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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Shaker & Spoon | Launch Box | November 2015 | Review | Unboxing | Exclusive Coupon

*product was received free for review
Shaker & Spoon is a brand new subscription box that sends you all the fixings to create unique cocktails each month. All you need to do is add the alcohol! This month it was suggested that we get some Don Q Rum (but any amber or gold rum will do!) 
Subscriptions start at $40 monthly but if you use my exclusive coupon you'll receive 15% off your subscription! 
Just use code NOTATREE15

Check out the unboxy box video

Pre-video note: I finally bought a better webcam - however the video and audio didn't sync up for this video... it may be too awkward to watch but I'm not sure how to fix! Sorry!



Here's the Box Breakdown
Our first glimpse inside the Shaker & Spoon Box

Everything that we received in our Shaker & Spoon Launch Box

The theme of their very first box is the "Amber Rum Box". All the cocktails in this box should be mixed using an Amber or Golden Rum


So what is all this stuff?



Grapefruit Swaths
A Grapefruit or any citrus skin is called a swath, learn something new right? There were four of these included in these cute little vacuum sealed bags


Mint Sprigs
I love when fresh mint is added to things (including cocktails) I can't wait to see what we are going to do with this!


Lime Leaves
These are Kaffir lime leaves. I don't actually think that I've ever really seen a lime leaf? These are thick and waxy - very different!


Barritt's Ginger Beer
Best in Bermuda and made with real Cane Sugar. We are definitely going to be adding this to one of our yummy drinks, how exciting!


Orange Bitters
The resurgence of popularity in using things like bitters in cocktails is called the "Mad Men" effect. As these are typically used in drinks seen on the show. Bitters are drink ingredients made from the oils of different additives in very tiny amounts. 


Angostura Bitters
I had no idea what Angostura was when I was doing the unboxing. It's called Angostura because it was originally made in ... none other than Angostura. However, it does not contain any Angostura Bark, rather a bitter root called Gentian and a super secret mix of over 40 other ingredients.



Hibiscus Syrup
This syrup has a beautiful color and is a little runnier in consistency than the other syrups included in this box.


Black Pepper Ginger Syrup
This had a "Teriyaki" like taste. It actually would taste good as an additive to a meat dish! I'm guessing that this will be used with the Ginger Beer


Cinnamon Syrup
A much more classic syrup compared to the others that we received. Totally made me hungry for pancakes.


Limes
Four to be exact


Lemons
Three lemons were included in our Shaker & Spoon Box


Important to Note: We received a card with a glossary of terms and items that would be useful when creating our cocktails. We thought that it would be a good idea to share that with you guys as well. Most of what this box is, is a learning experience. I learned a ton of new terms and techniques and really want to share that with you guys!

Barware

Bar Spoon 
A very long, thin handled spoon ideal for mixing. With the capacity of a teaspoon. 

Cocktail Shaker
Closed by fitting pieces together; easily mixes drinks 

Mixing Glass
A tall glass or metal glass used to mix drinks before they are stirred and and strained into serving glasses

Strainer
A tool placed over the glass to catch pieces while pouring a cocktail into the serving glass


Glassware

Collins Glass
A tall thin tumbler. Used for serving drinks with ice (ie; a Tom Collins)

Coupe
A shallow broad bowled stemmed glass used to serve drinks without ice. (When we were in Boston for our honeymoon there were some guys in a bar we went to drinking out of these. I kind of had a laugh because I had never seen them before and asked what they were drinking. They replied that they were drinking something called a "gentlemen" and they left me taste it - the glass looked feminine, the drink however, was not!) 

Rocks Glass
Short tumbler used for serving drinks over ice.

Techniques

Muddling
A muddler is used to press the fruit or herbs against the bottom of the glass to release their oils yet not pulverize 

Rolling
Uses two glasses and is more powerful than stirring yet not quite as aggressive as shaking. Simply pour all ingredients from glass A into glass B and then back again finally to glass A

Shaking
All ingredients added to a cocktail shaker with ice and shaken vigorously. Overshaking will dilute drink

Spanking
A technique where herbs are placed on your hand and gently clapped to gently release flavors

Stirring
Mixing a drink by stirring it with a bar spoon in a circular motion from the bottom up

Terminology

Dash
Not precise but equal to approximately an eighth of a teaspoon

Sprig
One stem of an herb (including leaves)

Swath
A small slice of citrus zest

So now what?

We started with the Rum Smash although now looking back this required the most experience (in my opinion) and we probably should have saved it for last


2 ounces of Rum
2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
1/8 lemon
1/2 ounce of cinnamon syrup
1/2 ounce of lemon juice
3 mint sprigs

The syrup, mint sprig and lemon are added to a shaker and muddled (this is a little tricky but fun). Then we add in the bitters, lemon juice, and rum and shake.


Strain the drink into a rocks glass filled with cubed ice (I worked with what I had)

Garnish with mint leaves. I actually put the herbs in the drink so you could see how the muddled mint looks!

Ahh... it's five o'clock somewhere!


Next we tried the Rum Buck
This was definitely the easiest one to make!

2 ounce of Rum
1/4 ounce Hibiscus Syrup
2 ounce of Ginger Beer
2 Kaffir Lime Leaves
3/4 ounce of lime juice


Add the lime leaves and syrup to a shaker and muddle. Add remaining ingredients to shaker and roll into a Collins Glass filled with ice. (add a straw if you so desire)

Definitely had the richest and most beautiful color due to the Hibiscus syrup


Finally, we made the Rum Old Fashioned. I have never had a regular old fashion let alone a Rum Old Fashion. So this was definitely different!


2 ounce of Rum
1/4 ounce of Black Pepper - Ginger Syrup
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
1 dash of orange bitters
1 grapefruit swath

Lot of dashes in this one!
Add all the liquid ingredients to a dry mixing glass. Fill the glass with ice and use a bar spoon and stir 20 cycles. Add to a coupe without ice or a rocks glass over ice as desired. Wipe a grapefruit swath against the rim of the glass


I really felt like a bartender at this point. Ready to take orders!


So in summary

We look for three things in a subscription box; quality, curation, and presentation. Shaker & Spoon is a completely new concept for me and I think people aren't aware of this "lost art" of making cocktails. I had a lot of fun and learned a bunch of new things that I had no knowledge of prior. I really like the that the theme of the box is the alcohol. This really helps us stay focused and not get overwhelmed. Having said that, the drinks are really varied and there are a lot of different flavors and styles we got to try with this box. For that we think that the curation of the Shaker & Spoon Box is amazing! Presentation is great as well! Everything came perfectly and exactly as it should have. And of course the quality was excellent. I really enjoyed this box and while it isn't for everyone I do feel that if you love to entertain and enjoy a little style and flair in your life or just want to learn more about cocktails and drinks this is definitely the subscription box for you!

As far as box economy this is another box where we can't really do a proper price breakdown because of the nature of the box. What we pay for with a box like The Shaker & Spoon box is the experience and information it contains. We really think that this one is worth every penny!

And remember use code NOTATREE15 to receive 15% off your subscription!

Click Here to Check Out Shaker & Spoon for Yourself