An Evening with Helen

An Evening with Helen


There is a warmth in gathering people together and sharing both company and conversation. This is especially true in your own home, but a delight to find in your community as well. As one of Birmingham’s most highly lauded restaurants, it’s no doubt that Helen knows how to serve up hospitality. 

Undoubtedly known for its sure-fire dishes from Chef Rob McDaniel, you may not know about the female power duo shaking things up behind Helen’s beloved upstairs bar. Crafting the restaurant’s unique libations are Bar Managers Hannah Smarr and Kristine Brown, two passionate cocktail experts who work hand in hand to continually elevate the bar program at Helen. 

Their combined experience from working in other notable Birmingham dining establishments, paired with their passion for concocting new recipes has led to an elevated beverage menu that boasts unique and memorable cocktail creations. 

While giving admiration to their ability to provide a welcoming and elegant atmosphere, we can see how their mission and values mirror the ethos of The Tramont. 

To celebrate the best of both worlds – of going out and welcoming people in – we asked Hannah Smarr and Kristine Brown to share a cocktail that is made with equal parts elegance, sophistication, and unpretentiousness. It’s perfect for your next gathering and pairs well with twilight views from your Tramont loggia. 

The “Bella Donna” Cocktail, is a bubbly libation crafted with Segura Viudas Cava, Suntory Haku Vodka, HelenCello, and an Angostura- Brûléed sugar cube – a sparkling spritzer that has become a crowd favorite. 


Bella Donna Cocktail Recipe

  • 1/2 oz Helencello* (made in-house at Helen with a blend of lemons, oranges, and grapefruit; however, a store-bought limoncello would work well as a replacement)
  • 1 oz Haku Japanese Vodka
  • 4 oz Your Favorite Brut Cava 
  • 12 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Pour ingredients into a champagne flute and top with cava (we use/recommend Segura Viudas or an alternative brut cava)
  • Soak a sugar cube with about 12 dashes of Angostura before toasting with a torch and dropping into flute
  • Express a lemon peel over the top as garnish