When I turned 21 a friend gave me a copy of The Bartender’s Handbook for my birthday. Before then, I think I might have had a few sips of a Mike’s Hard Lemonade at a party — I wasn’t exactly a drinker. I quickly became obsessed with the book, however, and started holding weekly cocktail parties at my house after one of my night classes where a small group of us would try and make a new cocktail each week.
It was fun, but also expensive. When you don’t own any liquor and want to try something that has six ingredients, you have to buy six things. Multiply that by four weeks in the month, and we were talking about a ton of cash. I was also buying full bottles of things I might only need a few ounces of (I’m still toting around a bottle of banana liquor over a decade later).
Now one subscription service, Cocktail Courier, has taken the idea of learning a new cocktail to a new level: they send you everything you need, pre-measured, in the mail and all you have to do is mix. That means there’s no shopping to do on your end, and you always have everything you need to make the perfect drink, but not so much of it that you need to expand your liquor cabinet. It’s like those subscription food services, except with booze, and it’s amazing.
When you subscribe, you tell Cocktail Courier what sort of liquor you like (or that you like everything), and then Cocktail Courier sends you a box each month loaded with everything you need to make something amazing for a small party of people. Subscriptions can be weekly, bi- monthly or monthly and ordered in various sizes, depending on how large your average cocktail party tends to be.
I received my first box recently, a kit for making daiquiris. Inside there were several smaller bottles of run, some pre-made simple syrup, and fresh limes. There was also printed instructions explaining how to make the daiquiri action happen. Total cost of the box was $40, and the kit made six drinks. Was it a little more expensive than buying the ingredients on my own, sure. But would I have purchased fresh limes for the recipe? Probably not. There’s something to be said for someone handling the logistics for you.
If subscription services aren’t your thing, you can also order kits for different cocktails a la carte. Current options include Rum Old Fashioned, Java Royale, Lavender Paloma, and Tourist Trap. Drinks are designed by bartenders, so you’ll get some interesting options mixed in with the staples. One thing they all are: delicious.