Elizabeth Brownfield is a writer, editor, and researcher who specializes in food, travel, home, and lifestyle content. She's worked on the staffs of Domino, Martha Stewart, Metropolitan Home, and Every Day with Rachael Ray magazines, and was Senior Digital Editor at Food Network.
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Knowing how to make a decent cocktail is a good skill to have. But even the simpler builds—an Old Fashioned, Negroni, or Daiquiri—require quality ingredients and at least a bit of planning, and at times it’s just easier (and more fun) to leave the shopping in someone else’s hands.
Cocktail subscription boxes are a great way to expand your bag of boozy tricks with little to no legwork. And there’s a club for every kind of drinker, from ready-to-pour nonalcoholic elixirs to cocktail kits with full-sized bottles as a means of growing your bar collection while upping your cocktail game. Here are our favorite cocktail subscription boxes.
SaloonBox is the total package—if you’re looking for a true cocktail-in-a-box, this is your best bet. This company also works in collaboration with sought-after bartenders to bring its boxes to life, the main difference being the inclusion of the actual spirit. Plus, the spirits featured by SaloonBox, which all come in minis, are generally hard (if not impossible) to find in sizes other than standard 750-milliliter bottles, which means there’s an air of exclusivity. Each month’s delivery focuses on two different cocktail recipes with enough ingredients to make two of each (so four cocktails total).
SaloonBox charges $173 for three months prepaid ($58 per box), $339 for six months prepaid ($57 per box), and $656 for one year prepaid ($55 per box) with shipping included. If your state doesn’t allow spirits shipping (or if you’d prefer to use your own stock), you can always opt for the “Everything But the Booze” option, which includes all the ingredients you need except the alcohol.
You can also enhance your first box with a set of barware for either shaken or stirred drinks for $69 each). And, if you don’t feel like subscribing, you can always purchase a one-time box.
Curious Elixirs’ Curious Cocktail Club
If you’re not imbibing, that doesn’t mean you should have to miss out on the craft cocktail experience—after all, the usual suspects can get old after a while (we’re looking at you, soda). The Curious Cocktail Club is an excellent option for those not partaking, offering thoughtful, spirit-free cocktails that are made by hand in New York’s Hudson Valley.
The team strives to use organic ingredients whenever possible, and there’s never any added sugar in the recipes. Curious offers four different cocktails: a Spritz riff, a pineapple Margarita/Dark & Stormy hybrid, a bitter-forward Negroni-inspired pomegranate cocktail, and a Collins-esque blend of lemon, cucumber, and herbs. Herbs like ashwagandha and rhodiola are a constant in all of the elixirs.
In terms of club offerings, you can subscribe to any of the individual elixirs (you’ll get a 15 percent discount) at $39 for eight cocktails in four bottles or $117 for 24 cocktails in 12 bottles. With over 1,000 five-star reviews, this mindful and adventurous brand is ideal for anyone looking for the perfect booze-free cocktail.
Commonly referred to as “the Blue Apron of cocktails,” Shaker & Spoon provides members with all of the ingredients necessary to make each month’s original cocktail recipes except the alcohol. Every cocktail featured by Shaker & Spoon is created by a bar industry heavy-hitter—think reigning Campari queen and Dante vet Stacey Swenson, the Bay Area’s legendary Christian Suzuki-Orellana, and Speed Rack champion Haley Traub, to name a select few. What's more, you’ll get three different recipes with enough supplies to make four rounds (12 cocktails total).
Each box’s recipes are centered around the same spirit; you’ll only have to shop for one bottle if you don’t already have what you need.
Shaker & Spoon costs $59 should you choose to pay month-to-month but offers a discount if you prepay ($169 for three months, $319 for six months, or $599 for one year). No matter which plan you choose, you’re not locked into anything, so you can skip a box or cancel altogether at any time.
For those just getting their toes wet in the world of cocktails or for others who enjoy mixing up a good drink at home without breaking the bank, American Cocktail Club is a great option in more ways than one.
This is a fun, no-frills monthly cocktail subscription that reliably brings you the same, refreshingly simple format every time: one recipe card, one can of carbonated mixer, one small bottle of blended juice, four mini-bottles of spirit, and one extra (either a garnish, additional mixer, or a bar tool).
Each box makes four cocktails and costs between $49 and $55, depending on whether or not you select a prepaid option (you’ll be given a small incremental discount per box if you opt to prepay for three, six, or 12 months). Otherwise, if your bar is already well-stocked, you can order the “Everything But the Booze” box, which costs between $39 and $45. Members can cancel at any point without penalty, and one-time purchases are available as well.
Crafted Taste is among the few cocktail subscription services out there that includes both mixers and a full-sized bottle (although this company also offers a mixer-specific subscription). The price for the full-sized spirit with mixers box is priced accordingly, making Crafted Taste this list’s splurge-worthy pick.
With the full month-to-month kit, you’ll receive supplies (a full-sized bottle and locally sourced mixers) to make up to 16 cocktails, along with comprehensive instructions to help you craft the perfect drink each and every time. One of the most appealing features of Crafted Taste is its flexibility: You’ll know ahead of time what’s in your upcoming box, and if it’s something you don’t like or already have, you can either opt out, upgrade, or downgrade for that month. All month-to-month plans can be canceled at any time without penalty.
This club costs $150 per month, and upgrading to the Premium subscription for top-shelf bottles will run you $200 per month. Shipping is included with all subscriptions.
What Is a Cocktail Subscription Box?
There are alcohol delivery services, and then there are monthly cocktail subscription boxes—a curated experience designed to make you a better bartender while saving you the hassle of planning and prepping for mixing great drinks at home. Often, these services will work with experts from the front lines of the bartending scene to create original cocktail recipes, and depending on which club you choose, you’ll receive all of the ingredients necessary to bring anywhere from two to 16 cocktails to life per shipment.
Note that some clubs include the alcohol with the required cocktail ingredients and some do not. The latter can be a great option for those who are looking to put their already-stocked home bar to use or for members in states with tricky alcohol shipping laws, while the former is ideal for growing your home bar without driving to the store.
Which Kinds of Cocktails Are Included in a Subscription Box?
Most of the cocktails featured in cocktail subscription boxes are original in nature to some degree. Often they are riffs on classic builds, but others are created in collaboration with professional bartenders at the top of their game. Expect to receive cocktails specific to one or two spirits. There are also several top-notch nonalcoholic cocktail subscription boxes out there, such as Curious Elixirs’ Curious Cocktail Club with two-serving bottles of thoughtful, spirit-free cocktails.
How Much Do Cocktail Subscription Boxes Cost?
Mixers-only boxes are less expensive than kits that include alcohol, going for as little as $49 per month with American Cocktail Club and as high as $200 per month for Crafted Taste’s mixers box. Most of these clubs offer penalty-free cancellation, so don’t be afraid to try one out and decide whether or not you’d like to stick with it or try another.
How We Chose the Best Cocktail Subscription Boxes
We put together this list of the best cocktail subscription boxes using a handful of different evaluation criteria: quality, price, variety, cancellation policies, company ethics, and more. It’s also key to take non-drinkers into consideration to ensure that there’s truly something for everybody. Whether with or without alcohol, the clubs we’ve selected are all praised for their quality.