Bitters, bitte!
January 7, 2012 9:27 PM   Subscribe

I recently picked up a bottle of Fee Brothers Orange Bitters. Mixologists of Metafilter -- what are some fabulous uses for this product?
posted by sevenyearlurk to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I like Arnaud's Special Cocktail. If you enjoy orange bitters, make sure to try Regan's Orange Bitters No. 6 next time.
posted by halogen at 9:33 PM on January 7, 2012

Somewhat more unusually, I've put orange bitters in cannoli filling: 1 lbs ricotta (drain some of the water on cheesecloth for about an hour), 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, 1 tbsp orange blossom water, 1/2 to 1 tbsp vanilla, zest of one orange, orange bitters to taste. You can beat it in a stand mixer if you prefer a smoother filling, but make sure to chill for a while after you mix all the ingredients. I throw on some mini chocolate chips after piping the ricotta into store-bought cannoli shells, just before serving.
posted by halogen at 9:37 PM on January 7, 2012 [2 favorites]

I love love love bitters and soda on a hot day. Or if I'm out at a bar and not in the mood for alcohol. Glass of seltzer or soda water, ice, bitters to taste.
posted by mollymayhem at 10:24 PM on January 7, 2012

Best answer: I have recommended this drink pretty often here but it's worth repeating: orange buck. Bourbon, orange juice, ginger beer, orange bitters. Delicious!
posted by joan_holloway at 10:50 PM on January 7, 2012 [3 favorites]

Both the orange and the lemon fee brothers bitters are great in sidecars.
posted by borges at 11:40 PM on January 7, 2012

Bitters and ginger, make a an orange Manhattan, anything with good gin would work, splash a little in a mimosa to add some depth, toss it in a Weiss beer in place of an orange slice... Endless possibilities.
posted by bryanthecook at 12:12 AM on January 8, 2012

I haven't tried this yet, but I recently read an article about adding the orange bitters to Jack Daniel's honey whiskey, and the article was compelling enough for me to put it on my to-try list.
posted by Houstonian at 7:38 AM on January 8, 2012

Best answer: I had never heard of orange bitters before last night, when I came across this recipe for a Revolver. It sounds delicious!

I'm also a fan of bitters in plain seltzer water.
posted by apricot at 9:05 AM on January 8, 2012

Best answer: The fun thing about bitters is that they tend to be pretty mix-n-match. I've got a half dozen different kinds, and rarely has there been incompatibility when I've substituted one for the other. Something with an herbal character like a Sazerac might not work, but most cocktails, and almost certainly any already made with citrus juice, can benefit from an additional citrus note.

For instance, the Champagne Cocktail is typically made with Angostura, but works with anything from Peychaud's to Fee's Rhubarb. Dash a sugar cube with bitters until it's soaked, put in the bottom of a flute. Fill with sparkling wine (not rotgut, but not capital 'C' Champagne).
posted by wnissen at 9:14 AM on January 8, 2012

Best answer: I haven't tried Fee bros but I regularly use Regan's orange bitters as a flavor extract in deserts. I've added some to chocolate ganache and used it as a cake filling and truffle center. I've used it instead of vanilla in butter cookies and I've added a tiny splash along with the vanilla to buttercream frosting. I put a splash in hot apple cider. It's really very versatile and adds a wonderful round orangey-spicy flavor that I love.

I also noticed that they have a long list of recipes on the fee bros site which I'll be bookmarking to try.
posted by tinamonster at 9:18 AM on January 8, 2012

Bitters give chili, spaghetti sauce and other tomato-based dishes a very nice complexity. Try cinnamon and a drop of bitters in strong black coffee. Also, pork gravies or glazes.
posted by Ardiril at 9:58 AM on January 8, 2012

Also, I once had an alfredo sauce that for many years I thought was made with a pinch of nutmeg, but now I suspect it was bitters. My opinion changed after tasting an otherwise ordinary home-style turkey-rice soup that was flavored with the barest amounts of bitters and cumin.
posted by Ardiril at 10:02 AM on January 8, 2012

You can use these bitters is more or less every cocktail where you might use bitters of any kind.

Manhattan is a good place to start.

The Pegu Club cocktail calls for both orange and Angostura bitters.

An old-school Martini with equal parts gin and vermouth (Tanqueray and Dolin Dry being my particular combination of preference) is great with two short dashes of orange bitters and a lemon twist.

Many of the top cocktail bars in NYC use a 50/50 mix of Fee's Orange Bitters and Regan's Orange Bitters.
posted by slkinsey at 1:37 PM on January 8, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! I've marked a few as 'best' but these all sound wonderful. I look forward to some orangey experimentation!
posted by sevenyearlurk at 4:36 PM on January 8, 2012

Vodka and a teensy bit of elderflower liqueur, on the rocks.
posted by kestrel251 at 7:06 PM on January 8, 2012

I love orange bitters in a plain old gin & tonic, especially if I don't have fresh lemon or lime wedges.
posted by mosessis at 11:39 PM on January 8, 2012

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