Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review – October 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.
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 6.
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.
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: $85 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 shipment’s theme is “Stirred, Not Shaken.” (Sorry, James Bond.) It spotlights perhaps the most famous cocktail of all time- the Martini!
Boyd and Blair Vodka (750 ml)- $32.50
First up in this month’s shipment is a potato-based vodka from Boyd and Blair, a small producer based in Pennsylvania. It has a fruity aroma and a clean finish, which makes it a good base for a number of different cocktails. I like that the bottle is hand labeled; I think that’s a nice touch.
Beefeater Gin (750 ml)- $18.99 (on sale for $14.99)
Beefeater Gin is a classic spirit and something I remember seeing in my parents’ liquor cabinet when I was a kid. It’s made in England and has strong assertive flavors.
Vya Vermouth (375 ml)- $13.99
This is the third bottle of vermouth I’ve received since beginning my subscription with Bitters + Bottles. Vermouth isn’t something I used to keep on hand, and I’ve learned so much about the different kinds of vermouth and their varied applications. This dry vermouth from Vya is light in color and perfect for use in martinis.
Fever Tree Ginger Beer (6.8 oz.)- $2
I’m a big fan of ginger beer, and I really like Fever Tree’s version- it has a nice spicy ginger flavor. My only complaint is that I wish Bitters + Bottles had included more than one bottle!
Bitters + Bottles includes five classic cocktail recipes with each shipment. This month’s recipes are: Martini, Moscow Mule, Chrysanthemum, Algonquin, and Bronx.
I decided to make a Martini and a Moscow Mule.
I love olives, and dirty Martinis have always been one of my favorite cocktails. (It’s like a snack and a drink in one!) There are a number of different variations, though, when it comes to Martinis. They can be made with either gin or vodka and garnished with citrus or olives. An Upside Down reverses the proportions (so more vermouth than vodka or gin), a Gibson is garnished with a cocktail onion, and a Fifty Fifty is half spirit and half vermouth.
For this drink, I made a classic vodka martini with an olive garnish. Bitters + Bottles puts it best, I think, when they describe the classic drink as “crisp and businesslike.” (Though I’m not sure I could do much business after drinking one!)
A couple of months ago, I ordered the “Copper” box from Bespoke Post, which contained copper mugs- the vessel of choice for Moscow Mules! (You can see Liz’s review of the box here.) I’m a little obsessed with them, so making a Moscow Mule was a no brainer.
The Verdict: This is my sixth box from Bitters + Bottles, which means I’m exactly halfway though the subscription. (Bitters + Bottles consists of 12 boxes, shipped sequentially.) My home bar has been transformed, and I love that I’m learning how to make classic cocktails at home. I really like Martinis and vodka-based cocktails, so this box was a big hit for me. The value comes in at approximately $65, which is within the range I’ve come to expect. Ideally, I’d like to see the ingredients meet the cost of the box, but the curation of this box is great and adds value for me. Also, I think it’s important to point out that this box must be pretty expensive to ship. I’ve been really happy with this subscription, and I love that it’s providing me with both an impressive home bar and a bartending education!
What do you think about the cocktails featured in this box from Bitters + Bottles? Are you a fan of Martinis?