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Nominated for Tales of the Cocktail 2008 Spirit Award for Best Cocktail Writing


Fee Brothers Bitters and Cordial Syrups PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen   
Fee Brothers Bitters and Cordial Syrups, Rochester, New York, USA Fee Brothers Bitters and Cordial Syrups are to cocktails, what jewelry is to a LBD (Little Black Dress), added not to distract, but rather to enhance, adding a bit of polished perfection. Bitters can be your secret weapon in your recipe repertoire, as they are highly concentrated flavors that when used sparingly, elicit amazing results. Joe Fee calls their line of bitters the "spice rack behind the bar," all well and good for cocktails, but I believe that chefs should revolt and add Fee Brothers Bitters to their own culinary spice racks in the kitchen.

Über-Mixologist Gary Regan once described bitters as the difference that can make a good cocktail a great cocktail, a sentiment to which I readily concur. The classic cocktails the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned would not be the same without a dash or two of bitters, and the Sazerac would not be the cocktail that we know and love without bitters.   

Fee Brothers has a long list of intriguing bitters including Peach, Grapefruit, Lemon, Old Fashioned, Orange, Mint, Whiskey Barrel Aged, Aztec Chocolate, and their new flavors of Cranberry, Cherry, Rhubarb, and Celery that will whet your creative palate and inspire new twists on old favorites whether in your cocktail or culinary recipes.   

In addition to Fee Brothers Bitters, Fee Brothers has an excellent line of Fee Brothers Cordial Syrups that add the right level of sweetness to balance a cocktail or to add a new twist to culinary recipes. Luscious flavors include Caramel, Pumpkin Spice, Pomegranate, Spice, Warm Ginger, Curaçao-Triple Sec, and Blueberry, to name but a few in their long line of syrups, which I have used in both cocktail and culinary recipes.    

New to the list of ever-expanding Fee Brothers products are their line of Fee Brothers Floral Waters, Rose, Lavender, Hibiscus, Orange Flower, and Jasmine made with water and flower extracts. Long used in Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern cuisine, floral waters impart delicate flavors to culinary and cocktail recipes.   

For a long time now, the bar has been "borrowing" ingredients from the kitchen, taking mint, oregano, sage, basil and other herbs to use in cocktails, and ripping peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, nutmeg, curry, and other spices right out of the poor chefs' hands. It is now time for chefs to stand up for themselves and "borrow" from the bar, incorporating bitters in their culinary creations.   

Fee Brothers Bitters and Cordial Syrups, Rochester, New York, USA
Fee Brothers Bitters
 

I have been an avid user of Fee Brothers products for years, incorporating their line of bitters not only in my cocktail creations, but also in culinary recipes. A few dashes of bitters can change an ordinary recipe into a great recipe, and the addition of one of their cordial syrups into recipes really enhances flavors.   

Interesting to note is that the original purpose of bitters was medicinal, and that prior to 1900 a cocktail, could not be called a cocktail, without the use of bitters. Although that line of thinking has changed, classic cocktails like the Manhattan, Pisco Sour, and Sazerac would not be Manhattans, Pisco Sours, or Sazeracs without the use of bitters, and contemporary cocktails still benefit from adding a dash or two of bitters, which are delectable potions of concentrated spices.   

Fee Brothers Bitters and Cordial Syrups, Rochester, New York, USAThe story behind Fee Brothers is an interesting tale beginning in 1835 when Owen Fee left Ireland for the United States. By 1863, the Fee family opened a delicatessen in Rochester, New York and no strangers for the need to continually evolve Fee Brothers eventually grew into the manufacturing of cocktail mixes. After more than 140 years, Fee Brothers is still family owned and operated.   

Their growing list of bitters includes Old Fashion Bitters, West Indian Orange Bitters, Peach, Mint, Lemon, Grapefruit, and Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters, and Joe's sister Ellen is always at work developing new products to add to their bitters line.   

Fee Brothers Bitters make fabulous additions to both cocktail and culinary recipes, and impart a unique appeal to Luxury Experience Magazine's cocktails Lemon Cashew Tree made with Fee Brothers Lemon Bitters; Heavy Almond Fling made with Fee Brothers Peach Bitters; and The Dubliner made with Fee Brothers West Indian Orange Bitters.   

