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Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review – June 2015

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Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review - June 2015 - Box

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.

Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review - June 2015 - Inside

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.

Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review - June 2015 - Packing

My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review - June 2015 - Contents

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 Subscription Box Review - June 2015 - Envelope

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.

Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review - June 2015 - Note

This box’s theme is “To London + Italy.”

Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review - June 2015 - Campari

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.

Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review - June 2015 - Gin

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.”

Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review - June 2015 - Bottle

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.

Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review - June 2015 - Vermouth

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 Subscription Box Review - June 2015 - Recipes

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.

Rickey

Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review - June 2015 - Rickey

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!

Negroni

Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review - June 2015 - Negroni

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).

Bee’s Knees

Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review - June 2015 - Bees

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?

Written by Lindsey Morse

Lindsey Morse

Lindsey is a professional baker by day and a subscription box junkie by night. She first subscribed to Birchbox in 2013 and her addiction grew when she signed up for Graze, PopSugar, and Knoshy. Her favorite part about being a subscription box addict is discovering new products- especially gourmet goodies, beauty products, and kitchen tools!
All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.

12 Comments

  1. Lindsey – I would also recommend in addition to/instead of writing the reviews by month (like June or July) you include #1 or #2 as with this subscription, it’s not based on what comes out what month but rather which in the series you are getting. That is, if someone starts in August they will get what you got in Jun and then in Sept what you got in July. Thisr subscription is a series of boxes that are doled out in order no matter when you start.

  2. I’m drinking a cocktail right now with sweet vermouth (DEFINITELY refrigerate it!): it’s gin (I used Tanqueray), sweet vermouth (I used Gallo), and white grapefruit juice. Garnish with a lemon wedge is optional. It’s known as a gin rummy around here (Michigan).

  3. I wish I lived in a state that could receive this box. It looks like a fun way to build your home bar. I do love reading the reviews though and hitting up my local liquor store to buy these items on my own and build my own subscription box 🙂 Thanks for the great review and the new drinks to try.

  4. I got my first one and while I’m already a mixologist amongst my friends and had most of the stuff, the buffalo trace bourbon was a nice addition for me. To note, I would categorize this sub as #1, #2, etc. rather than Apr, May, Jun – as whenever you start you get #1. May was my first so I got the first box, in Jun I will get the 2nd which is not what is shown here (Lindsey may be on #8 in Jun for example). Just a clarification

    • Thanks for the note, Marlene! I think #1, #2, etc. is a good way to label each box. I’ll add that to next month’s review. Just as an FYI- this is my review of box #2 (the Buffalo Trace box I reviewed last month was #1).

  5. This is one of those times I wish I didn’t live in Alabama. This looks like it’d be right up my alley.

  6. Really wish this was available in my state, but to be honest, this month’s didn’t leave me feeling too bad. All of the bottles included are readily available in my town and I can probably pick them up for less than $55.

    I would love to see this come with some more artisinal products, like small batch spirits and unique bitters.

    • I agree with this ^^^ … in fact, I’ll probably head to my store to pick up some local DryFly gin, download a couple of these recipes and get started! 🙂 Nice of them to replace your vermouth, but they should have done it a couple months out. I, too, would subscribe if the value was better, and especially in the Portland area, there are a ton of small batch distilleries I would love to see included.

    • Hi Kate!

      You might want to check out Crafted Taste- craftedtaste(dot)com. They offer a similar cocktail subscription (and a second subscription for mixers only that ships nationwide). We don’t currently review it, but I believe you can see what was in this month’s box if you visit their website. 🙂

  7. I’d try it if the value was at least par. looks super fun though!

  8. This is such a cool subscription. I really enjoy these reviews!

  9. I wish they had a less expensive version looks like a fun way to try new cocktails.

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