9 best cocktail making kits
From jiggers to juicers, this is all the gear you need to become a cocktail maestro
‘Tis the season to add some drama to your drinks. Beer and wine may be convenient to pour, but these handy cocktail kits make it super easy to whip up something extra special come cocktail o’clock. Impress your guests by having everything on hand to make their favourite tipple and practise your new found skills in the process.
Think about whether you need equipment and how many drinks you’d like to make before making a selection. These kits vary from one-off taster sessions to more substantial investment buys which should last you a long time. So whether you prefer yours shaken or stirred, with edible glitter or completely bespoke, we’ve found an option for that.
Special Touch Botanicals For Vodka Cocktails Set: £34.95, Harvey Nichols
If your go-to spirit is vodka, this clever kit will help you breathe new life into your favourite serve. It’s pretty easy to add a premium tonic nowadays, but that’s normally as fancy as it gets when we’re at home. Well not anymore. The six pinch pots include the likes of vanilla, orange blossom and ginger which along with the cocktail jigger will help you rustle up something extra special. Free-style or follow their guidelines to make the perfect vodka based cocktails. There are also kits for rum and gin as well if you fancy branching out.
M&S Espresso Martini Kit: £30, Marks & Spencer
There’s no better cocktail during the hectic Christmas party season than an expertly made espresso martini, and this kit contains everything you’ll need to make your own boozy pick me up. As well as the essential vodka and coffee liqueur, there’s also a mini bar of Ecuadorian dark chocolate and tiny metal grater for you to add a generous shaving of the sweet stuff over your creation. The finishing touch? Edible glitter of course! Use to rim the glass or dust over the drink before serving.
Fortnum & Mason The Cocktail Hamper: £150, Fortnum & Mason
For the wannabe bartender in your life – this is the ultimate hamper to kick of their cocktail collection. The iconic F&M branded wicker basket is bursting at the seam with goodies. Fortnum’s English barley vodka and London dry gin will form the base for a variety of cocktails whilst a selection of Double Dutch tonic flavours have got you covered when it comes to mixers. There’s also a little bottle of English cassis for adding the finishing touch to prosecco or champagne and to top it all off Fortnums have included bar snacks. Serve these to your guests whilst you get busy making the drinks.
Holy Lama The Cocktail Collection Spice Drops: £15, Holy Lama
Cocktails often require a pretty long list of ingredients, but Holy Lama are proving it doesn’t need to be that way. These spice drops contain a highly concentrated blend of natural ingredients which pack a punch with just a couple of drops. Each pack includes four droppers – ginger, mint, rose and lemongrass (which won a two gold star Great Taste Award). They last ages, unlike the fresh equivalent, so are great to keep on hand for last minute soirees. To get the most impactful flavour, we found it was best to add just before serving.
Tipplesworth Old Fashioned Cocktail Kit: £195, Tipplesworth
This classic whisky based cocktail never goes out of fashion (excuse the pun), and the clever team at Tipplesworth have made the process even easier to create. This rather suave suitcase contains two good quality heavy based glasses, a bottle of Woodford Reserve bourbon, the all-important angostura bitters and Tipplesworth’s very own sugar syrup, which dissolves instantly. All you’ll need to add is ice and an orange. It’s not cheap but you should get 14 serves out of the kit and the barware can be used again and again. If there’s a more sophisticated way of ending the evening, we want to hear about it.
The Cocktail Man Create A Personalised Cocktail Kit: £40, Not on the High Street
If you’re looking for a thoughtful gift for the booze hound in your life, look no further. The Cocktail Man will ask you a series of questions – from what’s their favourite spirit to what’s their favourite flower Â and based on your answers he’ll come up with a bespoke cocktail kit. Each one will have enough ingredients for four cocktails, made up of sprits, bespoke garnishes and artisanal syrups, as well as the special recipe to follow.
Taste Cocktails Margarita Cocktail Kit: £29.95, Borough Box
Think all margaritas are created equal? Think again. Here Taste Cocktails show us how to make the classic margarita, as well as a Tommy and a Million Dollar version. Tequila fans will appreciate learning about the multitude of ways it can be used and even where the drinks originated from. The box contains both white tequila and the smoother, more complex reposado tequila as well as grand marnier, agave and triple sec. Together they’ll make three cocktails, but you’ll be left with the recipe cards should you wish to make again.
Sipsmith Martini Mixology Set: £95, Moonpig
Believe it or not, there is more to gin than just adding tonic. This rather smart set has a full size 70cl bottle of Sipsmith London Dry Gin which should keep you going a while, as well as a pretty copper-coloured strainer, jigger and bar spoon which will look great on top of the drinks trolley. The oversized glass is intended for slow stirring with plenty of ice, essential for making the ultimate Martini.
Cocktail Bag and Titanium Tools: £80, Root7
If your bar is fully stocked and you’re rearing to go, you’ll want to invest in a good quality set of bar tools which will last long after the spirits need replacing. We like this stylish six piece black titanium covered stainless steel set. It includes the essentials – a shaker, strainer, jigger, bar spoon, bottle opener and wooden muddler. Keep them stored safely in the sturdy wax coated wrap which would travel well – should you find yourself making cocktails on the go.
The Verdict: Best cocktail making kits
We think the Special Touch cocktail kits would make a really useful addition to our drinks cabinet. It’s easy to run out of fresh ingredients, especially if drinks are impromptu, but with this kit on hand you’ll always have a special ingredient to elevate your favourite spirit from the everyday to the extra special.
Stacey Smith is the founder of food & drink website Crummbs
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