Helena and Woody Hambrecht are co-founders of Haus, an aperitif brand made with all natural ingredients that we regularly enjoy at Sabah Houses and our personal homes.
More about Helena... Helena runs the brand half of Haus, guiding everything related to creative, comms and the customer experience. In her past life she was a professional photographer and ran a brand studio, working startups as well as big tech companies like Facebook and Google. She and Woody met 8 years ago thanks to OkCupid. "Long story short, it took a techie marrying a wine and spirits maker to start Haus."
More about Woody... Woody, runs the production side of Haus. He's been farming grapes and making wine and aperitifs for a decade on the ranch where he and Helena live with their 2 year old daughter Sophie (pictured above!), 2 dogs, and a bunch of chickens. His grandparents bought the property in the ‘70s and Woody has been harvesting grapes since he was a kid. After falling in love with aperitif culture during his days in Berlin in his 20s, he eventually took over the family ranch and started making aperitifs on his own!
What's 'cozy' mean to you?
H: Cozy season is our favorite season. Woody and I both love winter more than summer. We’re all about sweaters, beanies, and sweatpants. You will find us near a fireplace whenever possible.
W: Even food and drinks are better during cozy season. We love making stews and soups, and we can’t get enough hot cider or mulled wine. We’re so happy it’s cooling down so we can start enjoying all of it.
Describe your cozy style, wardrobe wise?
H: The more clothing, the better. Thick socks, sweatpants, big turtleneck sweaters, beanies.
How do you keep your home/personal space cozy?
H: We live in a 750 square foot farmhouse that’s pretty cozy by default. That said, it gets cold, so we almost always have the wood stove going, as well as lots of blankets for extra warmth.
W: Cooking every night helps too. It warms the house and makes it smell great 24/7.
One (or a few) reading reccs -- books, magazines etc -- when you are in a cozy mood?
H: We’ve been buried in cookbooks lately. We’ve always been avid home cooks, but we’ve upped our game being stuck at home this year. Samin Nosrat, Ottolenghi, Cherry Bombe, Sean Brock and Vivian Howard have all been on the main rotation lately.
W: I’ve been reading a lot about booze lately. I’ve been in the industry a long time but there’s always more to learn. “A Short History of Drunkenness” by Mark Forsyth is a great one I read recently. I’ve also been digging into garden books to prep for spring. “How Does Your Garden Grow?” by Albert Wison is a classic I go to again and again.
What are a few personal items that keep you in the spirit of cozy?
H: Lighting is important. It gets dark early now, and I’d rather hang out in lamp or candlelight than bright overhead lighting. Schoolhouse Electric makes some of the best little lamps and bulbs that feel as old as our cabin, but still stylish.
W: Hoodies, beanies, thick socks. Usually from Carhartt.
Any cozy routines we should know about?
H: Many of my favorite rituals are tied to the kitchen. Making my morning coffee, throwing together a soup or stew, making Sophie lunch...cooking is a big part of our lives. Obviously this hasn’t been the case in 2020, but in normal times we love to host. Everyone cooks together in the kitchen and we throw on blankets and eat out on the porch overlooking the farm.
W: One of our favorite things to do, ever, is go to classic hotel bars and get cocktails. The cozier the bar the better. We have the best memories of drinking by the fire at the Bowery Hotel in particular. We’ve been missing New York a lot this year.
Cozy tunes of choice?
H: Our music tastes change a ton season by season. For the next few months everything we listen to will be dark and probably a little sad. This could be anything from acoustic to goth electronica.
W: On the acoustic side, we’ve been listening to a lot of Alela Diane, Little Wings and King Krule lately. But you might hear TRST, The Weeknd’s early stuff, or Salem depending on the day.
What's your cozy drink of choice?
H + W: While it feels wrong to pick a favorite aperitif flavor, we always come back to Bitter Clove in the cooler months. It’s made with all of these beautiful warm spices like cinnamon, clove, ginger, star anise, and we keep it simple by just adding a splash of brown liquor.
The New Fashioned:
3 oz Haus Bitter Clove, Splash brandy or rye whiskey