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January 5, 2021

What’s the Best Cocktail of the Month Club?
Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Editor's choice

American Cocktail Club delivery service

American Cocktail Club

#2nd Best choice

#3rd Best Choice

As all good mixologists know, great cocktails come from those with great cocktail knowledge. If you fancy yourself as a shaker slinging cocktail guru, what better way to increase your skills (and your home bar) than with a cocktail club?

Or if you're buying for someone who loves the finer things in life, a monthly cocktail kit is just the ticket.

Cocktail subscription boxes vary in what they include. Some come with all the booze and equipment you need while others assume you have a muddler and strainer handy and just send you spirits. Others still require you to purchase the alcohol separately.

Because there are a few different subscription service options, and each suits different people, we've covered a range of services in our round-up review below.
Ready to hit the bottle? Let's begin with the numero uno of our cocktail clubs ...

Our Top Cocktail of the Month Clubs

1 - American Cocktail Club (Editor's Choice)

Best match for: Cocktail lovers after a treat-worthy tipple every month.

One thing we love about American Cocktail Club is the company's flexibility. Choose a subscription service from one month, one year, or any time period in between. In addition, you can select an Everything Box — which, as the name suggests, contains everything you need — or boxes with mixers and extras but no spirits.

Choosing the latter option means a lower cost and you simply purchase your own booze and use the recipe for more beverages later on. The Everything boxes are better if you'd rather not have the ability to make an excessive number of delicious drinks (or your liquor cabinet is already too full). With four 50 ml spirit bottles in each, it's the perfect amount for just four cocktails.

Your monthly box also contains a bar tool of some sort, garnishes, information, and mixers. Mixers are often carbonated or juicy in nature so may suit people who prefer long drinks. Booze lovers who prefer to elevate the spirits by keeps mixers out of the picture might suit a different service.

American Cocktail Club delivery service

PROS

  • Affordable subscription service
  • Flexible options
  • The packaging is top-notch, good for gifting
  • Recipes included every month
  • Trusted brand
  • Everything needed for the drinks is included
  • An excellent balance of modern blends and drinks inspired by classics
  • Input from a variety of bartenders
  • You'll garner a good collection of bar tools
  • Excellent for beginners and alcohol experts alike

Cons

  • Drinks are often long and use mixers, may not suit the spirit-forward drinker

2 - Cocktail Courier

Best match for: Modern cocktail kits from the coolest bar keepers across the nation.

Like the option above, Cocktail Courier lets you choose whether you want the whole kit and caboodle or just the extras. If you go down the latter route, you'll still receive plenty to make you smile. Designed by the nation's leading mixologists, each cocktail box contains fresh herbs, syrups, tonics, and other nifty ingredients.

In many ways, the Chicago-based service is more modern than many others on our list. We appreciate the nod to classic cocktails but laud the forward-thinking the company is known for.

Don't think you can handle a complicated drink? No problem as the included recipe card will walk you through the drink-making process step by step. Whether it's bruising some mint, muddling some limes, or flaming some orange peel, you're sure to pick up some new tips and tricks from Cocktail Courier you can apply to your own inventions.

If you choose the full cocktail box with spirits included, there's enough booze in there to make around 6 to 8 drinks, which we appreciate.

Cocktail Courier delivery service

PROS

  • Each month is customizable, choose your favorites and select preferred spirits
  • Good mix of the old and new in the recipes
  • Recipes from award-winning bartenders
  • Good use of small-batch craft spirits alongside major brands
  • Add-ons available via the Cocktail Courier website
  • One-off orders and subscription boxes available
  • User-friendly website and customer portal
  • In-depth instructions

Cons

  • Some subscribers received repeat cocktails as their preferences were set too narrowly
  • No tools, but do you really need another shaker spoon?!

3 - Crafted Taste

Best match for: Refind cocktail lovers who want more fancy drinks every month.

Granted, Crafted Taste is more expensive than most of the other options on our list here, but the cost will definitely be worth it for many people as you can simply make more cocktails. And when you compare the spend with buying these drinks in a bar it really is a no-brainer.

We love Crafted Taste for multiple reasons, not least because the company includes some really niche, quality ingredients in its recipes. Want to test small-batch American made specialty syrup alongside your gin? This is the package of choice.

The alcohol products you receive are also full-sized, so if you have any left after mixing your drinks, you can stash these in your cabinet for a rainy day. Not that you'll get bored as each Crafted Taste shipment comes with ingredients for several different cocktails, follow the instruction cards to whip up cool and creative tipples with ease.