The Cocktail Recipes with Fee Brothers Bitters and Cordial Syrups   

Luxury Experience's Sleigh Ride
(Fee Brothers Cranberry Bitters)
Luxury Experience's Rockin' Red Rooster
(Fee Brothers Celery Bitters)
Luxury Experience's Summer Flirt
(Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters)
Luxury Experience's Cloud 9
(Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters)
Luxury Experience's "The Garbo"
(Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters)
Luxury Experience's SopWhisk Camel
(Fee Brothers Caramel Cordial Syrup)
 
Luxury Experience's Sleigh Ride is another festive and easy champagne cocktail that uses dried cranberries soaked in Cockspur 12 Rum, Champagne, apple juice and a few dashes of Fee Brothers Cranberry Bitters. Serve with a selection of hors d'oeuvres. 
 
Luxury Experience Sliegh Ride - Photo by Luxury Experience
 
Luxury Experience's Sleigh Ride
Glass Used:
       Champagne Flute
Yield:
              One Cocktail   
 
0.25 Ounce Cockspur 12 Rum
3 Ounces Champagne
0.25 Ounce Apple Juice
0.25 Ounce Cockspur 12 Cranberry Juice (see below)
1 Teaspoon Cockspur 12 Cranberries (see below)
0.5 Teaspoon Orange Marmalade
0.5 Teaspoon Cane Syrup
2 Dashes Fee Brothers Cranberry Bitters
1 Sprig Rosemary, garnish

Method:  Soak ¼ cup dried cranberries in 1 ounce Cockspur 12 Rum overnight or several hours. Cranberries will plump back up.   

Chill champagne flute. Spoon cranberries and orange marmalade into bottom of glass. Add cane syrup, apple juice, cranberry rum juice, champagne, Cockspur 12 Rum, and Fee Brothers Cranberry Bitters. Gently stir without disturbing the cranberries. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.   

Why should vodka have all the morning fun? Luxury Experience's Rockin' Red Rooster is my take on a classic Bloody Mary with a few twists, namely Cockspur Fine Rum, cucumber juice, and Fee Brothers Celery Bitters and is perfect to serve for brunch.   
 
Luxury Experience Rockin Red Rooster - Photo by Luxury Experience 

Luxury Experience's Rockin' Red Rooster
Glass Used:       Highball Glass
Yield:                 One Cocktail   

2.00 Ounces Cockspur Fine Rum
4 Ounces Goya Cocktail Vegetable Juice with Clam Flavor
0.25 Ounce Lime Juice, freshly squeezed
0.25 Ounce Cucumber Juice, press or muddle cucumber to extract juice
3 Dashes Fee Brothers Celery Bitters
1 Dash Worcestershire Sauce
    Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
    Freshly Ground Sea Salt, to taste (optional)
2   Green Beans, raw, chive, lemon twist, garnish

Method:  Mix ingredients in a large mixing glass with ice. Strain into highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with green beans tied with long piece of chive, and lemon twist.  

The waning days of summer was my inspiration for Luxury Experience's Summer Flirt, a light and refreshing cocktail made with Vermont Spirits White Vodka, watermelon juice, lime juice, homemade mint simple syrup, and Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters, that is a lovely celebration of that perfect summer memory.   

Luxury Experience Summer Flirt - Photo by Luxury Experience 

Luxury Experience's Summer Flirt
Glass Used:      Rocks Glass
Yield:                1 Cocktail   

1.5 Ounces Vermont Spirits White Vodka
2.0 Ounces Watermelon Juice, freshly juiced
0.5 Ounce Lime Juice, freshly squeezed
0.5 Ounce Mint Simple Syrup (see recipe below)
5 Dashes Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters
    Mint for garnish

Method for Mint Simple Syrup: In a large saucepan, add 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, and sprigs of mint. Bring mixture to a boil and then let simmer to dissolve sugar for 2 minutes. Let cool at room temperature for a few hours, and then store in a glass jar in the refrigerator until ready to use. Will hold for several weeks in the refrigerator.    

Method for Cocktail: Add the Vermont Spirits White Vodka, watermelon juice, lime juice, simple syrup, and Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters to a large mixing glass. Shake with 4 ice cubes, and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint.  

When it comes to love and romance, dark chocolate is high on the list, and Luxury Experience's Cloud 9 is a luscious cocktail that combines Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters, Leblon Cachaça from Brazil, Cloudberry Liqueur from Finland, orange juice, and lemon juice for Vitamin C, tamarind which signifies love, and dark chocolate orange slices to finish their gorgeous cocktail.    
 
