The 10 Best Cocktail Kits (And a Few Mocktails) To Shake Up Your Mixology Skills
Who doesn't love a happy hour? Sure, it's fun to sidle up to your favorite bar and sip away, but think how fun it can be to make your favorite mixed drinks in the comfort of your own home. Cocktail kits deliver everything you need to make bar-quality beverages all on your own. And it doesn't matter if you're an aficionado or a novice either. Cocktail kit subscriptions like Shaker & Spoon provide multiple ingredients and recipes for tasty twists on classic drinks, while kits from Avec are as simple as combining its canned mixers with a spirit. There's truly something out there for everyone, even those of us wanting a booze-free craft cocktail. Raising the Bar translates all the intricacies of mixology to mocktails that go way beyond your standard club soda, and bottled mocktails from Ghia are great on their own accord.
Not every one of the cocktail kits on this list comes with the alcohol, but that may be for your benefit. Keep in mind that you may have to be home to sign for the package and that some states don't allow alcohol shipping at all. That's why many of these subscription services avoid selling spirits to keep everyone included and to minimize hassle.
Without further ado, here are the 10 best cocktail kits for anyone looking to up their mixology game or simply expand their palate.
The 10 Best Cocktail Kits:
- Best Overall: Shaker & Spoon
- Best Flavors: American Cocktail Club
- Best Mixer: Avec
- Best Mocktail Kit: Raising the Bar
- Best Bottled Mocktail: Ghia
- Best Canned Mocktail: Kin Euphorics
- Best for Parties: Bounty Hunter Rare Wine & Spirits
- Best for Travel: SaloonBox
- Best Cocktail Syrup Kit: Cheeky
- Best for Beginners: Mouth
Best Overall: Shaker & Spoon
Cocktail kits are a great way to expand your palate with new drink recipes, but the very best cocktail kit should also encourage you to get creative. Shaker & Spoon inspires innovation by sending you supplies for three themed cocktail variations, all designed around one spirit. Each month, subscribers receive house-made syrups, aromatic bitters, specialty sodas, and even fresh fruit to build 12 craft cocktails at home. Oh, and the darling garnishes don't hurt either. Step-by-step recipes are curated by some of the top bartenders in the world and are easy to follow, though there's also video tutorials to simplify it further. Just supply your own spirit (bartenders share a recommendation for each box), and you're on your way to serving four portions of three different bar-quality cocktails.
If you sign up by October 31, you'll be all set to enjoy November's Fruits of Fall: American Apple Brandy Box with cocktails curated by the Big Apple's finest bartenders. Each of the three fall harvest cocktails orbits around apple brandy as the main spirit. Pear Necessities, served in a highball glass, infuses pear and vanilla to offset apple cider vinegar in a ginger beer base, while the Rougeoisie uses cranberries to brighten the apple brandy, along with bitters and freshly grated nutmeg. Then there's the Wolfe & Wehr, a spiced chai variation of the classic old fashioned. You can make all these cocktails and more at home—no going out necessary. Don't feel like subscribing just yet? Shaker & Spoon also sells à la carte mix-ins and single cocktail kits that make four drinks.
To buy: from $40 per month; shakerandspoon.com
Best Flavors: American Cocktail Club
Complex flavors doesn't always mean complex cocktail kits, and American Cocktail Club is proof. Its monthly cocktail kit subscription delivers bold tastes without any overwhelming 10-step recipes. Sips of spicy mango vodka sodas and watermelon mint palomas go down easy and are even easier to make. American Cocktail Club simplifies the craft of cocktail making with its rotating line of mixers, like spicy ginger mule and organic mango jalapeno.
The end of each month brings subscribers a new seasonal cocktail kit complete with ingredients like in-house syrups, unique bitters, and even dehydrated fruit for a lounge-style garnish. Each box makes four servings and can either include or omit the main spirit based on your preference. October's box featured Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice, a bourbon-based cocktail made with American Cocktail Club's award-winning Smokin' Margarita mix by acclaimed mixologist Brian Van Flandern. Notes of chipotle chili and maple cut through the fresh lime, all condensed into a four-step recipe.
