Shaker & Spoon Cocktail Club is a monthly subscription box that is a great way to discover new drinks. It gives you all the ingredients you need (except the booze itself) to make high-caliber mixed drinks. This is a really awesome idea for people that prefer to procure their own liquor or live in a state where it cannot be shipped to them!
Unusual ingredients were used to make our three recipes, along with the bourbon we picked up at the store. We used Four Roses, the less expensive of the bourbons recommended by Shaker & Spoon (they send a handy email to let you know what spirit will be needed for the box, so you are ready to mix when it arrives).
A visual inventory of the box allows a quick assessment of the contents, though everything is labeled, too!
The card gives an inventory of the contents of the box and some information on the nature of the drink, as well as the recipes provided.
Everything in the box. I loved the thoroughness of this box — it included the syrups, bitters, citrus, spices and flavorings, and even the tool needed to make the garnish!
A useful glossary card introduces the novice barman to the tools and terminology that will be used in the recipes.
This card was super-helpful, describing the techniques and measurements peculiar to mixology.
The three bourbon recipes. They took three classic recipes, updating them by adding unique syrups and bitters. I really liked the way they avoided substantial overlap in ingredients, so each recipe had its own distinct character.
Pictures of the drink when served in the recommended glassware. We just used a rocks glass for the cold drinks and a copper cup (aka Moscow Mule Mug) for the hot one.
The syrups provided with the kit. Demerara is an unrefined sugar with higher levels of molasses. Kuckich Twig is made from the extract of tea stems and has a flavor distinct from the leaves.
The bitters that came in the box. The classic angostura bitters were joined by a few truly unique varieties that really packed some lovely flavor.
The peculiar ingredients and garnish. The box included oolong tea, star anise, and demerara sugar. As a holiday bonus, a channel knife was also included to make the garnish.
The perishables in the box. Along with lemons and oranges, our box had inca berries — a sweet and citrusy Colombian berry grown at high altitudes.
Inca Berry Sour: This spin on the classic whisky sour was very close to the original. The demerara syrup added some body to the sweetness (and wasn’t made from corn syrup!), and the Inca berry added a slight fruity tone similar to an orange. This simple addition took added some nuance without disturbing the essential balance of the drink. We thought it was pretty potent, until we tried…
Fire In The Belly: Wow! This one packs a punch, since it has essentially no mixer. Based on the Old Fashioned, this version uses kukicha twig syrup, hellfire tincture, and celery bitters to add heat and presence to the drink. Not too spicy, but nicely flavored, particularly with the mellow, drawn-out base of the kukicha. Very powerful.
Oolong Toddy: A take on the classic Hot Toddy, this version uses oolong tea as a base and is flavored with cardamom bitters. This recipe was a bit fussy — the orange wheel garnish required caramelization on the stove top — but it was a fun change of pace.
I love this subscription — I think it’s awesome to get your recipes, mixers, syrups, garnish — everything — in one box. One of the best parts is that you get much more bitters and syrup than is needed for the 12 drinks, so you can experiment with the interesting flavors and add them to your own favorites or create drinks of your own design.
I really appreciate that the recipes are built on a single, readily available liquor, and they did not expect me to acquire or have on hand several exotic liquors (too many drink recipes have a splash of something I’ve never heard of that costs $50 a bottle). There are plenty of boxes offering great bar tools (like shakers and glassware), no shortage of recipes, and booze is better picked up in person than shipped when you are getting everyday stuff. But this is the only drink prep box I’ve seen that didn’t require me to gather all the fresh garnish myself, but I still got the experience of getting a subscription to create craft cocktails in a state (Pennsylvania) where we normally cannot receive a liquor subscription. Shaker & Spoon Cocktail Club fills a void in the drink prep world, and they do a great job! This is already one of my favorite subscriptions.
Visit Shaker & Spoon Cocktail Club to subscribe or find out more! Save 15% off your first box with coupon code HELLO15.
The Description: Every month you’ll get a box with 3 recipes for 12 drinks (4 from each recipe) and everything you need to make them—syrups, bitters, garnishes, citrus—besides the alcohol. You’ll be exposed to new flavors and combinations, inspiring you to see your liquor cabinet in a whole new way. Subscribe today and be your own bartender before you know it.
The Price: $40.00 per month