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)
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