Monday, November 13, 2006

Mixology Monday: Bitters

Cocktail bitters are one of those ingredients you don't know you need, until you know you need 'em, and then you don't know how you survived without 'em. Most people still don't know they need 'em.

It's my experience that many bars will happily serve you a Manhattan with no bitters at all. It's a shame because the bitters really make the Manhattan. My favorite bitters for the Manhattan are Fee Brothers "Old-Fashioned Aromatic Bitters." These multi-faceted bitters combine orangey-citrus flavors and holiday spices with complex bitter notes. Somehow the bitters round out and smooth the flavors. On to my recipe:


2 oz. Rye whiskey
1/2 oz. Sweet Vermouth
1-2 dashes Fee Brothers Old-Fashioned Aromatic Bitters
garnish with a brandied cherry

Bitter Flexibility.

The Manhattan recipe works great with the Fee Brothers Old-Fashioned Aromatic Bitters, but it's good to have a variety of bitters at hand. You need Peychaud's for the Sazerac, and Regan's Orange bitters are great in Martinis and Bourbon Manhattans. I keep a small bitters bottle full of absinthe to use like bitters, it's a great secret ingredient in tiki drinks. Fee Brothers Orange Bitters are subtle and provide a smoothness to a cocktail without drawing attention.

Source of Bitterness:
Buffalo Trace Distillery sells Peychaud's and Regan's Orange Bitters. (Choose the Food::Mixes menu item)

Fee Brothers will ship their products directly as well. Their line-up includes Orange, Lemon, Mint, Peach, and Old-Fashioned Aromatic Bitters. Call them on (800) 961-FEES.

Angostora Bitters should be available at your local supermarket.

This week's Mixology Monday is being hosted by Dietsch over at A Dash of Bitters. Make sure to check the round-up and see what the others have come up with.



Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks so much for linking the sources of the bitters. Fee's is, hands-down, awesome to work with. I'm not a huge fan of their syrups, but their bitters are superb.

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you care for a Rob Roy now and then. I have given up ordering them, but we have them at home often. What recipe do you recommend, if you care for them.

5:36 AM  
Blogger jimmyp said...

Hi Andrea,

I have a Rob Roy recipe
. I think you need to try out a few recipes until you find the right one. That would be fun...

12:19 PM  
Blogger phil varner said...

I just ordered a bunch of Fee's bitters and grenadine from, along with some other kitchen stuff.

Shipped quickly and very well packed, highly recommended.

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the bitters need to be matched to the liquor and the drink, so I would think the choice between fee's and others would depend on the exact Rye you're using. How about a post on that topic?

10:17 AM  

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