Spice up your New Year cheer with Hawaii Bitters

Mike Prasad on the left and Kyle Reutner on the right.

Photo Courtesy Hawaii Bitters


Nascent island-based company Hawaii Bitters is ready to bottle and ship its first batch of product next week—with some bottles going as far away as Europe. The result of a partnership between social-media marketing wiz Mike Prasad (a Los Angeleno who is in the process of moving to Honolulu) and chemist-turned-bartender Kyle Reutner, Hawaii Bitters offers “the first new type of bitters ever,” says Prasad. “These are new flavor profiles—we’re giving bartenders access to flavors they can’t get.” Those flavors include kiawe wood and pineapple, Manoa chocolate and ginger, and Tahitian lime.

Reutner, a Colorado transplant, uses his chemistry background to concoct the bitters, infusing a sugar cane–based neutral spirit (made from Hawaii-grown cane by Island Distillers) with flavor-packed ingredients. “Everything is local except for a few spices,” says Prasad proudly.

While Prasad is also deft at handling a cocktail shaker, his kuleana is getting the word out about Hawaii Bitters. Shouldn’t be long before there’s a bottle of Mai Tai Bitters in every home bar—Prasad is the guy who made chef Roy Choi’s Kogi Korean BBQ trucks a Twitter phenomenon in 2008.

You can order Hawaii Bitters at hawaiibitters.com.

Lesa Griffith is writing guest posts for Biting Commentary while dining editor Martha Cheng is on vacation.