Why the Label on Angostura Bitters Bottles Is Larger Than the Bottle

Angostura bitters, which originates in Trinidad, is an acquired taste. Many people have acquired it, perhaps most famously the population of an island in Lake Michigan.

The iconic label looks like a bit of a mess, but connoisseurs know to look for the bottle with the oversized label. Why does the Angostura market its product this way? Here's the story, which I gather is more of a legend than a documented history.

As related by Esquire (and other publications), founder Johann Siegert made the medicinal alcohol for the armies of General Simon Bolivar. He named it in honor of the Venezuelan city of Angostura, which is now named in honor of the Liberator.

After Siegert died, his sons were in a hurry to produce a batch to send to a competition. One worked on bottling the product and the other worked on producing labels. They did not communicate effectively, leading to either oversized labels or undersized bottles--depending upon your point of view.

Since that time, the House of Angostura decided to keep the mismatched sizes.

-via Nag on the Lake | Photo: anaxmediaā€‹

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