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Bitters + Bottles Subscription Box Review – February 2016

This post may contain referral/affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

Bitters-February-2016-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.

Bitters-February-2016-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. If you sign up for a subscription, you will begin with Box 1. This is a review of Box 10.

Bitters-February-2016-Packing

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.)

Bitters-February-2016-Contents

The Subscription Box: Bitters + Bottles

The Cost: $85 per month + $23 shipping (Note that when I signed up for Bitters + Bottles, the price was $95 per month with shipping included. They have since re-vamped their subscription, and the price listed above is for the new model, which includes more bottles and fancier cards than the box I receive.)

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.

Check out all of our Bitters + Bottles Reviews and visit the Drink Subscription Box Directory to find other boozy boxes!

Bitters-February-2016-Envelope

Every Bitters + Bottles box includes a note about the month’s theme and a selection of recipes.

Bitters-February-2016-Note

This shipment’s theme is “Old Tom,” and this box is all about the Gin & Tonic!

Bitters-February-2016-Gin

Hayman’s Old Tom Gin (750 ml.)- $34.99 (on sale for $30.99)

Old Tom Gin is marked by it’s intense botanicals and light sweetness. Hayman’s is balanced and mild.

Bitters-February-2016-Luxardo

Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur (750 ml.)- $34.99 (on sale for $31.49)

Luxardo’s cherry-flavored liqueur has been made in Padova, Italy since 1821.

Bitters-February-2016-LuxardoLabel

“It has an earthy nose and a sweet, creamy wild berry flavor with spice.”

Bitters-February-2016-Tonic

Small Hand Foods Tonic Syrup (8.5 oz.)- $10

Tonic syrup contains quinine from the cinchona tree, originally found in Peru. Many modern tonics use synthetic quinine instead of the real thing, but not this one. To craft their syrup, Small Hand Foods boils authentic cinchona bark in organic cane syrup.

Bitters-February-2016-Recipes

Bitters + Bottles includes five classic cocktail recipes with each shipment. This box’s cocktails are: Hemingway Daiquiri, Ampersand, Casino, Tom Collins, and Martinez.

Casino

Bitters-February-2016-CasinoRecipe

The Casino was invented in the 1910’s by Hugo Ensslin, a cocktail book author who, unfortunately, published his collection of recipes right before prohibition. Understandably, this limited its reach and left room for post-prohibition mixologists to take credit for his drinks. While he invented a number of different drinks, the Casino is one of his best. It’s a mix of Old Tom Gin, Maraschino Liqueur, lemon juice, and orange bitters and is garnished with a maraschino cherry.

Bitters-February-2016-Casino

How pretty is this cocktail? I love the botanical gin flavors with the citrus elements, and the addition of Luxardo makes this something truly unique and unexpected!

Gin & Tonic

Bitters-February-2016-TonicRecipe

Okay, so the Gin & Tonic isn’t technically one of the cocktails featured in this box, but it’s discussed at length on the info card. (I suppose it’s too simple for Bitters + Bottles to include on a recipe card.) I’ve never tasted tonic syrup before, so I wanted to give it a try. Bitters + Bottles provided the following recipe: 1 part syrup, 2 parts gin, and 3 parts club soda.

Bitters-February-2016-GinTonic

Apart from the unusual color, this Gin & Tonic was extremely familiar! I think the tonic syrup gave the drink slightly more flavor and a little less sweetness than traditional bottled tonic water, which was definitely a good thing. Consider me converted. From now on, I’m going to keep a bottle of tonic syrup in my fridge!

Verdict: The end of my subscription to Bitters + Bottles is in sight, and I’ll be sad to see it end. I’ve greatly enjoyed my cocktail education, and my home bar is stocked full. (I’ve actually finished a couple of the first bottles I was sent, so it might be time to think about restocking them.) The retail value of the items in this box totals $80, which is one of the highest values I’ve seen from Bitters + Bottles. While I typically like to see the value of included items meet the cost of the box, I do think it’s important to keep in mind that shipping full-sized bottles of alcohol is expensive. In addition to the actual products sent by Bitters + Bottles, I also think it’s important to acknowledge the intangible aspects of this box. For me, the education about spirits and cocktails I’ve received has been great.

Do you love classic cocktails? Have you tried 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.

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