With Christmas only two weeks away, we’re entering into some serious shopping territory. Now is the time to figure out who you still need to buy gifts for and we can make it a little easier on you. If you have any serious cocktail aficionados on your list, giving them a spirits subscription is basically the gift that keeps on giving. Depending on which option you choose, you could arrange for them to get boozy every single month or make it just a special one-time gift. With a lot of companies out there promising to offer the best brands and collections, we have selected our favorite five for your drinking pleasure.
Photo Credit: Bar Antz LLC
Bitters + Bottles
Aside from having an adorable name, Bitters + Bottles promises to send the highest quality ingredients, supplies, recipes and education material straight to your door. Unlike other companies, this one sends full-sized bottles so you can build your own personal bar with your favorites. No matter what the month’s theme is, each box includes 4-6 spirits and a letter that explains the significance and flavor profile of each one. There are also five classic recipes inside, along with their history and tips on how to make them your own. Since each box is meant to build on your home bar, they will never send you two of the same spirit.
A single month costs $85, but you can also choose between three for $255, six for $510 or 12 months for $1,020. If you don’t want a set timeframe, you can simply choose to be charged $85 a month and cancel at any time, much like a Netflix subscription. For those who don’t have any bar tools, you can add a $55 start kit to your order and receive a “modern Hawthorne strainer, modern 4x1 jigger, modern bar spoon, modern shaker, and a pint glass.”
Photo Credit: Tipple Box
Tipple Box works with independent producers all over the UK, specializing in small-batch spirits that you won’t find in every bar. Though they only send little travel-sized bottles, you can opt to buy the full-size version of a select few on their website. With one, three, six and 12-month subscriptions available (ranging in price from £24/$36 to £252/$383), each box includes enough supplies to make 6-8 glasses from the provided two curated cocktail recipes.
You can also buy individual cocktail recipes and ingredients if you don’t want a subscription, like the Rhubarb Sidecar and Smoked Mule for £24 ($36).
Photo Credit: Cocktail Courier & Shakestir
As a partner of ShakeStir, Cocktail Courier sources its recipes from some of the country’s best bartenders and ships nationwide. At $39.99 a month, you get to choose a favorite spirit category and then their bartenders will curate your monthly delivery, which includes enough ingredients (plus garnish and fresh fruit) for 4-8 drinks.
You can always order specific cocktail boxes à la cart as well, like the $41.94 Spectre 007 Martini option that comes with one bottle of Belvedere Vodka, a bottle of Dry Vermouth and a bottle of Sicilian Green Olives with brine.
Photo Credit: Crafted Taste
Founded in 2013, Crafted Taste features “award-winning spirits, small batch syrups, unique bitters and other premium ingredients you can't always find on your own.” The kits come with full-size bottles, recipes, instructions, fun cocktail ideas and food pairings. The company offers three different subscription options that range from $65 to $200 a month, with the latter price being for the Premium offering that includes an upgrade or extra hand-selected bottles.
December’s kit is called St. Snowfall & the Lusty Lady, and includes instructions for the gin and lavender cocktails. “For St. Snowfall, you'll mix Royal Rose's Lavender Lemon syrup with St. George Terroir Gin and Scrappy's Lavender Bitters. Gin and lavender will also feature in the Lusty Lady, along with Fruitations Pure Bottled Cranberry.” Of course, you can purchase kits individually for $65, and though this month’s offering is sold out, you can still choose from 24 others.
Photo Credit: The HomeMade Gin Kit LLC
The Homemade Gin Kit
Okay, the Homemade Gin Kit isn’t actually a subscription, but it’s still a really cool box that you can certainly buy every month. The $ 49.95 kit includes everything you need to transform a regular boring bottle of vodka into your very own homemade gin, including two glass bottles, a fine stainless steel strainer and funnel, juniper berries and a botanical blend. The process seems really easy. All you do is add the berries and botanical infusion to the vodka and then wait 36 hours before straining the newly-made gin into the bottles.
When you’re ready to step your game up, the website features recipes for various gin drinks that you can make at home, like The Aviation with Luxardo maraschino liqueur and Campari’s classic Negroni. The company also sells individual items, like various botanical blends for different gin styles and a Barrel-Aged Gin Kit that comes with honeycombed, charred-oak barrel staves for quick aging.