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Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters

Bitter(s) Review: Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters   (90/100)
Review by Chip Dykstra (Aka The Rum Howler)
Published February 22, 2019

According to their company website Fee Brothers has been a family business since 1864, and is currently now owned and operated by the fourth generation of the family to do so, Ellen and Joe Fee. The company currently produces about 100 different products including an impressive line-up of Cocktail Bitters,

Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters were apparently inspired by the idea that ancient Aztecs would celebrate with a bitter beverage made of cacao beans, peppers and spices, and in fact various sources indicate that as well as chocolate, the Aztec bitters contains an unnamed assortment of spices.

Fee Brothers recommends that you use a few dashes of Fee’s Aztec Chocolate Bitters to expand the flavor of your cocktails, and that it is particularly useful with dark brown spirits such as rum.

I have been using Aztec Chocolate Bitters for about a year now. I was given a bottle during the 2017 Christmas Season as a gift from my wife who had noted how much I enjoyed experimenting with cocktails during the past several years.

The bitters come in the paper wrapped bottle shown to the left. When you twist off the lid, the opening is narrowed to the size of an eye dropper allowing you to add the bitters one drop at a time to your cocktails.  (I’ll be frank and say that the paper wrapped label is a detriment to my enjoyment as it stains rather easily and cheapens the look of the product on my home bar.)

If you allow a drop to be added it to your mouth instead of the cocktail, you will find the flavour is indeed all about intense chocolate and this chocolate flavour is supported by a nice spicy bite of what appears to be cinnamon. There is a light sour flavour as well which may be the result of added Tartaric acid which is a common food additive mentioned on the back of my bottle.  Tartaric Acid is particularly useful when a sour taste is desired.

In my experimentation with the Aztec Chocolate Bitters I have found they do indeed work extremely well with well aged rums particularly in Old Fashioned Cocktails. They work so well in fact that a Rum Old Fashioned with Flor De Cana 7 or Flor de Cana 12 Rums have become some of my favourite indulgences during the past year. But it is not just rum that works well with the Aztec Chocolate Bitters. I have had great success making Tequila Old Fashioned Cocktails as well particularly when using a flavourful Anejo Tequila (such as Herradura Anejo Tequila). A Peated Old Fashioned Cocktail with Chocolate Bitters is also a very nice serving when made with peated Scotch Whiskies such as Inchgower or Caol Ila.

So the verdict for the Fee Aztec Chocolate Bitters is extremely positive. I might not like the packaging, but the bitters inside are what counts the most.  My final score is 90/100!

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Suggested Recipe:

Here is one of those Old Fashioned Recipes for your enjoyment:

Peated Old Fashioned Cocktail with Chocolate Bitters

1 1/2 oz Gordon and MacPhail Inchgower 2005
1/3 oz  Simple Syrup (1:1 ratio)
2 dashes Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters
2 large Ice Cubes
Twist of Orange Peel

Add the first four ingredients to a rocks glass over the ice cubes
Rub the cut edge of the orange peel over the rim of the glass and twist it over the drink. (This will release the oil from the orange zest into the drink)
Drop the peel into the cocktail if desired.

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

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You may (loosely) interpret the scores I provide as follows:

0-50 A concoction which if it doesn’t kill you will make you very ill indeed!
50-59 Not deadly, but not really useful either.
60-69 Limited appeal but useful for some cocktail styles.
70-79 Useful and versatile
80-89 Excellent/bold flavour enhancement for a variety of cocktails
90-94 A Must-have addition to your home bar
95+ Turns your cocktail into the Elixir of the Gods!

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be more familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal
90 – 95         Gold Medal
95.5+            Platinum Award

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