Review: Hella Cocktail Co. Bitters & Soda

Posted: May 10, 2019 at 8:42 AM (Last Updated: May 10, 2019 at 2:48 PM)

Covers Products: Bitters & Soda - DRY, Bitters & Soda - SPRITZ

Designed to be enjoyed both on its own and as a mixer, Hella Cocktail Co.’s Bitters & Soda is a two SKU line of aromatic sparkling beverages that are made with gentian root tincture.

The two SKUs, “Spritz” and “Dry,” are differentiated solely by the inclusion of sugar (Spritz has 14 g of sugar while Dry has none).  Both products feature natural flavors, gentian extract, a touch of salt and Hella’s Aromatic Bitters, which are made with a variety of herbs and spices.

What you’ll taste in both products is something that feels like a cousin of a bitter cocktail or spritz. Spritz is the most drinkable straight from the can and makes for a pretty nice alternative to an alcoholic beverage with its bitter, dry flavor and a touch of sweetness. On the other hand, Dry due to the lack of sweetness, is more suitable as a mixer. The text on the can suggests a 4:1 blend of these products and your favorite spirit (both London Dry gin and bourbon work pretty well from our tests) or an equal parts mix with rosé.

Bitters & Soda is packaged in a 12 oz slim can and utilizes a shrink sleeve label. Hella Cocktail’s recently refreshed branding features a retro logo and a minimalist front panel WITH an illustrated background. There’s a decent amount of text to it, but it’s arranged in a way that’s easy to read and gives you a sense of what the drink is all about. In the end, we think the packaging is appealing and effective.

Ultimately, this product, which will most likely be placed in the mixer set, offers something pretty different from what’s presently available in the category. It adds a unique flavor that you won’t get from something like a tonic water, and it can function as a ready-to-drink alcohol alternative. It’s going to take some work to build out demand for a product like this, but we think that the product has the technical chops and that’s probably something that it can use to its advantage, especially if it wants to build the brand using on-premise accounts.


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