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Review: Hawaii Bitters

Coinciding with the kickoff of the first Hawaii Cocktail Week, was the debut of the much anticipated Hawaii Bitters


Posted February 21, 2013 by Ed Morita

Coinciding with the kickoff of the first Hawaii Cocktail Week was the debut of the much-anticipated Hawaii Bitters.

Shortly after the first Cocktail Week party at CoXist Studio, I was able to get my hands on the first three flavors produced by Hawaii Bitters – Kona coffee & mac nut, lilikoi and Manoa chocolate & ginger.

The nature of bitters makes is a little difficult to review, given that it’s not a primary component of a cocktail, but rather a flavoring ingredient. But, thanks to Hawaii Cocktail Week, there are a plethora of mixologists available to lend their expertise.

As a constant in my little experiment, I brought a flask of whiskey with me. This way, the type or quality of the liquor was consistent for all the mixologists when they tasted the bitters. Here’s what they thought.

Hawaii Bitters tasting (7 of 7)

Hawaii Bitters tasting

The general consensus on Hawaii Bitters first run is quite positive, and is definitely a step in the right direction.

The three mixologists agreed that the aroma of all three flavors are great. The bitters blend well with different liquors, but could use some refining in terms of concentration and potency.

Of the three flavors, I like the Kona coffee & mac nut the best, and will definitely keep some of it around to drop into my whiskey. However, given the popularity of fruity tropical drinks in Hawaii's tourism-driven economy, I can see the lilikoi bitters becoming very popular with local mixologists.

Despite the potency issue, Gottesman, Nakagawa, Newman and I all look forward to the next run of Hawaii Bitters.

Photo by Ed Morita

 

 

Comments


  1. Posted March 8, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Mmm Mai Tai with kona coffee bitters makes me want to go back to Hawaii as soon as I can. I order kona coffee by mail but it’s not as good as having the ocean breeze on your face while you take that first sip. For those that are curious where to get kona here’s where I tend to go: http://www.konacoffeebuzz.com/best-kona-coffee-100?

About Ed Morita

Ed Morita spent more than a decade working as a pastry chef at some of the country's premiere resorts and restaurants, including the Halekulani Hotel, The Greenbrier Resort & Spa in West Virginia, Bay Harbor Yacht Club in Michigan and Longhi’s Restaurant in Honolulu. After a near-career-ending injury forced him out of the kitchen, he embarked on a new career as a food writer, photographer and blogger for Metromix Honolulu and Nonstop Honolulu (nonstophonolulu.com), where he now writes the Baker's Hours blog. He's also entered the realm of politics, serving as the photography captain for the Abercrombie for Governor campaign in 2010, then becoming Gov. Abercrombie's official photographer until 2012 when he became the Social Media Director for the Mazie Hirono for U.S. Senate campaign. He's excited and honored to be the official blogger for the 2012 Hawaii Food & Wine Festival. You can follow Ed's adventures online at bakershours.com.

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