Kaleena moved to Chattanooga, TN in 2013 where she started bartending. With less experience than some of her peers, she started making and studying bitters as way to understand a core component of cocktail making. According to her, that's really where the hobby started to take over.
She began researching the background on all of the botanicals being used, which led her to begin studying herbalism. That led her to start creating tinctures and blends in her studio apartment. Her love of plants and botanicals has merged with her career in the hospitality industry, coming together to create something unique.
In 2017, she helped reformTennessee legislation around bitters, making them regulated as a non-beverage product. With this victory, she leased a space and began producing bitters at a larger quantity for others to enjoy. She officially launched the first legal alcohol based bitters in December 2019.
In our conversation with Kaleena, we asked her what her favorite type of bitter is. While she said, “bitters like Angostura and Peychauds are such classics and always will be," she loves a bitter that is creative. In her own line up, she likes the Roasted Dandelion Root, a product meant to speak to their roots in the city of Chattanooga.
What is her go-to cocktail? A Mezcal Sazerac, using Peychauds, or a Mexican hot chocolate with a dash of her Chocolate Cherry Bark bitters. Missed out on our November shipment? Try the Bitter Bottle Chocolate Cherry Bark Bitters by purchasing our stand alone November box.
While she originally studied and worked in music, Kaleena now uses bitters as a creative outlet. She even promised her father at one point she would never bartend, but clearly that decision to mix a few drinks has led to an amazing flavorful brand of bitters.