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Bittersweet: Hella Bitters' Craft Your Own Bitters Kit

Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and whether you're drunk in love, planning a pal-entine's day party, or dining for one, everything's a little bit(ter) sweeter with this Queens-made Craft Your Own Bitters Kit.


Among the many adjectives assigned to New Yorkers, “bitter” may be apt, but so is “spicy.” Hella Bitters, a Brooklyn-based company that manufactures in Queens, infuses new meaning into both descriptors. Founded in 2011 by the so-called “Bitter Boys” — Tobin Ludwig, Eduardo Simeon and Jomaree Pinkard — Hella Bitters shares the origins of many a culinary discovery: in a home kitchen, and, more specifically, in a Mason jar. At least since Prohibition, cocktails have never been better. Many of the most adventurous aperitifs have emerged from the Brooklyn mixology scene. Hella Bitters wanted to move the needle a step further by crafting all-natural bitters as a premium alternative to the mass-produced, often artificially-flavored bitters that stock countless bars. As the boys say, “Making bitters is relatively easy; making good bitters, however, is really hard.”
HellaBitter_560x420_BitterBoys The self-titled "Bitter Boys." Photo: Courtesy of Hella Bitters.
A product of the times, earlier this year the company embarked on a Kickstarter campaign to grow their business; it would eventually exceed its $50,000 goal. The fruits of that labor are now available on the NYSOM Marketplace: Introducing the Craft Your Own Bitters Kit.
HellaBitter_560x420_FullKit Photo: Courtesy of Hella Bitters.
HellaBitter_560x420_KitContents Photo: Courtesy of Hella Bitters.
This DIY kit enables foodies to master yet another component of their gourmand dreams. The guys at Hella Bitters created an essentially no-fail toolbox that will “maximize the experience” of creating “versatile bitters” at home. While these liquid flavorings are most commonly associated with cocktails, the applications are much wider: as marinade for meat, a kicky addition to holiday cranberry sauce, a bit of pep in an otherwise mundane salad. But, of course, they do make a killer cocktail. Its said that if you cut your own wood it warms you twice; we like to think of the blending as part one, and the cocktail drinking as part two.
HellaBitter_560x420_StrainerAndFunnel Photo: Courtesy of Hella Bitters.