Originally founded in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Hella Cocktail Co. is a New York City-based small batch producer of a variety of handcrafted cocktail products. What began as a hobby in the early 2000s turned serious in 2011, when they used crowdfunding to raise enough money to officially launch their brand.
With vision, determination, and a commitment to quality, they got their start making 5-gallon batches of bitters, but graduated to 30-gallon batches and eventually invested in two 550-gallon tanks for their facility in Queens. From there they’ve gone on to launch other cocktail products like syrups, mixers, & kits.
Rather than marketing to bars and bartenders, Hella is focused on the home cocktail enthusiast. All of their products are designed to be user-friendly and appeal to a wide audience. “We want to make bitters for people who don’t know what bitters are,” says cofounder Tobin Ludwig.
Two of their first- and most popular- bitters flavors, Citrus and Aromatic, are featured in the classic Manhattan recipe in the video below.
Hella calls their Citrus flavor their “full spectrum bitters”. Instead of just focusing on one citrus fruit like orange or lime, they infuse the rinds of several different varieties of citrus with traditional bittering agents to create a bold, bright, full-flavored bitter that’s incredibly versatile and pairs well with almost any alcohol or cocktail.
Their well-balanced, classic Aromatic bitters are a step above the rest. They include the quintessential aromatic flavors of cinnamon, clove, and allspice with the added depth and zing of black peppercorns and caraway seeds. By combining both wormwood and Gentian root, the bitter finish is interesting and elevated without being overwhelming.
In a mixing glass or shaker combine ingredients, add ice and stir for 8-10 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass or in a rocks glass, over ice. Garnish with cherry or orange peel.