Shaker & Spoon | A Review of the Craft Cocktail Subscription Box

Shaker & Spoon delivers everything you need to impress your friends with delicious drinks and fancy new skills – just add the alcohol. With three creative recipes and a selection of bespoke ingredients, a professional craft cocktail class comes in every box.

[Disclaimer: I received the product featured below free of charge in the hopes that I would write a review. As always, I only recommend products truthfully and all thoughts and opinions are my own.]

The contents of a Shaker & Spoon box on display.

I love to learn and I love craft cocktails. Since making a professional-tasting drink is both an art and a science, there is always something new to discover, whatever your skill level behind the bar. This is why I was so happy with my first Shaker & Spoon subscription box. Not only did it contain some beautifully packaged, bespoke ingredients for a set of delicious cocktails, but the easy-to-understand instructions made the experience into a mixology class I could take in the comfort of my own home.

Read on for my full review of Shaker & Spoon and my sample box – “Rums of Origin“.

The La Trova Old Fashioned in a tilted rocks glass, alongside the ingredients used to make it.

A Box of Craft Cocktails

Each Shaker & Spoon box includes everything you need to make three different recipes, and enough of those ingredients to make 12+ individual cocktails. All you need to do is supply the alcohol, and the mixologists are more than happy to suggest their favorite labels if you need some advice.

According to the enclosed card, my delivery – the “Rums of Origin” box – aims to teach me about tropical flavors inspired by three countries surrounding the Caribbean Sea – Cuba, Barbados, and Venezuela – through the lens of aged rum. Each of the cocktails are developed by different mixologists with one of these locales in mind:

  • Julio Cabrera’s La Trova Old Fashioned captures the spirit of Cuba’s coffee culture. Made with cafecito syrup and decadent chocolate bitters, it’s a perfectly balanced cocktail that is rum forward but flavorful.
  • Paul Yellin took inspiration from Barbados for the Bahan Kiss, easily the most complicated of the three drinks. It utilizes two syrups, ginger bear, lime juice, bitters, and coconut water ice cubes.
  • My favorite of the three is the Tipo Chichero. Using coconut and condensed milk, Andrews Chopite-Parra aims to evoke the flavors of a traditional rice milk drink from his native Venezuela homeland in a delicious, creamy concoction I could easily drink by the pitcher.

An overhead view of the complete contents of the Shaker & Spoon box.

All Wrapped Up

Packed with brown paper raffia, opening my Shaker & Spoon box was like a treasure hunt. In addition to cans of coconut water, coconut milk, and condensed milk, I found tiny bags of coffee beans and cinnamon, three glass bottles of syrups, three vials of bitters and extracts, and a tiny spritzer of orange oil. It even has two limes tucked safely inside. I hadn’t even looked at the recipes, and I was already excited to use the incredible ingredients before me. Everything was intact and matched the included list of contents, which was neatly placed on top of a set of cards containing the recipes, a glossary of terms, and a description of the box’s theme.

A quick note on the glassware: If there is one thing I know about bartenders, it’s that we love our little bottles and vials. The fact that the custom bitters and unique syrups are sent in lovely (reusable!) glassware is a sure sign this box is made for (and by) cocktail connoisseurs. It might seem like a small thing, but such detailed presentation really makes Shaker & Spoon stand out in my eyes.

Resulting Recipes

One of the first things I noticed when reading through the recipes is the approachability. Cocktail crafting techniques used by professional bartenders are explained in simple terms, allowing anyone to recreate the craft cocktails at home. At the same time, the language doesn’t talk down to the reader, making them fit for both beginning and advanced mixologists.

I can also attest that the included ingredients are stellar in quality and the recipes are proportioned beautifully. The resulting creations truly tasted on par with some of the best craft cocktails I’ve had at high end bars, with a lovely balance of flavor that only showcases a good aged rum.

The La Trova Old Fashioned, on display next to a handful of coffee beans.

By the Numbers

Each subscription box starts at $50, and as with most subscription services there are reduced rates if you sign up for a multi-month plan. Subscribers are informed of the next month’s box in advance, allowing them to skip any they might not be psyched about. Even at full price, I can verify that the contents of the Rum of Origins box, if bought individually, would equal or exceed the base cost. And that doesn’t include the convenience of pre-proportioned products and precise, well-curated recipes, making the whole experience approachable and fun.

The only cost not included in the box is the necessary liquor. This leaves a lot of leeway, allowing you to decide your price points. For this box, I used a bottle of Appleton Estate Signature Blend Aged Rum I always try to keep on hand. It’s an inexpensive but delicious Jamaican rum often seen in traditional tiki cocktails, so I knew the flavor profile would work well with the tropical ingredients. I’d venture to say, however, that any aged rum you like the taste of would be a good match with the contents of this particular box.

Final Thoughts

As the review above surely indicates, I was more than impressed by my Shaker & Spoon delivery. I’ve tried out a lot of subscription services I’d happily recommend for a great gift, but this is one of the first I’d truly like to get for myself. Each month offers new spirits to explore, test, and experience.

Check out the website and sign up by January 31st to receive February’s box focusing on the great white north – “Rye Not Canada“. My one bit of advice?Just make sure you’ll have a chance to share with friends – it’s a lot of cocktail to have all to yourself!

A glass of pineapple shaped ice cubes being filled with the Tipo Chichero cocktail.
An overhead view of the Tipo Chichero sprinkled with cinnamon.

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2 thoughts on “Shaker & Spoon | A Review of the Craft Cocktail Subscription Box

  1. Thanks for the review… it possible to remake the recipes in the future? Does Shaker and Spoon give you the tools and knowledge to recreate the mixers that they send to you?

    1. Good question. Some of the syrups are proprietary mixes you can purchase again through the website; others you can find suitable equivalents made by other companies; and some you could reverse engineer and make yourself if you’d like. Its a bit of a mixed bag, and I certainly prefer the recipes that don’t use super bespoke ingredients, but rather introduce me to new ideas and flavor combinations.

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