A few weeks ago I was driving to work and listening to one of my favorite podcasts called Stuff You Should Know and they made a reference to Shaker & Spoon, a monthly subscription box that sends you ingredients to make your own specialty cocktails. Those of you that know me well (or even a little bit) probably realize how excited this made me - two of my favorite things in the whole world (subscription boxes and booze!), combined into one. I've quite possibly never been so excited to get to my computer that morning so I could look up this company and get my hands on a box!
How it Works
Shaker & Spoon is a cocktail subscription built around one different liquor each month. Each box contains all the ingredients (other than the alcohol) for you to make a dozen drinks using 3 different cocktail recipes (all using the same liquor). You provide the booze and they basically provide the bartender. The box contains 5 cards - 1 card explaining the concept and includes a list of ingredients, 1 card is a glossary of bartending techniques/terms and appropriate glassware and 3 separate recipe cards that walk you through the cocktail making process. The recipe cards teach you how to mix, muddle, shake, stir and garnish the cocktails and the glossary explains everything you need to know to be a mixologist. Each box's glossary is specific to that month's box, but the full glossary can be found on their website.
When your box ships, you get an email with the shipping information, along with a few recommendations from the company for what liquor you should have ready (including specific brands) and the recommended barware. The email came a couple days before the box arrived, so I had plenty of time to make it to the grocery store and pick up a bottle of tequila. I like that they gave a mid-shelf and budget option, so I could choose between the two price points. While the barware is recommended and probably makes it easier to follow directions exactly, I will say that there were quite a few things that we didn't have on hand, but did just fine without.
What You Get
In addition to the cards described above, each Shaker & Spoon cocktail box includes all the ingredients to make 12 cocktails (4 of all 3 recipes). Everything you need to make the drinks (other than the booze and the ice) is included in the box (and almost always vegan), from citrus to syrups to salts. I loved pulling out each little vial of syrup or bag of spices to examine, taste and smell. All the syrups and salts are made in-house by the Shaker & Spoon team and they come in such awesome little bottles with droppers and pretty labels. I absolutely loved all the fun ingredients they sent. I can't even tell you how many times I've wanted to make a new recipe only to get discouraged because it called for simple syrup or bitters or something else I didn't have on hand, didn't want to make or didn't want to buy just to use a couple drops. But now!!! This makes it so incredibly easy to make fancy cocktails in your own home without any of the prep work or hassle of finding/making these ingredients.
I actually looked up some of their past ingredients to get a better idea of what I could expect and here are a few of my favorites: green tea kukicha twig syrup, floral celery bitters, black pepper ginger syrup, Kaffir lime leaves, hibiscus syrup, goji berries, orange bitters, spearmint extract, rosewater, lemon-infused sparkling water, cinnamon syrup and ginger flower syrup. I'm not even kidding.
Agave Blanco Box
The box I received was called the Agave Blanco Box and I purchased a bottle of Espolon tequila blanco (about $25). The box came with 4 limes, 1 lemon, 1 cucumber, 2 chili peppers, 1 bottle of ginger beer, tajin (spicy salt), hellfire tincture, mole bitters, simple syrup, agave syrup, and Mexican spice syrup. Don't ask me what all these are because I have no idea...but I do know they were delicious. The three recipes were the Burro Buck, the Old Oaxaca and the Jefe Del Pepino.
I have to admit that even though I bartended for a while prior to starting law school, I was a bit intimidated by the recipes. I love margaritas, cucumbers and ginger beer, but I didn't know how I was going to feel about these drinks, particularly if they were super spicy. However, I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I loved all of them. They had a hint of spice, but nothing was super intense or too powerful. Plus, once I made one drink, I knew how to dial the spice up or down based on the ingredients. I was really excited about how much I liked all the drinks, but of course I had a favorite, so let's start there.
The Burro Buck was a combination of limes, tequila, Mexican spice syrup and ginger beer. This cocktail was light and refreshing and crisp. I loved it and refused to even let Ryan have a sip because I wanted it all to myself. I loved the way the recipe has you cut lime slices and put in the drink - such a cool presentation and I felt so fancy drinking this!
The next cocktail we tried was the Old Oaxaca, which was made of tequila, agave syrup, bitters, hellfire tincture and lemons. This one was strong, but so so good. I loved the lemon in this one and it made me excited for the summer and lemonade cocktails by the pool. It was surprisingly easy to make, despite terms like swath and tincture.
Ryan's favorite cocktail of the three was the Jefe Del Pepino. This one had limes, cucumbers, tajin, simple syrup and chili peppers. This reminded me of a really fun twist on the classic margarita, with a tiny bit of spice, but also a refreshing cool cucumber flavor. It was really really good! I will be saving this recipe card and making this one again for sure!
At the end of the day (night), I was really happy with Shaker & Spoon's product and service. We had so much fun making and drinking the cocktails! Ryan and I took turns making each recipe over the course of three nights and really looked forward to trying out a new cocktail after a long day of work. These drinks were so much fancier than we were used to, but they didn't really take much additional time or effort to throw together since we had all the ingredients and the directions were really easy to follow. We felt so cool pulling our kids around the neighborhood in a wagon drinking our shaken, salted and syruped cocktails!
We also repeatedly said that this would be such a fun thing to do with another couple on a double date night - one couple brings the box, one couple brings the booze. Then each person could try 1 of all three drinks and everyone gets to take turns making the cocktails and picking their favorites. Or, wouldn't this be a really fun gift for a newlywed (or newly engaged) couple?
TODAY (March 31) the cost of a month-to-month cocktail box is $40 per box (one a month) or $110 for a 3-month prepay ($37/box). I think that's pretty reasonable for putting everything together, providing so many amazing and otherwise nearly impossible to find ingredients and curating such unique and fun recipes.
STARTING TOMORROW (April 1) the price of the subscription is going up to help with compensating bartenders for providing original recipes and to cover the price of even more amazing, original and exotic ingredients. The new price structure will be $50 for a month-to-month subscription, $135 for a 3-month prepay ($47), $252 for a 6-month prepay ($42/box) or $480 for a 12 month prepay ($40/box) plus a flat $5 shipping fee for each box.
Ryan and I had a blast with this and and we can't wait to do it again! Rumor has it that the next box is called "Vodka, Adventures & Spring, Oh My!" which quite possible could be my spirit animal. It'll include fun ingredients like cherry preserves, elderflower syrup, Meyer lemon juice and sage. You can bet your bottom dollar that I've already signed up for that one and for the rest of the summer!
And you can too! Because I love you and think you deserve a drink (or 4), just use the code RFTL10 to get 10% off your order. Sign up today to take advantage of the old pricing! Go now!
Which of these 3 recipes do you think you'd like the most?
What's your favorite fancy cocktail of choice?
*I received the product free in exchange for my honest opinion, but was not compensated for this review. All thoughts, opinions and preferences are 100% mine alone. Post contains no affiliate links.