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Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review – July 2015

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Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review - July 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.

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. If you sign up for a subscription, you will begin with Box 1. This is a review of Box 3.

Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review - July 2015 - Inside

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 - July 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 - July 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 - July 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 - July 2015 - Note

This box’s theme is “Evil Under the Sun.” Inspiration for this box comes from the 1982 film of the same name, which stars Maggie Smith as the host of a 1930’s cocktail party held an exclusive resort on the Adriatic Sea. Three of this box’s featured cocktails are served in the film.

Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review - July 2015 - Benedictine

Benedictine Liqueur (375 ml)- $17.50

I’ve bought Benedictine a few times before because it’s used in my favorite Thanksgiving cocktail, but I didn’t really know anything about it before this box! It turns out that Benedictine is an herbal liquor that’s made with 27 different plants and spices. It dates back over 500 years to when it was used as a secret elixir by monk Dom Bernardo Vincelli in 1510.

(Note: I’ve taken pricing info from the Bitters + Bottles website, however I have a bottle of Benedictine in my cabinet that still has its $22.95 price tag attached.)

Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review - July 2015 - Cognac

Camus Elegance VS Cognac (750 ml)- $33.50

I also know very little about Cognac, and it’s not a spirit I usually keep stocked in my bar. I was intrigued to learn that, along with gin and whisky, it’s one of the most common bases for classic cocktails. According to Bitters + Bottles, Camus Cognac is “honeyed, dry and luscious” and “displays delicious flavors, including honey, vanilla bean, pork sausage, cinnamon and nutmeg.”

Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review - July 2015 - Combier

Combier D’Orange Liqueur (375 ml)- $16.50

Cointreau has always been my go-to Triple Sec (for no reason other than habit), so I’m glad to see that Bitters + Bottles has included a brand that’s new to me. Combier is similar to Cointreau (both are distilled from sugar beets), but Combier claims to be the first Triple Sec ever made. It dates back to 1834, where it was made in France from Haitian orange peels.

Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review - July 2015 - Recipes

Bitters + Bottles includes five classic cocktail recipes with each shipment. This month’s recipes are: Sidecar, Harvard, Pegu Club, Between the Sheets #2, and Mainbrace.

I decided to try making a Between the Sheets # 2 and a Pegu Club.

Between the Sheets # 2

Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review - July 2015 - Sheetsrecipe

Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review - July 2015 - Sheets

(Note that the alternate recipe for this drink, Between the Sheets #1, is made with rum instead of Benedictine.)

A Between the Sheets is a cocktail that I’ve heard of before, but one that I don’t think I’ve ever tried. It’s made with cognac, Benedictine, triple sec, lemon juice, and an orange peel garnish. According to the recipe card, the drink’s name was quite risqué back in the 1930’s, though it’s rather tame by today’s standards of innuendo. I like this drink quite a lot. The citrus notes blend beautifully with the earthier flavors of the cognac, and the twist of orange is so pretty! I suppose it’s a long shot, but I wonder if this drink helped coin the phrase “three sheets to the wind”?

Pegu Club

Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review - July 2015 - PeguClubrecipe

Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review - July 2015 - PeguClub

The Pegu Club is a drink I’ve never heard of before. According to the recipe card, it’s a cocktail that was developed in British Colonial Burma, at a Victorian gentleman’s club situated on the banks of the Pegu River. I found this 1910’s postcard of the club, thanks to Wikipedia:

Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review - July 2015 - PeguPostcard

The drink was so popular that it quickly spread around the world, and, tasting it, I can certainly see why! I love the complexity of the bitters with the dry gin and citrusy triple sec. The lime juice adds a refreshing edge, and I’m sure this drink was a welcome cooler for the suited Brits who frequented the Burmese club.

The Verdict: This is my third 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. Even after only three months, our bar is looking fairly well stocked and we’ve built up a good number of recipes! (I’m also thrilled that we’re learning how to make cocktails- we had friends over recently for a cocktail night and it was fun to show off our new skills!) As for value, the cost of the ingredients in this box totals $67.50. While that 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 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.


  1. Looks like they changed the subscription to $85 a month BUT they add mandatory $23 shipping which makes it $108 a month which is just not worth it to be honest. Does anyone else subscribe to this? Are any current subscribers affected by this? Kind of disappointed. Was going to join at the $95 rate but not anymore.

  2. I wish this came to our state! I suspect with the high taxes here it would actually be a pretty good deal (which is probably also why we can’t get it..). Shipping is probably pricey and it might not always be that easy to find the exact brands so there’s a convenience factor too (although somewhat mitigated by the need to have someone sign for the box – not all employers would appreciate a heavy personal package showing up!). We’re really enjoying the reviews.

    I had my husband that if we subscribed to this box by the end of a year we’d have a fully stocked bar and is response was “that assumes we haven’t drank it all” good point…

  3. I love the sub BUT the items cost about $30 less than the box. I emailed them about it. I mean we can just read the reviews and buy the same things cheaper. My sub with tax is $103.55 so the is a HUGE difference from the stated value. They say free shipping so they must be actually rolling that in plus the cost of the cards. It just doesn’t make sense.

    I may switch to crafted taste instead. They’re pricey, but the value is there.

  4. Hi Lindsey

    Not sure you saw my comment on you Jun review, but you may want to let people know that rather than month by month, this sub is by the number. So although yours is a July review it’s really a #3 review. If someone subs for starting in August, they will get what you got in may. Everyone gets the same series no matter when they start.

    Just FYI

    • Woops ignore comment, I see you mentioned it above !

  5. This looks like a really fun sub. Your reviews are really helpful, thank you!

  6. The film was based on a book by Agatha Christie – a pretty famous author. Most of her books have been made into multiple TV and film adaptations, but they’re worth reading first.

    This does look like a fun subscription.

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