Shaker and Spoon Cocktail Club

Jacob Dean

Jacob Dean

Jacob Dean is a food and travel writer and psychologist based in New York.

Courtesy photo

My liquor cabinet is filled with mostly-unused bottles, so if you’re anything like me, the Shaker and Spoon Cocktail Club will be a bit of a godsend. The monthly kits (which start at $50 for one box but grow incrementally less expensive depending on whether you commit yourself to 3, 6, or 12-month subscriptions) come with instructions, recipes, and ingredients, including fresh citrus. The only thing a subscriber is required to purchase separately is the alcohol itself, which is convenient if you’ve built up a liquor cabinet you’re not entirely sure what to do with.

Shaker and Spoon recipes are printed on large, easy-to-read cards, and mixology novices will be aided by a glossary card that describes equipment, simple techniques, and terminology. Those with drink-crafting experience will be pleased to find that recipes come from well-regarded bartenders across the country and are easy to follow without being simplistic or commonplace.

Ingredients are also outside the scope of what one might typically keep in a home bar. One of their recent kits, which focused on tequila’s smoky and increasingly revered cousin mezcal, included fresh citrus (limes and a blood orange) and clearly labeled apothecary-like bottles containing chocolate syrup (and not the Hershey’s variety), celery syrup, ancho-jalapeno agave nectar, acid phosphate, Scrappy’s Firewater Tincture, and “Critter Bitters Pure Cricket Tincture,” a nutty liquid made from — you guessed it — toasted crickets. The resulting drinks were bold, nuanced, and nicely layered — a testament to what can be created with the right ingredients and just a little bit of know-how.

The Shaker and Spoon Cocktail Club offers boxed kits, subscriptions, syrups, and more.

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