Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
It's easy to find the most expensive sipping whiskeys at the large liquor stores around town. But to find the best to shake into a Manhattan can take an investment of trial and error. So for the budding mixologist, a monthly subscription to new, South SF-based start-up Bitters and Bottles is a must. Each cocktail shipment ($95/month) includes a full-sized spirit and the necessary bottled mixers to make the accompanying recipes that are included in the box. (There's also a spirits-only option for $75/month for the cocktail-averse.) Each delivery builds on the previous ones to develop a well-stocked bar—and the skills to do it justice.
Currently, the subscription to Bitters and Bottles is only available in California and New York, although founders and owners Meredith Lantz and Joe Barwin are hard at work to expand service into more states. Lucky for us, the start-up's headquarters (just a few miles south of the city and with easy access off the 101) also doubles as a brick-and-mortar (subscriptions not required).
Head into the store for a personalized tour through the various liquors, liqueurs, and bitters with the well-informed Lantz and Barwin. Then take home your favorite cocktail's ingredients without having to endure the monthly wait. The store also stocks barware and glassware to boost the design aesthetics of the at-home bar cart. (Our favorite picks are the gold-plated shakers and bar accoutrements sourced from Umami Mart.)
The store and website are still in "early days" mode. And although Lantz tells us that most of the kinks should be ironed out by March 2014, don't wait the two months to visit or to sign up. The store is open from 11am to 7pm from Tuesdays through Saturdays (coin-operated, street parking, only). And the delivery plans aren't expected to change (although the website will receive a facelift—and hopefully will add an app, as well). So take the plunge into the monthly gift that will keep on giving. The perfect gift for Valentine's Day, anyone?
· Bitters and Bottles [Official Site]
· All Cyber Monday posts [Racked SF]