Tonight I was messing around with the Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters to see if I could build out a cocktail for our show Common Man Cocktails (via youtube). I sat down and invented this recipe for our Saint Patrick's Day cocktail week:
- 1 1/2 oz. Jameson Irish Whiskey
- 1/2 oz. Benedictine
- 4-5 Dashes Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters
- (Garnish with 2 maraschino cherries)
My goal of the recipe was to allow the Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters to really shine and mingle well with the herbal qualities of the Benedictine. My first impression went better than planned, I was afraid the cherry bitters along with Benedictine would bring too much "cherry medicine" flavor but that didn't occur as expected--it was much better. I contribute this to the lack of additional syrup sweetness that some medicinal like products tend to bring to the forefront (I'm talking to you Captain Morgan Tattoo Rum!)
Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters brought out a rich dark and sweet cherry flavor, closer to the impact of Luxardo Maraschino Cherries. Deep brown sugar and cherry flavor came off the top of the cocktail in the aroma and melded well into the flavors without overdoing it. The cherry bitters play well in the cocktail, even with the sweet Benedictine, and struck a great balance amongst the flavors.
Aroma: Five dashes of cherry bitters in about 3 ounces of water maintain a great sweet aroma flowing off the top of the glass. Sweet cherries, rich sugar impressions and a mild earthy aroma make up the basis of Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters.
Tasting Notes: On its own, Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters bring that great cherry aroma with matching taste and does not go too far into a botanical craziness or bitter finish. Straight up "sweet-like" addition that still brings the spirit together with a richness in flavor and aroma yet doesn't bring an immensely sweet profile just the hinted impression of one.
It is a bit hard to explain how something can bring the impression of sweet yet not impact the drink with an overly sweet profile. I contribute this to the total immersive aromas of Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters and how they contribute to the drinks initial impression. Even while taking a sip those sweet cherry flavors rise into the nasal passages and make you think sweet cherry while allowing the rest of the core spirits to do their jobs unharmed.
Alone in water, the cherry flavor continues to protrude and make its presence known without adding a "flavored water" sweetness; without liquor or soda to add their own sweet/sour profiles the cherry bitter does bring a every-so-slight mild bite in the finish. I think it will lose a lot of its potential when added to soda to try to bring out a "cherry soda" appeal because it isn't bringing any intense flavor to the table (stick with grenadine for that impression.) However, a few dashes on top of a cocktail or within a juice-based mocktial will definitely add a new layer of complexity.
If taste complexity is your goal, Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters is there to bring out a new dynamic.