Events — 05 March 2012
Hella Bitter Launch Party at WindMill Studios, Williamsburg

Blog: Hella Bitter Launch Party


A well made cocktail is created with a combination of style and respect for the ingredients. If a bartender or mixologist can follow those simple rules of the road, then patrons will flock back in droves to gulp down their spirits with glee. Sometimes it just takes a little dash of that special something to create the ultimate cocktail. That’s where drink bitters come in. This herbal or fruit concoction has been flavoring alcoholic beverages for decades, but in 2012 one Williamsburg, Brooklyn start-up is attempting to bring this famed drink add-on to new heights. It’s Hella Bitter, and they have big plans besides just flavoring your gin. This weekend Hella Bitter celebrated the launch of their company with a party at Windmill Studios, and was there.

Hella Bitter comes from the minds of Benjamin Ahr Harrison, Eddie Simeon, Andrew Knepley, Jomaree Pinkard, and Tobin Ludwig, taking their love of spirits and its surrounding culture and formed their own company. The Hella Bitter team’s goal was to treat their guests to a fun evening to remember, something they accomplished with ease. For a small admission fee, guests were welcomed to sample delicious pours of Hella Bitter infused cocktails and chill out to great music, all while being surrounded by a cool crowd in a unique studio space.

This past year Hella Bitter ran a Kickstarter campaign to fund the building of a portable “seltzer cart” in order to sell bitters and seltzer combinations during hot summer days. They would unveil the innovative cart at the launch party in style- with a delightfully refreshing beverage. The “Hella Bitter Gin & Soda” included top shelf gin, seltzer, citrus bitters, and a fresh grapefruit garnish. The bubbling water mixed brilliantly with the fruit flavors. Another drink we just had to sample more than once was a “Green Drank” served in a punch bowl. This highly drinkable and colorful cocktail featured top shelf vodka, citrus and aromatic bitters, orange and pineapple juice, Blue Curacao, and Aperol. Everyone seemed to dig the green drink, with crowds swarming the table.

Everyone from the guests to the bitters makers had a fantastic evening. The music blared out a fun mix, while cocktails continued to flow to imbibing revelers. Make sure that when you head to your local cocktail bar, you ask the barkeep if they are using Hella Bitter in your drink. If they aren’t, demand it. You’ll be getting buzzed on a well-made tasty product, that is made locally.

- Jay Rubin

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