Person of Interest: Ethan Hall


Ethan Hall moved to D.C. in 2011. While working a few white collar jobs, he was constantly constantly cooking, making drinks and taking a DIY approach to a lot of things, including cocktail bitters. This, along with a desire to create something new and different led him to start Embitterment Bitters in 2014. Operating out of Union Kitchen, the food industry startup produces high-quality, handcrafted aromatic products designed for both serious mixologists and casual, at-home bartenders. Find out what Ethan is up to when he’s not mixing it up:

What’s a typical day for you?

madeinunionkitchenAt least during the week, a typical day for me involves a lot of juggling; In my 9-5 job, I function as a product development manager for a healthcare technology company. There is actually quite a lot of overlap with my side business. I am constantly evaluating opportunities to launch new products, assess the market opportunity and try to make something profitable and innovative. Luckily, my role is flexible and I am able to travel to Union Kitchen to produce bitters, make deliveries, and meet with customers during the week. In a traditional workplace, this would be nearly impossible. Producing bitters is not incredibly resource intensive, so my co-owners and I have been able to fit almost everything we do into Saturdays and Sundays.

What or who is your biggest influence?

I will have to be cliche and tell you it’s my parents, especially my dad. He teaches philosophy, so I grew up in an environment where arguments, in the intellectual sense, and asking way too many questions, were encouraged all the time. On top of that, I was learning to cook from a very young age, and that is all thanks to my mom. Developing those skills in the kitchen ultimately led to the recipe development that goes into our bitters business.

petworthWhat neighborhood do you live in?

I live in Petworth, just off the Georgia Ave. Metro

What is your biggest DC pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve/frustration is with the unreliability of our public transit system. It is difficult to be agile and responsive while running a business if you are sitting on a Metro platform waiting for 20 minutes. I hope that the newly-formed rider’s union can make an impact on this. (

Favorite music artist of all time?

davidbowieDavid Bowie. He may possibly be the coolest person ever to live

Favorite DC haunt?

This is a tie between my neighborhood watering holes where I live now and where I used to be. Right now, it is the Petworth Citizen; one of the best happy hours in the city. Before that it was the Argonaut. That bar plays a huge role in anchoring the H Street corridor

What’s your favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon?

This is a two-way tie between watching football with my friends and exploring different parts of the city on foot without a set agenda. Walking is very relaxing for me and if I can also stop in to a few different bars for a cocktail and a small plate of something, even better.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Of all the places I have visited, I would love to live in Istanbul. That, or the Netherlands; I hear they like gin as much as I doistanbul

If you couldn’t be a…, what would you be?

If I couldn’t do all of the things I am doing now, I would love to try my hand at carpentry. When your house contains as much Ikea furniture as mine does, you begin to wonder what it’s like to have well-constructed furniture.

Top three favorite movies?

pulpfiction(In no particular order)

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Pulp Fiction


Name five people, alive or dead, you’d love to invite to a dinner party Theodore Roosevelt, Bill Murray, Shigeru Miyamoto (the creator of Mario), Elon Musk, Joe Biden

Most embarrassing moment?

There are a number of awkward or embarrassing incidents that may take the top prize, so I’ll go with one from childhood that’s reader-appropriate. I remember when I was maybe 9 years old, I was trying to reach a bottle of chocolate syrup that was high up in a cabinet. Of course, this involved some climbing, and just as I had reached the syrup, I lost my footing, fell to the ground and ended up covered in chocolate syrup. It looked like I was trying to make a classic horror film. For the next several months, my family referred to me as ‘Willy Wonka.’

One response to “Person of Interest: Ethan Hall

  1. Pingback: Union Kitchen | In The News·

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