Fee Bros. Peach Bitters: Whisk Sips Video Cocktail Series
Fee Brothers’ History:
In 1864, James Fee opened a grocery and liquor store in Rochester, NY to help support his large, close-knit family. His brothers helped him grow the store into a successful winery and wine import business. The name was changed from James Fee & Company to Fee Brothers in 1883.
When prohibition began in 1920, Fee Brothers kept themselves afloat by making altar wine & distributing wine-making supplies. They even consulted with homeowners to legally make their own wine at home. It was legal to make a small amount of wine for personal use, but making and selling stronger spirits was strictly forbidden.
That didn’t stop people from trying though, and poor quality alcohol flooded the market. Most of the people making this black market booze had no clue what they were doing. For that reason, most of the alcohol being sold in saloons and speakeasies tasted terrible. Fee Brothers saw this as an opportunity and developed a line of cordial syrups and drink flavorings. They designed them to make inferior spirits taste like the real thing. Benedictine, Chartreuse, Brandy, and Rum flavorings were among their most popular products.
When prohibition ended in 1933, Fee Brothers started selling liquor again. They kept making their cordial syrups though, and they remained very popular. Therefore, they soon decided to focus on mixers, syrups, and flavorings instead. By 1950 they were on a never-ending quest to develop new products and their flavored cocktail bitters line really became a focus. Fee Brothers’ product list now boasts almost 100 drink mix products. Today they’re best know for their huge selection of flavored cocktail bitters.
Peach bitters were well-loved over a century ago and were very common in classic cocktails that have since fallen into obscurity. Drinks like the Xeres or Coronation cocktails were originally created using peach bitters, but most recipes you’ll see today call for orange bitters because they’re easier to find. Thankfully, Fee Brothers brought this unique, fruity mixer back from the pages of cocktail history. A light floral scent and a hint of bitter almond balances the bright, fresh, syrupy peach flavor. These days, peach bitters are just as delicious in century-old classic cocktails as they are in light, summery, modern recipes like the one below.
Peachy Bourbon Sweet Tea
1 to 1 1/2 oz bourbon*
1/4 to 1/2 oz simple syrup*
6 oz black iced tea
4 shakes peach bitters
lemon slice for garnish
Combine bourbon, simple syrup, iced tea, and peach bitters in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Shake well to combine. Strain over ice in a 12 oz glass. Garnish with a lemon slice and a straw if desired.
*to taste: Some may like more or less bourbon, some may like their tea sweeter or less sweet.