Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review – December 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 8.
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 Box: Bitters + Bottles
The Cost: $85 per month + $23 shipping
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.
Every Bitters + Bottles box includes a note about the month’s theme and a selection of recipes.
This shipment’s theme is “By Any Other Name,” and the recipes spotlight classic tequila cocktails.
Espolon Reposado Tequila (750 ml.)- $25.50
The first spirit featured in this box is Epsilon Reposado Tequila. It has “a mild, juicy, slightly peppery scent and a surprising floral honeysuckle note with a lingering waft of smoke.” I really like the bottle art!
Arette Blanco Tequila (750 ml.)- $19.50
Arette Blanco Tequila is made from 100% agave and has “the aromas of herbs and citrus that characterize lowlands tequila.” I like that Bitters + Bottles included two different kinds of tequila in this box. It’ll be fun to try making cocktails with both blanco and reposado tequila.
Merlet Creme de Cassis Liqueur (375 ml.)- $15.50
Bitters + Bottles also included a bottle of Creme de Cassis in this month’s box. The classic, black currant liqueur can be combined with white wine to make a Kir and sparking white wine to make a Kir Royale.
Dos Manos Agave Nectar (11.75 oz.)- $6.50
Agave Nectar can be used as an alternative to simple syrup to sweeten cocktails. I think this is a clever addition to the box and a perfect accompaniment to tequila.
Bitters + Bottles includes five classic cocktail recipes with each shipment. This box’s cocktails are: Margarita, La Paloma, Agavoni, Pompier, and El Diabalo.
As soon as I opened this box and spotted all of the tequila, my mouth started watering for a Margarita! Many of my favorite local Mexican spots have a pretty decent bar program, so properly made Margaritas aren’t really unfamiliar to me. That said, when I want to make Margaritas at home, I’m still often guilty of relying on that neon green mix stuff. Looking at how easy it is to make real Margaritas, I’m vowing here and now to make them from scratch from now on! (Perhaps next up I’ll even learn how to make queso dip without processed American cheese!)
It’s amazing that such a simple recipe can produce such a delicious drink! I love the mild sweetness from the Triple Sec, the complexity of the tequila, and the zip from the lime. As you can see, I’m also a big fan of salt!
The Verdict: This is my eighth box from Bitters + Bottles, and my home bar is now very well stocked! I love that every box provides ingredients to make classic cocktails and that I’m actually learning how to make them as I go. The items in this box add up to about $67, which is within the range I’ve come to expect from this subscription. I understand that shipping full bottles of alcohol is expensive, and I don’t expect this to be a high-value box. Still, It would be nice to see the retail value of the ingredients meet the $85 (pre-shipping) cost of the box. As it currently stands, I think the cost is a little high.
Do you love classic cocktails? Have you tried Bitters + Bottles?