With alcohol-delivery services becoming the norm, it’s time to take the next step in the evolution of the online drink: cocktail-making kits delivered to your door.
Some might question whether $50 per month for a cocktail kit is worth the money. And sure, if your idea of a mixed drink is tonic water splashed onto an arbitrary amount of vodka, said kit might be a waste of money. But if you’re after high-quality ingredients and a chance to learn the art of mixology, Shaker and Spoon is definitely worth checking out.
The company was born in 2015 in Brooklyn, when designer Anna Gorovoy and animator Mike Milyavsky decided to apply the meal kit concept to drinks. You won’t find any rum-and-coke recipes here. The idea is to recreate the kind of bespoke cocktails found in upscale bars, but in the comfort of your own home. The monthly service aims to turn subscribers into tastemakers and, one assumes, keep them from defaulting to beer cans as party refreshments.
To do that, Gorovoy and Milyavsky enlisted “The People’s Champion of Bartending,” Russell Davis. Davis has some well-documented mixology chops and also owns a high-end spirits company. He currently oversees the creation of Shaker and Spoon’s many recipes that get shipped out with the boxes.
And those recipes will certainly widen your cocktail palette, whether they call for snap peas mixed with gin or lemon-lychee cordial and sake. Each box includes all ingredients needed, except the alcohol itself. (The company has a thorough explanation for this.) Subscribers can preview upcoming boxes to decide if the contents are appealing or if it’s better to skip a month.
As far as cost goes, it’s a lot cheaper than taking a mixology class or trying out new drinks at a bar. Boxes range from $40 to $50 per month, with ingredients to make 12 cocktails (4 per each recipe). Considering that the average high-end cocktail in Brooklyn costs at least $14, often more, a $50 price tag doesn’t seem too steep even when you add the extra money for the alcohol.
Some are calling Shaker and Spoon the Blue Apron of booze, which is fair. I’d argue, though, that the service actually reaches beyond that. It’s going a bit far to say the company promotes an entire lifestyle (yet), but they offer a pretty in-depth education on high-end tastes via the website. Ever wonder how to properly crush ice? Shaker and Spoon will tell you. Did you know the Coupe glass was modeled after Marie Antoinette’s breast? Neither did I until I read about it the site. All things considered, I’d dub the service “mixology school in a box.”
In our transaction-based society where we eat faster, drink more, and hardly stop to savor either, it’s encouraging to see a company favor quality over quantity and grow popular at the same time. Let’s hope they’re paving the way for new era, where we learning the craft of food and drink is as important as getting the materials themselves delivered.