Whisk Sips Video Cocktail Series featuring Peychaud’s Bitters

Peychaud’s bitters were invented by a creole immigrant named Antoine Peychaud in nineteenth century New Orleans. Peychaud operated a pharmacy and apothecary on the French Quarter’s Royal Street in 1838, where he would mix his secret tonic with brandy and absinthe for customers and friends. The drink he mixed became so popular that it spread all over New Orleans, most notably to the Sazerac Coffee House. Rye whiskey eventually replaced the brandy in Peychaud’s signature cocktail and the classic Sazerac was born.

Also known as Creole bitters, Peychaud’s is considered an aromatic bitter like Angostura, but the flavor is lighter, sweeter, and less earthy or root-driven than traditional aromatic bitters. Peychaud’s bitters are a bright reddish-pink in color, with the flavors of anise, citrus, and spice; and a floral, fruity bouquet. The cocktail recipe video below will teach you how to make the classic, iconic Sazerac cocktail Peychaud’s Bitters are known for, but they can also be used in any cocktail that would welcome a hint of anise and aromatics.

The Classic Sazerac Cocktail

1 sugar cube
1 1/2 oz Rye whiskey
2 Dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
1 dash angostura bitters
1 barspoon absinthe (or Pernod)
Lemon peel

Place the sugar cube in a mixing glass or old fashioned glass with just enough water to moisten it. Use the back of a barspoon to crush the cube.
Add the rye, bitters, and ice. Stir just until chilled, about 30 seconds.
Add the absinthe to a chilled Old Fashioned glass and turn the glass to coat the sides. Pour off any excess.
Use a cocktail strainer to strain the cocktail into the absinthe coated glass.
Twist and squeeze the lemon peel over the glass to release the oils. Rub the rim of the glass with the peel and, if desired, drop it into the cocktail. Some Sazerac enthusiasts insist the drink should not be served with the peel in the cocktail, while others prefer it.

Whisk Sips Video Cocktail Series featuring Hella Aromatic Bitters and Citrus Bitters

Originally founded in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Hella Cocktail Co. is a New York City-based small batch producer of a variety of handcrafted cocktail products. What began as a hobby in the early 2000s turned serious in 2011, when they used crowdfunding to raise enough money to officially launch their brand.

With vision, determination, and a commitment to quality, they got their start making 5-gallon batches of bitters, but graduated to 30-gallon batches and eventually invested in two 550-gallon tanks for their facility in Queens. From there they’ve gone on to launch other cocktail products like syrups, mixers, & kits.

Rather than marketing to bars and bartenders, Hella is focused on the home cocktail enthusiast. All of their products are designed to be user-friendly and appeal to a wide audience. “We want to make bitters for people who don’t know what bitters are,” says cofounder Tobin Ludwig.

Two of their first- and most popular- bitters flavors, Citrus and Aromatic, are featured in the classic Manhattan recipe in the video below.
Hella calls their Citrus flavor their “full spectrum bitters”. Instead of just focusing on one citrus fruit like orange or lime, they infuse the rinds of several different varieties of citrus with traditional bittering agents to create a bold, bright, full-flavored bitter that’s incredibly versatile and pairs well with almost any alcohol or cocktail.

Their well-balanced, classic Aromatic bitters are a step above the rest. They include the quintessential aromatic flavors of cinnamon, clove, and allspice with the added depth and zing of black peppercorns and caraway seeds. By combining both wormwood and Gentian root, the bitter finish is interesting and elevated without being overwhelming.

Hella Classic Manhattan
2 oz rye or bourbon
1 oz sweet vermouth
2 dashes Hella Bitters Aromatic
1 dash Hella Bitters Citrus

In a mixing glass or shaker combine ingredients, add ice and stir for 8-10 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass or in a rocks glass, over ice. Garnish with cherry or orange peel.

Whisk Sips Video Cocktail Series featuring Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters

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, and in 1883 the name was changed from James Fee & Company to Fee Brothers.

When prohibition began in 1920, Fee Brothers kept themselves afloat by making altar wine, distributing wine-making supplies, and consulting with homeowners to legally make their own wine at home. While it was legal to make a small amount of wine for personal use, making and selling stronger spirits was strictly forbidden.

That didn’t stop people from bootlegging though, and the result was a flood of poor quality hooch being made by people who didn’t have a clue as to what they were doing. Since most of the alcohol being sold in saloons and speakeasies tasted terrible, Fee Brothers saw an opportunity and developed a line of cordial syrups and drink flavorings designed to make inferior spirits taste like the real thing. Benedictine, Chartreuse, Brandy, and Rum flavorings were among their most popular products.

When prohibition was repealed in 1933, Fee Brothers returned to the sale of liquor, but their cordial syrups remained so popular that they soon decided to focus on mixers, syrups, and flavorings instead. By the 1950s their line of cocktail bitters really became a focus, and today they’re best known for their huge selection of interesting and unusual flavored bitters.

Fee Brothers’ Atzec Chocolate bitters are a unique offering that combines a rich cocoa flavor with a touch of heat and a pleasant bitter finish. Made with cocoa beans, chili peppers, warm spices like cinnamon, and traditional bittering agents; they’re a perfect compliment to dark spirits like rum, whiskey, or tequila. Please watch the video below for an idea of how to put Fee’s Atzec Chocolate bitters to use in your home bar.

The Campfire Sling
2 oz rye whiskey
1/4 oz real maple syrup
3 or 4 dashes Aztec chocolate bitters
Orange twist

Add whiskey, maple syrup, & chocolate bitters to a mixing glass with plenty of ice. Stir to chill and strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube.
Flame an orange twist over the glass (hold a lit match between the orange twist and the glass, & squeeze the twist to release the oils toward the glass. The oils will flame up as they’re released)
Rub the orange twist along the rim of the glass and add the twist to the cocktail as garnish.