Phoenyx Spirits revives liqueur brands

by Georgie Collins

Spirits company Phoenyx has relaunched two bitter liqueurs as part of the company's aim to ‘revitalise’ heritage brands.

The company, owned by Benedict Gordon and Robert Black, boasts a portfolio of heritage trademarks which it plans to revive and relaunch over the coming years. The first of the brands to come to market are Khoosh and Dr Hostetter’s, two premium bitter liqueurs that date back to the 19th century. Khoosh is a bitter orange liqueur that initially found popularity in the UK at the turn of the 20th century. The brand disappeared in the late 1930s, and has been reinvented by Phoenyx Spirits using the original ingredients, including quassia amara, a botanical often used as a medicine for treating digestive issues. The 20% ABV liqueur is described as having a ‘sweet viscosity, mild herbaceousness and a lingering bitterness’. It is recommended served with Champagne in a coupe to create a Khoosh Fizz. The bespoke bottle has been designed by creative agency Stranger & Stranger, presenting Art Deco features and a ‘unique’ silhouette. The label features a hand-drawn exotic jungle illustration by Katie Scott. Both elements offer a direct lineage to the original product design. Dr Hostetter's is described as ‘the original American bitter liqueur’ and was established by the brand’s namesake in 1953. It was marketed at a medicinal bitter, and was based on Hostetter’s father’s propriety formula. The liqueur was rationed to union army soldiers during the American Civil War. The brand later became ubiquitous in saloons, selling more than 55 million bottles by 1906. However the brand disappeared from shelves in the late 1950s. Phoenyx Spirits has now revitalised and reformulated the recipe ‘for the modern cocktail era’. The 20% ABV bitter liqueur has been created to pair with Bourbon and rye whiskey, and has been re-made using American botanicals, red fruits, rose and carmine, as well as ‘the majority’ of original ingredients. The bottle has also been designed by Stranger & Stranger, with a bespoke bottle shape chosen to evoke pre-prohibition American spirits bottles. Khoosh is priced at RRP £29.95 (US$36.75), while Dr Hostetter’s is priced at £28.75 (US$35.27). Both products can be purchased from Master of Malt, The Whisky Exchange and Speciality Drinks. Earlier this month we published the results of The Liqueur Masters 2022.

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