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.
Celery bitters have actually been around since the 19th century. However, They’ve never been quite as popular as more traditional flavors like aromatic or orange bitters. They do have their place in the bar though, especially now that savory cocktails like bloody marys and picklebacks are so popular. Thankfully, Fee Brothers offers a tasty and affordable option for savory cocktail lovers. These bitters add a celery-forward flavor with herbaceous notes and a distinctive savoriness. They’re perfect in gin and tequila based cocktails, and they’re especially perfect for a bloody mary. Check out the video below for more inspiration! The Fourth Regiment is a classic cocktail that uses celery bitters in an interesting way.
The Fourth Regiment
1 oz rye whiskey
1 oz sweet vermouth
Aromatic bitters (1 to 2 dashes)
Orange bitters (1 to 2 dashes)
Celery bitters (1 to 2 dashes)
Lemon twist for garnish (optional)
Add liquid ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir until well chilled. If desired, express the lemon twist over a chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist if using. Strain the cocktail into the glass and enjoy!