This product is the *only* cherry bitters commercially available in U.S.
Notes: Fee Bros. has been in business since April 1,1864 in Rochester, New York (home of Spiritsreview.com!). Along with being one of the few remaining manufacturers of bitters, they also are one of the largest bar mixes and supply firms in the U.S. and produce flavorings and syrups for coffee shops, restaurants, etc. This is one of the classic flavors of bitters widely used in a proper cocktail.
Part of the almost demise of bitters in general is the sloppy research and omission of bitters in many modern cocktail books – many people say “They don’t use bitters in drinks anymore so why mention them to a recipe?” which of course just adds to the problem. If a book doesn’t mention bitters for at least martinis and manhattans don’t buy it! It means the person who wrote it has no idea what they are doing and are perpetuating mediocre books and ignorance. Bitters blend the other ingredients together, add many layers and depths of flavor, and may even help your digestion.
This is the newest addition to their line of bitter with some historical uses and plenty of new possibilities.
First Impression: Light floral and slightly candy like smell to it with a hint of bitters or acridness to it rounding out and providing a grounding or weighting of the cherry aroma so it has a better nose .
Appearance: Clear with a very slight brown tinge to it. Somewhat viscous compared to some (a bit thinner than the orange bitters but still resembling a light oil in some respects).
Taste: Tastes like a cherry syrup or a sour version of a Gummi lifesaver with a pleasantly sour/bitterness to it.
Drinks: Limited usefulness, primary uses are for cocktails almost no one has heard of or remembers except seriously hard core Cocktailians. None-the-less it is a required ingredient for some cocktails and an interesting tool in the Cocktailians armamentarium. Chances are, if you come up with a cocktail using this it will be a new one.
So if you do come up with one you can avoid the cocktail equivalent of a patent search looking to see if the cocktail you dreamed up was done before by someone else.
This problem actually happens a lot and is very frustrating sometimes so having a exotic ingredient can be a very useful thing – especially when it can be easily ordered. We did however manage to make a new drink with it which is a variation of the Aviation Cocktail which we decided to call The Ultra Light.
Bottle: Simple paper wrapped clear glass bottle, with a screw cap closure. It is distinguished from the other bottles by the cherry red (sort of anyway) colored printing, and the deep red colored shrink wrap around the top and neck.
Other: Other varieties of bitters include: Aztec Chocolate, Celery, Cranberry,Grapefruit, Lemon, Mint, Old Fashioned Aromatic (Angostura), (West Indian) Orange, Peach, Plum, Rhubarb, Black Walnut , and the Whisky Barrel series: Whiskey Barrel Aged 1 (2007) , Whiskey Barrel Aged 2 (2008), Whiskey Barrel Aged 3 (2009), Whiskey Barrel Aged 4, (2010), and Whiskey Barrel Aged 5 (2011)
Final Thoughts: Could be a bit more bitter in my opinion, but never having tried a old cherry bitter I can’t comment on what they were like and how this one compares to those. An interesting addition to any cocktailian’s bar supplies and necessary for a number of vintage cocktails calling for cherry bitters. May be useful as a experimental cocktail element to play with.This product is the *only* cherry bitters commercially available in U.S.