Luxury Experience Cloud 9 - Photo by Luxury Experience 

Luxury Experience's Cloud 9 
Glass Used:      Martini Glass
Yield:                2 Cocktails 

3.5 Ounces Leblon Cachaça
0.5 Ounce Cloudberry Liqueur
2 Ounces Orange Juice, freshly squeezed
1.5 Ounces Tamarind Nectar
0.5 Ounce Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
0.5 Ounce Agave Nectar
4 Dashes Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters
    Orange slice dipped in dark chocolate, for garnish

Method for Cocktail: Add the Leblon Cachaça, Cloudberry Liqueur, Orange Juice, Tamarind Nectar, Lemon Juice, Agave Nectar, Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters, to a large mixing glass. Shake with 8 ice cubes, and strain into 2 chilled martini glasses. Garnish each glass with an orange slice dipped in dark chocolate.   

Luxury Experience's "The Garbo" cocktail was inspired by the 1934 film Anna Christie, where the iconic Swedish actress Greta Garbo sits at a table in a saloon and delivers the line, "Give me a whiskey, ginger ale on the side, and don't be stingy." I have always wanted to say that, however I do not like ginger ale. Hence, "ginger ale on the side," became Izze Sparkling Grapefruit Fruit Beverage, fresh pink grapefruit juice, maraschino cherry, honey, and Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters mixed in the cocktail along with Benjamin Prichard's Tennessee Whiskey; and no, I was not stingy with the whiskey. The result is a cocktail that I think Garbo would have approved.     
 
Luxury Experience The Garbo - Photo by Luxury Experience 

Luxury Experience's "The Garbo"
Glass Used:      Rocks Glass 
Yield:                One Cocktail   

2.25 Ounces Benjamin Prichard's Tennessee Whiskey
1 Ounce Izze Fortified Sparkling Grapefruit
1 Ounce Pink Grapefruit Juice, freshly squeezed
2   Maraschino Cherries
0.50 Teaspoon Honey
4 Dashes Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters
    Grapefruit wedge, garnish

Method: Place 1 Maraschino cherry in a large mixing glass, add one half teaspoon honey and muddle. Add 4 ice cubes, Benjamin Prichard's Tennessee Whiskey, Izze Fortified Sparkling Grapefruit, fresh grapefruit juice, and Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters, and stir with a long handled bar spoon. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a Maraschino cherry and a grapefruit wedge.    

Luxury Experience's Sopwhisk Camel is a playful reference to the bi-plane called a Sopwith Camel and a play on the name of the nectar, soursop (also called guanabana) and Benjamin Prichard's Single Malt Whiskey. Soursop is a delicious fruit that is an excellent source of vitamin C and calcium, and when mixed with Benjamin Prichard's Single Malt Whiskey, fresh lime juice, and Fee Brothers Caramel Cordial Syrup, it is a sophisticated whiskey cocktail. The only garnish needed is a sprinkle of nutmeg.    
 
Luxury Experience Sopwhisk Camel - Photo by Luxury Experience 

Luxury Experience's Sopwhisk Camel  
Glass Used:      Rocks Glass
Yield:                One Cocktail   

1.5 Ounces Benjamin Prichard's Single Malt Whiskey
2 Ounces Soursop (Guanabana) Nectar (readily available in supermarkets)
0.25 Ounces Lime Juice
0.25 Ounces Fee Brothers Caramel Cordial Syrup
    Nutmeg

Method: Add all ingredients to a shaker with four ice cubes, shake hard, and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Sprinkle with nutmeg.    

Fee Brothers' slogan is, "Don't Squeeze, Use Fees," and when used in cocktail or culinary recipes, the only limitation on their use is your imagination.   

For information on Fee Brothers and their extensive product line and other recipes, please visit the website: www.FeeBrothers.com.   

For other recipes in Luxury Experience using Fee Brothers Bitters and Cordial Syrups, please click the Search tab, type in "Fee Brothers" and select the option "Exact Phrase."     

Fee Brothers Bitters and Cordial Syrups, Rochester, New York, USA
Fee Brothers
453 Portland Avenue
Rochester, NY 14605
United States
Telephone:      +1-585-544-9530
Toll Free:         +1-800-961-3337
Email:               This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it   
Website:          www.FeeBrothers.com
 

© May 2011. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com All rights reserved.

 
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