Hella Bitters Co.

Jomaree Pinkard, Tobin Ludwig, and Eduardo Simeon, Founders of Hella Bitters.

Jomaree Pinkard, Tobin Ludwig, and Eduardo Simeon, Founders of Hella Bitters.

Historically, bitters were crafted by doctors to help people with gastrointestinal issues. Bitters were not first used in cocktails until the late 18th century and not recorded until the early 19th century when a newspaper posted the definition of a cocktail as spirits, water, sugar, and bitters. These were the core ingredients of a cocktail and bitters were widely used until after prohibition when their use greatly diminished. Tobin Ludwig, Jomaree Pinkard, and Eduardo Simeon, co-founders of Hella Bitters, are bringing bitters back in good fashion.

Eduardo was the first of the group of friends to learn about bitters when he worked as a barback and a bartender. He saw that bitters in soda could settle the stomach and that they added layers of spice and flavor in cocktails and cooking. Tobin was working to become a professional actor, Eduardo was working in digital media, and Jomaree received a MBA from Wharton. The group of friends started crafting bitters as a hobby and then became somewhat obsessed. They wanted to share their bitters with their friends so they held a Kickstarter campaign that was very successful. With the extra bitters, the guys visited restaurants, bars, and stores. They then realized that they had a product that people really loved that they loved making. All of the guys each had their own unique set of skills but they shared the same visions and a great product and Hella Bitters was born.

The name Hella Bitters came from the slang word “hella” belonging to Northern California where Eduardo is from. This slang term was becoming quite popular amongst millennials and what started as a pun ended up being loved by all. Hella Bitters prides itself on telling the untold story of bitters and bringing them back into the kitchens of chefs and bartenders. Their products are hand crafted in their small production kitchen in Brooklyn and they use only the freshest, local produce and ingredients. All of the produce, spices, and ingredients are hand processed by the founders themselves. Each batch is made with love and devotion to quality, one batch at a time, by the three sets of hands of the founders. Hella Bitters is dedicated to this craft, small batch method of local production.

Some bitters recipes are known to contain over 100 different ingredients such as botanicals, herbs, spices, oils, and fresh produce. The founders process the produce and ingredients and place them into fine mesh bags to make sure the infusion is consistent in every batch. They add the ingredients with neutral grain spirit and distilled water. The bitters sit for 30 days as the spices, oils, and aromas come together to create the delicious bitters. The mixture is filtered, sweetened with a caramel colored simple syrup and is then bottled for all of us to buy. Bitters are used to make delicious unique cocktails. They are flavor enhancers and can be considered like adding spices to cooking to give it that extra kick. Bitters can also be used in various types of cooking and are especially great in marinades and salad dressings.

Hella Company also makes a line of excellent tonic waters called Hella Tonics. Like bitters, tonic water was also established in the early 19th century. British soldiers that were stationed in India, which was a tropic climate, would ingest quinine powder to prevent malaria. However, the quinine was so bitter that they had to mix it with water and sugar in order to drink it down. Sooner or later these British soldiers decided that as might as they add a shot of gin and the gin and tonic, one of the most well-known and classy cocktails, was born. Hella Tonic Syrups just like the bitters are made singe batch at a time by the hands of the founders. These tonics make a refreshing and crisp gin and tonic. Go check out our shop online portal and pick up a bottle of tonic and bitters to give your bar a serious upgrade!