Bittermens Hellfire

$ — 44% ABV — Habanero

Look down the menu of just about any upscale bar program these days, you're bound to find at least one cocktail that lists "Hellfire" as an ingredient. Oftentimes it's the best thing on the menu. Turns out this is a vinegar-based bitter from Bittermens.

Most spicy drinks have an ingredient that was designed for culinary use, which doesn't always translate great to cocktails. Sriracha and Tabasco are popular cookout standbys but they don't work exceptionally well outside of a Bloody Mary. For a little bit of extra tangy heat in a cocktail Bittermens is truly a revolutionary product.

It's strong as ... well, as hellfire so just a coupe drops per shot of alcohol will make do. However the tang from the vinegar and the soft, vegetal heat allows Hellfire to find a home in any Sour such as Daiquiris or even Sidecars. Especially if you're a fan of spicy foods, it's downright astonishing how many times you'll ask yourself, "I wonder if the Hellfire would be good in this?" and usually the answer is yes, it would. For those that like to stay away from the heat, when balanced with some sweetness, it still adds a lot of complexity without making your eyes water.

Bittermens is located in New Orleans, Louisiana in the Southern United States. Established in 2007 by Avery and Janet Glasser, it remains an independent company.