The Shockingly Delicious New Drink I Will Crush All Summer

Finally, the best-ever non-alcoholic bar order comes in a can.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
June 20, 2019

Bitters and soda should be everyone's go-to non-alcoholic drink of choice. Bracingly herbaceous and aromatic when crafted correctly, it is the kind of not-too-sweet drink you can chug all night, without ruining your appetite or overpowering a meal. It's also a bartender go-to that often yields nods of insider-y approval.

Last summer, when I was pregnant, bitters and soda was my trusty stand-in for rosé, negronis and spritzes. It tastes grown up and nuanced, without needing booze. The combo is so good, I traveled with a bottle of bitters, and installed a SodaStream at my desk. Mortifyingly, my picnic tote would clang with carafes of soda water and the little bitters vial, alerting everyone to my every waddling move. Never again!

Because New York City-based Hella Cocktail Co. has figured out a way to turn the fizzy non-alcoholic elixir into a highly guzzle-worthy canned drink that goes down all too quickly and easily. They debuted two versions — Dry and Spritz — meant to be mixed into drinks or crushed on their own, depending on your mood and tolerance for bitterness.

At first sip, it tastes like they simply — if ingeniously — combined bitters and soda in a can, but to actually nail the right flavor balance, the team experimented with 67 (!!!!) different variations, seeking to perfect the flavor profile and nail the lingering spice notes for each combo. That is a lot of different versions of bitters and soda, friends. Their mission was to nail what co-founder Tobin Ludwig calls a flavor that “is deep and has a long tail, but is decidedly bitter.” As they tested each version, their bar was to make it “shockingly delicious.” Consider me shocked.

The two options balance each other nicely. The Spritz is just sweet enough and ideal for jazzing up rosé with a squeeze of lemon. The Dry, which I plan to keep on hand at all times, has no sugar at all, making it unapologetically savory and sippable, especially at just 5 calories per can. I first found these at a coffee shop near my apartment, and now grab two at a time. Depending on your penchant for morning bitterness, the coffee shop even combines Dry with espresso for a brilliantly bitter soda that tastes like the hell-raising cousin to chai.

Pack them in your picnic cooler and let your summer drinking dreams run rampant, whether you’re crushing as-is, updating the notorious Aperol Spritz or adding them to your spirit of choice — co-founder Eddie Simeon loves a whiskey highball using Dry.

Regardless of how you plan to drink it, this summer, let’s all agree to be bitter.

Related Links:

Next Up

The Best Presidents Day Sales We'll Be Shopping This Holiday Weekend

We've rounded up the best kitchenware sales for Presidents Day this year.

How to Keep Dry January Going Past January 31st

Pour on with these booze-free alternatives.

Not Drinking Enough Water? These Products Can Help

It can be hard to remember to stay hydrated. We found water bottles, pitchers and more that can help with that.

This Is the Only Hand Lotion That Cures My Dry Skin

I keep a bottle in my kitchen at all times.

7 Freezer-Safe Storage Containers You Can Bake In Too

Make freezer meals a breeze to reheat with dishes that can do it all.

9 Services That Deliver Groceries Right to Your Door

Your guide to grocery delivery services around the country.

On TV

Food Paradise

10am | 9c

Food Paradise

11am | 10c

Food Paradise

12pm | 11c

Man v. Food

1pm | 12c

Man v. Food

1:30pm | 12:30c

Man v. Food

2pm | 1c

Man v. Food

2:30pm | 1:30c

Man v. Food

3pm | 2c

Man v. Food

3:30pm | 2:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

4:30pm | 3:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

5:30pm | 4:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

6:30pm | 5:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

7:30pm | 6:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

8:30pm | 7:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Questlove's Potluck

10pm | 9c

Beat Bobby Flay

11:30pm | 10:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

2:30am | 1:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

3:30am | 2:30c