For kosher-keeping cocktail consumers, there is wonderful news for a bunch of products that are now kosher-certified. These products are not new, just newly-certified.
I first visited Fee Brothers eight years ago and, while there, having noticed that many (if not most/all) if the ingredients that went into their products already had kosher-certification, I decided to ask the owners about getting kosher-certified. The answer I received from the fourth-generation owners were that they were not interested in paying for such a service. When I shared this story in a video clip from the 81st episode of The Jewish Drinking Show, I was happily surprised to see a comment come in from the company on LinkedIn a little over a year ago sharing that
I am VERY pleased to report that moments ago, we received our Kosher certification for 90 of our 92 products (everything besides Lime Bitters and Olive Brine). We are going to share this information with our distributors, launch this news on social media, and update all future label orders. After 158 years in business, this is a proud day for us
Apparently, according to another comment on that post, “We recently transitioned to 5th generation owners and are examining many things, including what you’re discussing. Thank you and you’re welcome to stop by anytime you’re in town!”
I then decided to take them up on that offer, visiting a year ago, where I not only got to meet their CEO Jonathan Spacher, as well as take a tour, I also saw a prominently displayed OK Kosher certification sign (it looks like a circle-K). Apparently, new labels with the certification had not been produced since they were waiting for their gluten-free certification and for their vegan certification. Their plan was to then use new labelling (it’s expensive to make new printing plates).
I held off at the time of publishing something on this website about it, due to waiting for something official. However, they have made a lot of progress in the past year, including beginning to print labels indicating their products are kosher-certified.
In 2023, they have been working on it. According to a recent email from Spacher, they now have twenty flavors of bitters, of which 18 are kosher-certified (Celery and Gin Barrel-Aged Orange are the 2 flavors that are not). Although I will check with him, according to OK Kosher’s website, these flavors are actually certified by them as kosher. “Of the 18 that are Kosher, 2 have the Circle-K printed on the label and 6 have the Circle-K stamped on the label (for the ‘stamp’, we used a printer that we bought a month before we started printing the Circle-K on the label),” wrote Spacher. “Therefore, there are still 10 flavors that have been certified Kosher, but we’re still working through stock of the non-stamped/non-printed products. When we have new labels printed, all Kosher products have the Circle-K printed on them and it has been this way since February of this year.”
And it’s not just their bitters, their other products also are under the kosher-supervision of the Circle-K: “All other products (syrups, mixes, botanical waters, Fee Foam) are printed with the Circle-K, but our bitters line is 80% of our sales.”
For kosher-keeping cocktail consumers, this is wonderful news!
While Fee Brothers has dozens of products, the bitters that are certified kosher by OK Kosher are, as of this publication:
- Aztec Chocolate Bitters
- Black Walnut Bitters
- Cardamom Bitters Boker’s Style
- Celery Bitters
- Cherry Bitters
- Cranberry Bitters
- Gin Barrel-Aged Orange Bitters
- Grapefruit Bitters
- Lemon Bitters
- Lime Bitters
- Mint Bitters
- Mole Bitters
- Molasses Bitters
- Old Fashion Aromatic Bitters
- Peach Bitters
- Plum Bitters
- Rhubarb Bitters
- Toasted Almond Bitters
- Turkish Tobacco Bitters
- West Indian Orange Bitters
- Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters