“Restaurants quickly pivoted to gift cards and takeout, but we knew that wouldn’t be enough for most businesses,” Helena Hambrecht said. By selling collaborative aperitifs online, she said, they realized they could give people across the country an easy way to “support their favorite restaurants while creating a scalable revenue stream for our partners.”
The Hambrechts manage production and distribution, and their restaurant partners receive 100% of the profits in a weekly check.
Haus owns its entire supply chain, which made this project more feasible. Woody oversees recipe development and production, Helena oversees everything related to the brand - like marketing, messaging, and creative direction.
The brand created an extremely efficient production system, which enables quick creation, packaging, shipment and payment to restaurants.
Empire State South's collaboration with Haus is flavored by natural thyme, kumquat, bergamot and a hint of vanilla.
Credit: Courtesy Haus
Credit: Courtesy Haus
When the Haus team approached Empire State South’s Hugh Acheson about creating an aperitif, Acheson envisioned a beautiful and easy-to-drink vermouth. “I love a light and crisp aperitif-style wine, but I wanted something simple and not sweet,” Acheson said.
For each collaboration, Woody Hambrecht works with head of production Aaron Koseba to identify key ingredients that reflect the participating chef’s culinary philosophy. The collaboration with Acheson, labeled Haus x Empire State South, is a delicate expression, with kumquat, bergamot, thyme and a hint of vanilla. It’s refreshing, but dry and herbal on the nose and palate.
“I was just amazed at the quenchinq quality of the final version,” Acheson said. “It works beautifully, and is a good example of the simplicity we strive for at ESS. Simple does not mean easy.”
Thus far, Haus has teamed up with 13 chefs across the country. “Each chef’s version was completely unique, so we’ve been able to create this beautiful collection of aperitifs that are all so different from each other,” Woody Hambrecht said. “It’s been an honor to collaborate with chefs like Hugh, Ashley Christensen, Eduardo Jordan, and many others,” he said.
The Hambrechts plan to keep the project going as long as restaurants are impacted by the pandemic. And, they look forward to exploring collaborations with other food and beverage leaders. “Most of our restaurant partners have already told us they want to carry these products in their restaurants, so when the Restaurant Project comes to a close, it won’t mean the end of these aperitifs,” Helena Hambrecht said.
In the meantime, among the other collaborations available to try is Haus x Poole’s Diner, which features grapefruit, thyme, tellicherry pepper and honey. Haus x State Bird Provisions is a summery blend of strawberry, tart rhubarb, meyer lemon and fresh rose. For a smoky version, Haus x Mister Jiu’s features black cardamom, lapsang tea, ginger and floral osmanthus, inspired by the restaurant’s signature roast duck. With every recipe, they pushed the boundaries of what an aperitif can be, while reflecting each restaurant’s culinary approach.
Haus Restaurant Project aperitifs are sold in a pack of two 750-milliliter bottles for $80. Order at drink.haus. Shipping is free.
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