Shaker & Spoon Subscription Box Review + Coupon – June 2016
Shaker & Spoon is a monthly subscription box that sends you everything you need (except the alcohol) to create bar-worthy cocktails at home.
Each box focuses on a particular type of alcohol and includes step-by-step original recipes and specialty ingredients.
You can skip boxes at any time, so there’s no need to worry if you don’t like a particular spirit. (If you don’t like gin, for example, you can skip boxes that feature it.)
Shaker & Spoon strives to make all of their boxes naturally vegan. If a box is not vegan, it is their policy to explicitly mention it when the box is announced.
Because the boxes contain perishable produce, Shaker & Spoon sends their boxes via USPS 2-day priority.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: Shaker & Spoon
The Cost: $50 per month + $5 shipping (Discounts are available with longer subscription commitments.)
COUPON: Save 15% off your first box with coupon code MSA15 (1 & 3-month subscriptions)
The Products: All of the ingredients (except the alcohol) to make 12 cocktails from 3 different recipes.
Ships to: US
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
Back in April, Shaker & Spoon announced that they would be teaming up with Bar Rescue’s Russell Davis. Davis now oversees Shaker & Spoon’s curation, and seeks out recipes from talented bartenders around the world to feature in every box.
Shaker & Spoon posts instructional videos on their website to assist subscribers with the mixing of their cocktails. I think this is a great supplemental tool, and it really does help to de-mystify some of the techniques they use. If you’d like to check out the videos, they’re all available here.
Each Shaker & Spoon box is created to showcase a different type of liquor. This is the “Celebrate with Bubbles!” box, and it features cocktails made with sparkling wine.
Cocktail #1- Time after Thyme
Ingredients: grapefruit juice, thyme-cucumber syrup, celery bitters, bubbly, and grapefruit zest
I love sparkling wine, and I often order Champagne cocktails when I’m out on the town. (The French 75 is one of my all-time favorites!) I was so excited to see that this month’s Shaker & Spoon box is all about bubbly!
The first drink featured this month is Time after Thyme, a creation by Pamela Wiznitzer, creative director and bartender at NYC’s Mistress. This drink was really interesting! I love grapefruit, and I found this drink to be refreshing and complex. It was fairly sweet, but the grapefruit juice helped balance out the sweetness.
Cocktail #2- Pink Peppercorn Potion
Ingredients: pink peppercorn-strawberry syrup, lemon juice, Peychaud’s bitters, and bubbly
The second featured drink this month was created by Zach Patterson of LA’s Melrose Umbrella (which was named “Best Modern Cocktail Bar” in 2014 by LA Weekly). Based on the name of this drink, I was expecting it to have some potent peppery notes, but I didn’t really pick up on any. The taste was nice, though, and I thought the drink had a nice sweet & tart flavor.
Cocktail #3- Kumquat Whynot?
Ingredients: nectarine syrup, kumquat-raspberry nectar, sugar cube, bubbly, and an orange wheel
This drink was beautiful, but the recipe seemed extremely off balanced to me. It was very sweet (it tasted like juice), and the recipe called for only 1 oz. of champagne per drink. That’s pretty weak for a cocktail…
The Verdict: I’ve been receiving boxes from Shaker & Spoon since the subscription first launched, and I’m a big fan of the concept. As always, this month’s drinks were beautiful, and I really enjoyed the creative, homemade syrups and innovative recipes. Unfortunately, though, I thought this box was less successful than some of Shaker & Spoon’s previous offerings. The Time after Thyme and Pink Peppercorn Potion were both tasty, but I think both drinks lacked the flavors promised in the title (thyme and peppercorn). While the Time after Thyme did have a subtle herbaceous flavor, I didn’t really pick up on the specific earthy and aromatic flavor of thyme, and I thought the flavor of pink peppercorn was completely absent from the Pink Peppercorn Potion. Still, despite their slightly misleading titles, I did really like both of the drinks. For me, the biggest problem this month was with the Kumquat Whynot? drink. While it may technically qualify as a cocktail, with only 1 oz of sparkling wine it tasted like juice and felt more like a mocktail. Shaker & Spoon sources their recipes from some of the world’s top bartenders, and, for me, there’s great appeal in recreating drinks from top mixologists at home in my own kitchen. At $4.58 per cocktail (before the cost of alcohol), I expect that the recipes I’m sent will rival the ones I can purchase in high-end cocktail bars, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a drink as weak as the Kumquat Whynot? on a cocktail menu. (There’s certainly no way I would pay “cocktail bar prices” for it.) At $55 per box, I have to hold Shaker & Spoon to a very high standard. There’s no way the ingredients sent are worth that much, so the curation has to be on point in order to justify the premium cost. I expect to be dazzled by the recipes they send, and unfortunately that didn’t happen this month. Next month’s theme is “Summer Scotch,” and I’m hoping it will be more successful.
Do you subscribe to Shaker & Spoon? What did you think of this month’s cocktails?