In addition to a subscription, you can purchase one-off boxes for gifts or if you're headed to a party. On offer at the moment are classic drinks like the old fashioned, Manhattan, and Moscow mules boxes.

Crafted Taste cocktail delivery service

PROS

  • Full-sized bottles at your door every month
  • Several cocktails included in each kit for choice
  • Dedicated gift and/or party boxes
  • Excellent quality alcohol and spirits included
  • Small-batch and hard to find bitters and mixers
  • 12 to 16 servings per box
  • Perfect for a special occasion
  • Clear instructions and recipes

Cons

  • One of the more expensive cocktail kits, even when you choose the mixer-only option
  • Skews to the cocktail days of yore more than it does to the modern

4 - SaloonBox

Best match for: Discerning drinkers after flexible cocktail recipes.

We have to hand it to SaloonBox; it offers customers an unusual yet welcome service by letting them know in advance which cocktail recipes are included in their box before it arrives. If you don't like SaloonBox's picks, you have the option to switch to another option.

One can only imagine the organizational finesse that goes on behind the scenes. It's not just each monthly box that is flexible either, you can choose between 3, 6, and 12-month prepaid subscription boxes.

Every month, your package contains two different cocktails along with everything you need to create the drinks. Like all the companies we reviewed, if you live in a state where alcohol delivery is prohibited, you can choose the cheaper booze-free option and source your own bottles.

The cocktails run the gamut from 1930s favorites up to modern creations. The Firefly, for example, showcases tequila by bringing out its spicy aspects with Hudson & Lee's honey ginger spice syrup and Scrappy’s Firewater Tincture.

SaloonBox cocktail delivery service

PROS

  • SaloonBox works with leading bartenders to keep their cocktails fresh and new
  • High-quality spirits in the company's boxes
  • Recipe cards walk you through advanced techniques to make mixology easy
  • Prices drop the longer your subscription
  • Garnishes included
  • Small-batch ingredients like hard to source bitters
  • SaloonBox is more spirit-forward than other cocktail clubs

Cons

  • No one-off gift boxes available
  • Instructions may be difficult to follow for those with few bar tools

5 - Shaker & Spoon

Best match for: Anyone after curated cocktails but none of the bottles.

haker & Spoon differentiates itself by never providing any bottles. Instead, the company sends customers the extra goodies they need to make three different cocktails. Before the box arrives, the company lets its clients know which bottles they suggest and offer a heads-up if any bar tools are needed.

The cocktails themselves are often twists on older drinks, but they're made new by a dedication to international flavors. For example, the Japanese whiskey box contains everything needed to highlight this newly popular spirit. We like the instruction cards and accompanying how-to videos as these make advanced bartending techniques easier for a newbie to follow.

You won't be told to reverse dry shake an egg white, for example, without being told how. And you won't accidentally flatten your ginger beer because the guide was ambiguous. Of all the cocktail kits reviewed here, we think these boxes feature the best instructions.

Shaker & Spoon cocktail delivery service

PROS

  • Interesting extras such as salt and sugar spiked with limes
  • Swift delivery to your door each month
  • Pay month by month or pick a prepaid subscription period
  • Boxes have a theme
  • The company doesn't shy away from lesser-used spirits like mezcal
  • A reasonable monthly fee
  • Freedom to choose your own alcohol products. Hate bourbon? Switch to rye
  • The online 'Learn' section covers cocktail recipes, technique, and more
  • Shipping to 50 states and the territories
  • Showcases spirits from around the globe

Cons

  • No alcohol in any of the kits which may not suit everyone
  • Don't expect extras such as glassware, snacks, or exciting freebie items
  • The cocktail service is not available everywhere in the country

6 - Sourced Craft Cocktails

Best match for: Mixed-drink lovers and anyone who wants to help the bar industry.

You probably miss the heady pre-COVID days of bar-flying and cocktailing with the best of them. But someone misses it more and that's your friendly local bartender. Sourced Craft Cocktails has come up with an innovative solution that gets drinks to your door and helps out of work service staff.

The company pivoted from an event focus to collated cocktail delivery and it hires barkeeps to invent and deliver your box. Additionally, each box contains alcohol, tools, glassware, and a tote bag. Not a subscription service per se, you order as and when you want to.

The company's website is clean and easy to navigate so you'll have no problems choosing your cocktails. We also like that it's easy for anyone to buy a one-off gift for a friend or family member. Plus, because you get full-sized bottles, there are plenty of servings in each of your shipments.