To buy: from $39 per month, use code RECIPES20 for 20% off; cratejoy.com
Best Mixer: Avec
We've all tried our fair share of basic mixed drinks, but soda and tonic water aren't the end all, be all for mixers. Avec is upping the cocktail kit game through its line of canned mixers with multiple mixology possibilities. The simple concoctions make amazing drinks on their own but are also elevated with your spirit of choice (each can has three suggested booze combos). Avec currently offers five flavors of mixers: Hibiscus and Pomegranate, Ginger (a low-sugar alternative to ginger beer), Jalapeño and Blood Orange, Grapefruit and Pomelo, and Yuzu and Lime. Each flavor is all-natural, low on sugar and calories, and made with real juice. You can order mixers in a pack of 12 cans or try them all in the sampler pack, which includes three of each flavor. Planning a party? Avec also offers a party pack of 45 cans that's perfect for your next big event.
To buy: from $36; avecdrinks.com
Best Mocktail Kit: Raising the Bar
Sure, cocktail kits are fun to make at home, but not everyone wants the addition of booze. Enter mocktail boxes, like Raising the Bar's mocktail kit. Each curated box ships midway through the month, complete with four to six alcohol-free ingredients with just as many steps and flavor layers as traditional cocktail kits. November's box makes four servings of the Wanderlust mocktail, featuring Wilderton botanical distillate as an earthy base, Siren Shrub's tart notes of cherry, and barrel-aged syrup for a hint of sweet oak, among other ingredients. Each box also comes with a handy tool to expand your mixology set overtime, making it the perfect service to elevate your mocktail game.
To buy: from $49 per month, use code RECIPES20 for 20% off; cratejoy.com
Best Bottled Mocktail: Ghia
Bottled cocktail kits are great for their versatility, and bottled mocktails are just as strong in that department. Ghia is bringing class and culture to your bar cart with a Mediterranean-inspired bitter aperitivo, an alcohol-free twist on the pre-dinner drink used to spark appetites before meals. But you don't need a food chaser to enjoy this bottled mocktail. It tastes great on its own, and Ghia was quick to include multiple decadent mocktail recipes perfectly suited for the aperitivo. The Agrodolce is an herb-forward take on the classic Negroni, while drinks like the blackberry-based Dusk in the Garden and pink pepper Rosemerrymaking are totally original recipes. And we'd be remiss if we didn't mention Ghia's canned Le Spritz line of Ghia Ginger and Ghia Soda to take your mocktails to the next level.
To buy: from $18; drinkghia.com
Related — Shoppers Say These Non-Alcoholic Spirits and Canned Cocktails Are 'Indistinguishable' From the Real Thing
Best Canned Mocktail: Kin Euphorics
Looking for a sophisticated canned drink that's best on its own, no spirits necessary? Look no further than Kin Euphorics, co-founded by supermodel Bella Hadid. The name says all you need to know about its line of alcohol-free beverages. Kin Euphorics made its mission to take drinking and turn it into something you can feel good about, with each canned drink having active key ingredients to inspire states of tranquility or vibrancy.
Lightwave features sparkling notes of lavender and vanilla to "help you to transcend stress and open a portal to peace," along with a smokey, oaky taste. It's infused with reishi mushrooms for a natural source of stress relief while the addition of L-theanine increases alpha wave production to decrease anxiety. Canned mocktail Kin Spritz is similarly calming with a bit of zest from ginger, bitters, and citrus notes. Both flavors even come with accompanying Spotify playlists to aid your frame of mind. You can try both drinks in a sample pack, buy them separately in packs of eight or 16, or save 15 percent through a monthly subscription.
To buy: from $30; kineuphorics.com
Best for Parties: Bounty Hunter Rare Wine & Spirits
It's no secret that any good party has plenty of booze on hand. Most cocktail kits only make a handful of drinks, and while still delicious, it likely won't be enough to keep your guests entertained through the evening. That's where Bounty Hunter Rare Wine & Spirits comes in. Along with its refined selection of wines and liquors, it also offers curated cocktail kits complete with full-sized bottles. That means you'll have more than enough handcrafted cocktails to share at your next big gettogether.
