Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review – June 2015
Bitters + Bottles is a monthly subscription box that helps you build your home bar and learn how to use it.
Every month, they send full-sized spirits, mixers, and recipes to help you create classic cocktails at home. Each box builds on previous shipments, adding new bottles to your bar and new recipes to your collection.
At the start of the subscription, Bitters + Bottles provides the option to add a set of bar tools for $55. To see what’s included in this set check out my first Bitters + Bottles review.
Unlike many ongoing subscriptions, Bitters + Bottles consists of 12 shipments. So after a year of subscribing, you’ll have a fully stocked bar and an arsenal of classic cocktail recipes.
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription: Bitters + Bottles
The Cost: $95 per month (shipping is free).
The Products: 3-6 bottled ingredients plus the recipes to create classic cocktails at home.
Ships to: The following US states: CA, CO, DC, ID, IL, MO, NJ, NM, NY, and WA.
Looking for other boozy boxes? Check out the Drink Subscription Box Directory!
Bitters + Bottles includes a personalized kraft envelope- a nice touch, I think! Inside, I received a note about this month’s shipment and a new collection of recipes.
This box’s theme is “To London + Italy.”
Campari Aperitivo Liqueur (750 ml)- $25.50
Bitters + Bottles describes Campari as a polarizing spirit and writes, “Italian tradition says Campari must be tried three times before one begins to appreciate the taste.” The bitter flavor (which comes from a combination of herbs and fruits) is certainly distinct and robust, but I’m a big fan.
Plymouth Gin (750 ml)- $29.50
Gin is part of the foundation for any home bar and an essential ingredient in many classic cocktails. There are several different styles of gin, according to Bitters + Bottles. There’s the “sweetened Old Tom, the semi-sweet Plymouth, and the dry and juniper focused (that pine-y flavor) London style.”
Swingtop Bottle– $3.08
Bitters + Bottles included a swingtop bottle with this shipment. This is one of their favorite bar tools, and a great way to keep small quantities of simple syrup on hand.
Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth (375 ml)- $5.49
I also received sweet vermouth in my last Bitters + Bottles box. At first, I was wondering why I received another bottle, but then I remembered reading that vermouth has a shorter shelf life than other spirits. Since it is wine-based, the flavor of opened and un-refrigerated vermouth can start to change in as little as a month. Moving my vermouth to the fridge now!
Bitters + Bottles includes five classic cocktail recipes with each shipment. This month’s recipes are: Bee’s Knees, Rickey, Gin Fizz, Boulevard, and Negroni.
I decided to try making a Rickey, a Negroni, and a Bee’s Knees.
A Rickey is a drink I’ve certainly heard of (in movies, mostly), but I’ve never had one before. It’s a simple drink made of lime juice, club soda, and gin, bourbon, or rye. Since the other two cocktails I decided to make this month are gin based, I decided to use the Buffalo Trace I received in my last Bitters + Bottles box to make a Bourbon Rickey. The lack of added sweetener made for a very light, refreshing drink. I enjoyed it a lot, and I think the Rickey might be my new go-to summer cocktail!
The Negroni is hands-down my favorite cocktail, but I’ve never made one at home before (and had no idea what went into one). Thanks to Bitters + Bottles, I now know that a Negroni is made with gin, campari, sweet vermouth, and an orange peel. I love the bitterness of this cocktail, as well as the signature red color (from the Campari).
A Bee’s Knees is a prohibition-era cocktail made from gin, honey syrup, and lemon juice. According to Bitters + Bottles, this cocktail was founded because the homemade “bathtub” gin used during prohibition wasn’t good enough for a martini or a gin and tonic. The honey and lemon helped mask the flavor of the low-quality gin, so the Bee’s Knees was born. It’s even better with quality gin, of course, and the floral notes in the honey pair very well with gin’s botanical flavors. This was my husband’s favorite- it’s delicious and deceptively strong!
The Verdict: This is my second box from Bitters + Bottles, and, so far, I’m really enjoying my subscription! It’s so much fun trying out classic cocktail recipes at home, and I’m very impressed by the curation of ingredients and recipes. My husband and I love cocktails, but we usually lack the creativity and supplies to make them at home. I’m really excited that, over time, we’ll have a fully stocked bar and a solid collection of classic drink recipes at our disposal. As for value, the cost of the ingredients totals approximately $65. While this doesn’t meet the cost of the box, the value is still there for me. If you love classic cocktails and are looking to seriously upgrade your home bar, I would definitely recommend Bitters + Bottles!
What do you think of Bitters + Bottles?