Sourced Craft Cocktails delivery service

PROS

  • You get a big bottle for plenty of servings and tipples in each box
  • Help bartenders who have fallen on hard times
  • A good selection of cocktails available
  • The price point is affordable
  • Equipment and glassware included
  • No subscription required
  • High-spec ingredients chosen by alcohol experts
  • Boxes delivered to your home or office door from your city so low shipping fees

Cons

  • No tasting notes or suggestions for food pairings
  • Not as many cocktails available as other cocktail clubs

A Brief History of Our Love Affair With Cocktails

For as long as humanity has been drinking, there have been cocktail recipes of some sort. Here's a quick look at our love affair with mixed drinks through the ages.

  • 3000 odd years ago, Minoan Cretans brewed a concoction of beer, mead, and winey tipples.
  • Homer's Illiad sees slave girls mixing a noxious sounding cocktail of wine, honey, cheese, and onions — talk about food pairings!
  • Pagan England saw the advent of wassail, an intoxicating blend of cider, herbs, and henbane, a toxic plant with hallucinogenic effects. Spicy ingredients indeed.
  • By Shakespeare's era, the average palate was on the sweets side and sack-possets, a warm blend of ale, sherry, nutmeg, and cream became the drink du jour.
  • As the Global North expanded its colonization efforts, exotic spirits and spices became more common. Rum was the preserve of the rich and nouveau riche and the classic rum punch rose in cultural currency.
  • Enduring mixed drinks such as the sherry cobbler and the toddy started to become popular.
  • At the turn of the 19th Century, cocktail as a term for a blended drink grew in popularity. It previously meant a horse with a docked tail, which indicated a mixed-breed heritage.
  • In 1803 refrigeration arrived on the scene and proved to be a major game-changer.
  • Around the same time, enterprising traders began selling ice in the form of giant blocks carved from frozen lakes and transported across the country.
  • By 1826 Robert Stein had invented continuous distillation. This development meant spirits could be produced en mass and, alongside the availability of ice, spurned a cocktail bartending bonanza.
  • Bitters started making the jump from dubious medicinal origins to cocktails. The oldest bitters that are still in current use, Angostura bitters, moved from its Argentian roots to bars around the globe.
  • The first bartending guide appeared in 1862, penned by the American Jerry Thomas.
  • US prohibition put a bit of a dampener on everyone's spirits (literally) but the humble speakeasy rose to the challenge. Each speakeasy had a tricky job balancing its clients' demands with the need to hide its activity.
  • Around the same time, Cuban cocktails like the mojito began to grow in popularity on the island nation. These were eventually popularized worldwide.
  • After prohibition, cocktails were immortalized in cinemas. Humphrey Bogart made a champagne cocktail in Casablanca and then later, Bond, James Bond asked for his Martini shaken, not stirred. Movies glamorized the blended drink and drinks were all for it, particularly off the back of the depression and world wars.
  • Drinks companies start to invent cocktails in order to sell their wares. One key example of this is the Moscow mule, which was designed specifically to sell the vodka brand Smirnoff.
  • Today, cocktails are made in bars across the globe, and while old favorites endure, changing palates mean the advent of new versions of old faves on a regular basis.

FAQS

What's the drink of the month?

When you have a cocktail delivery, each month you receive a different drink of the month, sometimes two or even three different cocktails depending on your company of choice. Take a look at the cocktail subscription boxes above and choose your favorite.

Can you get cocktails delivered?

Yes. One of the best things about the modern world is that just about everything can be delivered to your door, including a cocktail or four. Looking for something special? Read our reviews of cocktail delivery kits and subscriptions above and select the one that suits you best. Whether you want a theme of a spirit-forward box, you'll find it here.

Our Pick?

For a delectable monthly cocktail box, you can't go wrong with American Cocktail Club. The company's boxes include everything needed to make a varied selection of blended drinks. Nothing is left out, if the recipe calls for one lime, for instance, you'll find one in your box.

We also love the inclusion of bar equipment, tasting notes, the comprehensive shipping policy, and how the company uses small-batch bitters, spirits, and syrups. Sign-up is easy and simple, you just need your email address, a payment method, and ingredients will be on your doorstep before you know it. It's also a perfect choice for gifts.

American Cocktail Club delivery service

American Cocktail Club

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Affordable subscription service
  • Flexible options
  • The packaging is top-notch, good for gifting
  • Recipes included every month
  • Trusted brand
  • Everything needed for the drinks is included
  • An excellent balance of modern blends and drinks inspired by classics
  • Input from a variety of bartenders
  • You'll garner a good collection of bar tools
  • Excellent for beginners and alcohol experts alike

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