Joe and MariElena, an accomplished husband and wife team, founded Bittermilk in 2011.

     Grandfathered into the food industry, MariElena grew up in and around her father’s restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina. While attending the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, she met Joe—and their partnership began. The Rayas opened The Gin Joint in Charleston in 2010. With Joe crafting classic cocktails of yore and MariElena composing a menu featuring elevated pub food, the Gin Joint rocketed in popularity.

A pre-Prohibition style cocktail.


Time and time again, they got requests for their handcrafted cocktail recipes.

     However, as any booze connoisseur knows, pre-Prohibition cocktails typically call for uncommon ingredients and are especially labor intensive. Joe and MariElena devised an idea—what if they could make specialty cocktail mixers that harked back to the days before Prohibition? So they did.

A collection of Bittermilk's specialty cocktails. Click the picture to explore their recipes!


Hailing from the South, Bittermilk is a line of artisan, pre-Prohibition style cocktail mixers.

     With the perfect balance of bitterness, botanicals, and aromatics, Bittermilk makes crafting a cocktail at home easy. They begin with a bittering agent, a sweetener, and an acid. From there, they use unique methods to influence the mixer’s final flavor, such as smoking, barrel aging, and charring. The result is a complete cocktail mixer: clean, bright, and balanced.

The Charred Grapefruit Tonic is given its unique flavor profile by hand-charred grapefruit peels.


Each Bittermilk mixer is handcrafted—from the ingredients to the manufacturing process, special attention is paid to each and every product.

     Every Bittermilk cocktail mixer is made with high quality, all natural ingredients, and the company uses organic ingredients whenever they’re available. Fresh components like lemon juice, orange and grapefruit peels, and centennial hops give each Bittermilk mixer a bright flavor, which helps balance their sweetness. More unique flavor profiles are imparted by various means, like aging in bourbon barrels, smoking honey over bourbon barrel staves, and charring grapefruit peels by hand.

To make the Smoked Honey Whiskey Sour, honey is smoked with staves from barrels that previously aged bourbon.
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