Create Craft Cocktails In The Comfort Of Your Own Home With These Subscription Boxes

Add mixologist to your resumé.

craft cocktail subscription boxes

Nothing soothes the pain of a hectic day like a delicious craft cocktail. While going to a bar is fun, sometimes the stress of making plans with friends, fighting traffic, finding parking, or an expensive bill negates the relaxation the beverage provides. Or sometimes, leaving home (and comfy clothes) just isn’t appealing, even though the thought of a well-made spritzer is enticing. So, what’s one to do when they want the delicious high-end bar experience at home? Enter: craft cocktail subscription boxes!

These types of membership services can help turn any casual drinker into a master mixologist. While each company and box is different, cocktail subscription boxes provide all (or almost all of) the ingredients and tools you need to make crafted alcoholic beverage in the comfort of your own home. Tiffanie Barriere, aka The Drinking Coach has some helpful insight and advice to help navigate the burgeoning world of cocktail subscription boxes. ?(Barriere was previously the beverage director for seven years of One Flew South and is currently a co-chair of the Dame Hall of Fame at Tales of the Cocktail, and working towards becoming a cocktail historian. So, she knows her stuff.)

While some cocktail aficionados might turn their nose up at homemade drinks, this cocktail maven has a different opinion of subscription cocktail boxes. “They're so cool!” Barriere says. “[They] give you the chance to make your own cocktails with your own spin.” In addition to amateurs gaining more of an understanding about the art of craft cocktails and experimenting, she believes there are plenty of additional benefits for the consumer from soup to nuts.

Cocktail Courier

“You get to see the hard work that goes into being a bartender,” Barriere explains. “Getting the proper shake and garnishing and you know, it's kind of the perfectionism that comes into making a cocktail. But also, you're saving a little bit of money from going out and about and sitting at a bar. When you're out at a bar, you may order something because it looks interesting, but what if you don't like it and you've wasted your money there? It’s a lot better when you're at home and you get a little more curious to taste those ingredients before you incorporate them.”

Barriere is also enthused that cocktail subscription boxes give more people access to craft cocktails than they might otherwise have. “Maybe you have children or maybe there isn't a nice bar nearby, so you can be your own craft bar at home and that's so cool,” she reiterates. She also hopes the convenience of these boxes will inspire more people to make craft cocktails their beverage of choice at home, especially for those who live in areas that experience bad winter weather. “Sometimes it gets so easy to buy a bottle of wine, but why not have a great bar experience at home in the colder months? You don't have to put on your jacket or shovel any snow.”

What To Look For In A Cocktail Subscription Box

There are a variety of different subscription boxes that offer different cocktail elements, but Barriere makes no bones about the fact that she prefers subscription cocktail kits that include the starring element: the spirit. “We want the full monty,” she says. “Yes, I love to have alcohol included. When you're looking for your perfect box, you want to look for one with maybe two different spirits. Something dark and something light that you can work with.”

The master mixologist thinks sampling more liquors gives the customer the greatest ROI in terms of expanding their palate and discovering new brands. “The subscriber, [has] the chance to build their own cocktail with that spirit, but it also gives the brands who make those bottles a chance to be experienced in the home as well,” she says. “Because when we're out at a bar, there are so many different varieties and profiles, but if you're given a certain profile at home from a brand, you may fall in love and that may be your go-to.”

As for her other recommended elements in the box, Barriere has a list of non-negotiables. “Some recipe cards that give you a variety of things to do with your spirits, not just the said cocktail they give you [the recipe for], but other things you can shift with the syrups are very fun,” she advises. “We want some syrups inside or sparkling water options that can shift the flavor profile with or without alcohol.”

She is also partial to kits that include non-drinkable items to assist in the cocktail-making process. “We love to see some tools. A cool spoon or a coaster, maybe a glass that really adds to the effect in the aesthetics,” she emphasizes.

How To Choose A Cocktail Subscription Box

Despite Barriere’s professional advice, she believes that choosing the perfect box comes down to the individual and their specific needs. “They have to think about how much they drink in general. So maybe a box that has a variety of mixers versus the spirit would be a great way to save some money,” she suggests. “That way you can purchase your own bottle at home. Then you can play with those profiles with the spirit.”

Cocktail Subscription Boxes To Try

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Cocktail Courier

If you want to try Barriere’s personal favorite cocktail subscription box, look no further. “I'm a sucker for Cocktail Courier, “she says. “They do it right. They were ahead of their time when they created this and now they're on top.” Cocktail Courier allows you to choose your spirit preferences, making sure you get boxes and cocktails you’ll love. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, choose their one-off boxes.

Shaker & Spoon

Got a bunch of booze at home? Shaker & Spoon’s boxes include everything (other than alcohol) to make three different cocktails (12 in total), including bitters, mixers, citrus, and small-batch house-made syrups. Each specialty box contains step-by-step recipes from award-winning mixologists, making it easy to play mixologist at home. They also have an online store to re-order any ingredients you love as well as barware.

Crafted Taste

Talk about the full monty! This box comes in three tiers to suit your budget and your cocktail needs. Choose from a kit with only craft mixers, or craft mixers with full-sized bottles of alcohol. Each kit contains recipes for four craft cocktails and gives the option to purchase a subscription or á la carte if you want to change your order up each month.


These curated cocktail kits include ingredients and instructions for two different craft cocktails. They allow you to preview each month’s box and skip the shipment if the beverages don’t tickle your fancy. Alcohol is shipped separately from SaloonBox’s liquor retail partners.