So, what exactly is orange flower water from the Fee Brothers? That is a great question because, out of all the bitters and botanicals you may have for a cocktail or mocktail, the orange blossom is the most unique single dimensional aroma.
Of course, saying something is "single dimensional" typically reflects poorly on the product. If one says, "this one is very single dimensional," it tells us there isn't much to discover in the flavor experience of the product itself--boring. With Fee Brothers Orange Flower Water you're getting that "extra" dimension to apply to an already flavorful cocktail.
The ingredients are simple: water and orange flower extract. This also fits the bill for anything calling for "orange blossom water" as the impact will be the same (it's a flower as is a blossom). Where is the first place you'll encounter the need? The Ramos Gin Fizz as seen here:
You'll almost always find the Ramos Gin Fizz calling for the orange blossom or orange flower water and the Fee Brothers knew it! As a matter of fact, a recipe for the Ramos Gin Fizz and the New Orleans Fizz are right on the bottle. Now, we've reviewed a bunch of bitters (but not completely finished our reviews) and Fee Brothers Orange Flower Water does not fit the bitter bill exactly.
Why? It's a botanical and not a bitter! But, without an extensive botanical library of cocktail additives yet, we'll just file it under bitter and the other Fee Brother products.
What to expect from the aroma?
The aroma is wonderfully botanical with a very flowery scent much like something you can imagine walking into a flower store or small enclosed flower garden--earthy blossom, vegetal stem with almost a hint of pine tree / juniper and echo's of camomile.
Alone, in water, you get a bit of a vegetal juniper and flowery blossom but it's mostly an illusion. When tasting Fee Brothers Orange Flower Water diluted in simple water brings a rich aroma through your nasal passages as you sip the water--but the taste? Plug your nose and most of the implied "taste" disappears with no aftertaste to speak of when it's all said and done. Why? Fee Brothers Orange Flower Water is a botanical built to enhance the overall aroma and initial impressions of your drink. Other than that, it's fairly hollow.
A bit about "impression."
Other things that mark their initial impression upon close proximity: cologne, perfume, shampoo/conditioner and even the impressions left from a power tie, bright suit or striking blue eyes. What does that mean for orange blossom water? Once you understand where these type of products leave their impression you'll better understand how to make such an impression.
If your goal is to hand a drink to someone and have the individual immediately look at it and go, "whoa...what is this? What is in here?" then you know you've left the right mark. You want people to think, to experience and to understand all their senses when it comes to drink creation. It's not about a one-dimensional product as much as a few products each adding their own dimension. In the case of Fee Brothers Orange Flower Water, it adds a dimension of creativity and experience within the aroma of your liquid. It makes people question and that's part of being human.