Whip up a Parisian Boulevardier cocktail with two parts Sazerac Rye whiskey to one part Alessio Vermouth and Gran Classico Bitters (with plenty of the latter left over). Want something a bit more tart? Try Bounty Hunter's Ginger-Lime Margarita cocktail kit, which includes Arette Blanco tequila, Vedrenne triple sec, and Square One's Spicy Ginger and Luscious Lime mixes, to create 30 to 35 cocktails. If you're looking for minimal effort, Bounty Hunter also offers big bottles of pre-made cocktails, like Crafthouse's Moscow Mule and Fred Jerbis's Negroni. Simply pour them over ice and enjoy as you would with any other craft cocktail.
To buy: from $20; bountyhunterwine.com
Best for Travel: SaloonBox
Air travel can be a real drag, and the hefty prices at the airport bar and plane concessions cart don't help. It's a good thing then that SaloonBox makes travel-sized cocktails kits that you can enjoy just about anywhere. Each monthly box includes adorably miniature top-shelf spirits along with a combination of bitters, syrups, dried fruit, honey, juice, and seltzer. Plus, everything is precisely portioned, so you don't have to worry about measuring on the go. Even the recipe cards come fun-sized in a small envelope that'll fit perfectly in your passport wallet or breast pocket. It may be small, but each cocktail kit makes up to four drinks.
Past SaloonBox cocktail kits featured the likes of a Negroni infused with cinnamon and Assam tea, "The Bird's Eye" bourbon drink with chili syrup, and a strawberry mule with Hendrick's Gin. SaloonBox is bringing back one of its hall-of-fame cocktails for November: The "Huntsman" is a "vodka cocktail for whiskey lovers" with warm spices and a drizzle of maple syrup. These may sound like big flavors, but we promise all the ingredients will still fit in your carry-on.
To buy: from $49 per month, use code RECIPES20 for 20% off; cratejoy.com
Best Cocktail Syrup Kit: Cheeky
Sometimes, using a cocktail kit is as simple as combining a spirit with juice and syrup. If you're going to go the easy route, you'll want to make sure your mixers are as good as gold. Cheeky Cocktails reaches that gold standard through its line of bar-quality cocktail juices and syrups, including 100-percent lemon juice and lime juice as well as the honey ginger and cranberry lemon syrups. Cheeky's cocktail kits are the best way to try its bottled goods. Each kit makes up to five drinks and comes with 4 ounces of both a juice and a specialty syrup. Add them together with 2 ounces of the recommended liquor, and you've got a craft cocktail made in less than a minute.
There are plenty of cocktail kits to choose from, helping you make the likes of margaritas, mojitos, cosmopolitans, and more, without any of the fanfare. Instead of following intricate recipes, you'll simply mix the two ingredients in with your spirit and enjoy immediately. Oh, and it'll taste great, too.
To buy: from $15; cheekycocktails.co
Best for Beginners: Mouth
Mouth has made subscription boxes its business, and its Cocktail of the Month Club is the perfect introduction to cocktail kits for beginners looking to try the basics and then some. Each month, subscribers receive a small batch of simple mixers and classic cocktail recipes that every budding bartender should know. Learn your way around swanky old fashioneds, gin and tonics with special syrup, tea-infused watermelon margaritas, and more.
But Mouth's happy hour doesn't stop with the Cocktail of the Month Club. It also offers ready-to-ship single cocktail kits, so you can pick and choose what drink you want to learn to make next. The Fall Cocktail Kit is a seasonal twist on Moscow mules with a pomegranate mule mixer, apple blossom bitters, and five-spice cranberry syrup, among other goodies. And you can never try enough versions of the iconic Bloody Mary with this cocktail kit, which includes two unique tomato mixes, spicy salt, and string bean garlic pickles. Those looking to dive into mixology could learn a thing or two from Mouth's many cocktail kits.
To buy: from $38; mouth.com