Fee Brothers is a maker of flavored syrups, drink mixers and cocktail bitters that has its origins in a butcher shop opened by Owen Fee in 1847 in Rochester, New York. The butcher shop quickly evolved through a saloon and deli to a wine shop, then an import business, and finally, after Prohibition and World War II, non-alcoholic syrups, mixes and bitters.
During Prohibition, Fee Brothers made altar wine legally, flavored syrups for common liquors that could be mixed with illegally made, poor quality alcohol, and beer and wine "concentrates" that people could use to make wine and beer illegally.
Today, Fee Brothers makes a variety of bitters in a range of flavors, including Orange, Cherry, Peach, Mint, Lemon, Rhubarb, and Grapefruit.
In 2009, Fee Brothers released an Aztec Chocolate flavored bitters, which have a strong chocolate overtone, with notes of quinine and chile peppers.
In 2011 at Tales of the Cocktail, Fee's introduced Black Walnut bitters, which have a strong walnut overtones, with typical walnut astringency that is tempered by other nut notes and chocolate.
The Old Fashion bitters are somewhat similar to Angostura bitters, but unlike that brand, actually contain Angostura bark, are slightly less bitter and more sweet, and have more of an allspice flavor. Fee Brothers Old Fashion Bitters are 70 proof.
Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters are vintage dated, and the recipe changes from year to year, though they are always finished in a used barrel that previously held whiskey. The 2009 Whiskey barrel aged bitters is dark brown, opaque, and smells of cola, citrus, stick cinnamon and cloves. 2010 and 2011 are substantially less bitter than 2009, and quite similar to each other.
Some popular cocktails containing Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged
- Peat Rose — Apple brandy, Bourbon, Bitters, Grenadine, Lemon juice, Lemon peel, Scotch
- brown is the new black — Stout, Virgin Islands Rum, Dark rum, Averna, Bénédictine, Bitters, Whole egg
- Old Man Zeke — Stout, Bourbon, Amaro Meletti, Bitters, Grade A dark amber maple syrup, Orange juice
- Crimson Lake — Gin, Sweet vermouth, Bitters, Aperitivo
- Bananas Foster Flip — Cognac, Rum, Crème de Banane, Bitters, Whole egg, Heavy cream
- Daisy If You Do — Bourbon, Bénédictine, Bitters, Agave syrup, Grapefruit juice, CioCiaro, Lemon
- Kombu Holler — Corn Whiskey, Bitters, Kombu syrup, Lime juice, Salt Solution, Lime peel
- Sur del Sol — Pisco, Blanco tequila, Aperol, Bitters, Grapefruit bitters, Lemon juice, Agave syrup, Cucumber, Salt
- Old Sao Paolo — Cachaça, Elisir M. P. Roux, Bitters, Kumquat, Orange peel, Lime, Simple syrup
- The Exporter — Genever, Drambuie, Becherovka, Falernum, Bitters, Lemon juice, Lemon peel