It’s not uncommon for me to make buying purchases suggested by Instagram ads. Call me a sucker, but their algorithm is pretty accurate. One of the ads I’ve been seeing lately is for the Shaker & Spoon subscription box. Since I regularly make cocktails at home, I wondered if this was really something that I would find value in. The promise from each box is the makings for 12 cocktails from three recipes created by professional bartenders for $50. (You can save a little money if you pre-pay. You can also get 50% off your first box through this link.) All you need to supply is the alcohol. I reached out and asked for a box to review, although I always give my honest opinion. Here’s a review of Shaker & Spoon.
Pictured above are the contents of the New Frontiers box. Each box comes with a card with a link to a personalized page of things to have on hand for the theme. Luckily, I had a brand new bottle of J. Rieger & Co. whiskey, which the list recommended, the glasses they suggested, barware, and plenty of ice on hand.
Drink 1: Hygroscopy til You Droppy
The first drink I picked from the box was fun and easy to make. I really loved the finishing step which was a spritz of spearmint on top. It gave it a unique and complex profile while keeping the beverage light and refreshing. In past experience with whiskey cocktails, I have sometimes found them to be too whiskey-forward or too sweet. This cocktail was very delicious and definitely on par with a great cocktail bar offering. Even better, while the kit promised that this would make four drinks, I was able to get six out of the ingredients provided.
Drink 2: Crank it to 11
This cocktail is a riff on an Old Fashioned with a cherry-cinnamon twist. It adds in the element of fire with a smoked glass. I never did get bartender-levels of rolling smoke, but I could taste the flavor in the drink. This was definitely the easiest drink to make, and will be the only one that can be easily recreated without the box. It made four cocktails, but they provided enough bitters and wood chips to make plenty more.
I’m sure you have to squint to see the small amount of smoke I was able to produce. It was definitely harder for me to produce smoke than I thought it would be. I had long matches, as were suggested, but I couldn’t get the wood to light. This seems like a fun thing to continue to practice, so I wasn’t discouraged. The instructions for the drink suggested putting the mixture on top of a speaker and turning up the music to “shake” the ingredients. I opted to just stir it, but appreciated the whimsy.
Drink 3: Fibonacci on the Fritz
I am glad that I ended my box experience with this drink. It was definitely my favorite. The best part for me was the fact that some of the flavors in the recipe weren’t things I thought I liked. Black walnut bitters and maple syrup are not things I would ever come up with for drink ingredients but together with everything else, they worked! The final mixture was well-balanced and unlike anything else I’ve ever had. I really enjoyed it.
In conclusion, the Shaker & Spoon subscription box is definitely something I will purchase for myself or gift. The recipes were clear and you don’t need anything fancy to pull off the cocktails provided. The webpage for each box also provides a video on how to make each recipe, so any level bartender will find success. I also like that each box only requires one bottle of booze and the drinks were delicious. On the cost side, the bottle of whiskey I had cost $35, so with the kit, the cost-per-drink was roughly $5.30 each. I think that’s a great value if you consider what you’d pay at a bar. Let me know if you end up subscribing or if you have any hints for smoking glasses. And, get 50% off your first box here. Cheers!