Balsam and Angostura, are more bitter and work best with neutral spirits.

Other substitutions like Boker’s and Scrappy are sweet and should be used with spiced cocktails.

While most options are gluten-free, be sure to check the specific brand you decide to purchase.

When in doubt, you can trust Angostura, Scrappy Bitters, Boker’s, and Woodford Reserve.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Peychaud’s Bitters Made From?

While the exact Peychaud’s Bitters recipe is a closely guarded secret, it’s mainly a mix of gentian root and other herbs. It is pinkish-red in color and has a clear, watery consistency.

What Do Peychaud’s Bitters Taste Like?

While famous for its distinctive bitter flavor, Peychaud’s still offers a light, fruity aftertaste. Some even describe tasting candied cherry and orange with hints of clove.

Who Was Antoine Peychaud?

Antione Peychaud owned an apothecary in New Orleans, 1832. There, Antione perfected the famous bitters that are still commonly used today.

Two Glasses of Rum

Final Considerations

By now, you’re probably ready to bring out your inner mixologist. We’ve learned that while Peychaud’s is known for its bitter qualities, its fruity undertones are just as integral for flavor.

While nothing can replicate Peychaud’s Bitters to a tee, these substitutions yield comparable flavor to your favorite cocktails.

When in doubt, follow Antione Peychaud’s lead and create your own bitters from the substitutes on this list.

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