Artisan bitters, thought of as the salt and pepper to cocktail recipes, are popping up everywhere these days. Now if you don’t regularly make manhattans or martinis, I wouldn’t expect bitters to be part of your heavy home cocktail bar rotation, but if you enjoy making cocktails at home I highly recommend you pick up a bottle or two! Very much like salt and pepper, bitters have the ability to transform a cocktail. They’re integral to classics like Old Fashioneds and Champagne Cocktails, but they can elevate even the most basic of mixed drinks. A vodka soda with a dash or two of orange bitters is instantly a better, more complex drink.
Because they’re so versatile and transformative, I love experimenting with new flavors of bitters in my cocktails at home. Lime bitters give my Pineapple Vodka Limeades a nice complexity, Classic Aromatic take my Lemon Whiskey Cider cocktails to a whole new level and Black Walnut bitters send this After Midnight nightcap over the edge. But enough about bitters (I swear I’m getting to the point of this post). The reason for the shameless bitters plug is because one of my favorite bitters makers, Hella Company, has branched out from bitters into cocktail syrups and mixers! The guys at Hella were kind enough to send me a couple of their new products, one of which was this yummy craft cola cocktail syrup.
My favorite thing about these new Hella cocktail syrups is that they’re not sickly sweet like some others can be. They’re beautifully balanced by just a hint of – you guessed it – bitter notes! With the perfect touch of sweet, familiar cola-esque minerality, this Hella Cola syrup is no exception. Not overly cloying while still maintaining enough classic cola flavor to stand up to the aged rum. If you think you’ve never had a Cuba Libre, well, you have. It’s a fancy name for a rum + coke. Thanks, Cuba.
- 1.5 oz dark or aged rum, I like to keep it classic with Havana Club
- 1 oz Hella Cola Mixer, c/o
- 3.5 oz club soda, sparkling water or seltzer
- lime wedge to garnish, optional
Directions: Fill high ball glass with ice, rum, cola syrups and soda water. Stir gently and garnish with a lime wedge.
Thanks to Hella Co. for inspiring this post!