American Cocktail Club Cocktail Making Kit
Credit: Crate Joy

11 Cocktail Kits That'll Make Happy Hour Last All Season Long

It’s technically the season of giving, but we won’t tell if you buy these easy-to-make cocktail kits for yourself.
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It's the holiday season, and for many of us that means finding the perfect gifts for a long list of people. It can be an overwhelming task, and some will argue that there's no better way to unwind at the end of a stressful day than by sipping on a delicious cocktail. And thanks to the convenience of online cocktail kits, you don't even have to leave your house to get a high-quality drink. 

Whether your go-to order is a rich and herbal Manhattan cocktail or you're a sucker for a tart sangria, now is a great time to hone your bartending skills. Thankfully, these cocktail kits send the syrups, bitters, and juices you need to mix a dazzling holiday drink; all you have to do is buy the alcohol. Follow a fun recipe to make a delicious mocktail for you and your guests or play around with the ingredients to create your own unique beverage. You can even gift a cocktail subscription box to the aspiring mixologist in your life for an easy yet thoughtful present. 

No matter your skill level behind the bar or your particular taste preferences, the best cocktail kits are great for gifting, holiday hosting, or for treating yourself this season.

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The Best Cocktail Kits of 2021

cocktail subscription delivery
Credit: Courtesy of Shaker & Spoon

Best Overall Cocktail Kit: Shaker & Spoon

If you're an expert cocktail maker who needs a little inspiration or a newbie who just wants to grow your mixology skills, Shaker & Spoon has all the ingredients you'll need to get started. Every month, the cocktail subscription company curates a brand-new box with three recipes designed by award-winning bartenders. Each shipment includes all the necessary mix-ins, besides the alcohol, and highlights a different alcoholic base, so you might be stirring fizzy scotch cocktails with notes of grapefruit one month and Tennessee whiskey cocktails with a faint char the next. Not confident in all the bartending lingo just yet? No worries—each box contains easy-to-follow recipes and a glossary of terms to help you learn as you go. Shaker & Spoon even sends an email every month that reveals your next box's theme, giving you enough time to pick up the right alcohol and start mixing upon delivery. 

Shaker & Spoon offers four types of subscriptions: a month-to-month option, and three, six, and 12-month prepaid plans. 

To buy: From $40 per month;

cocktail subscription delivery
Credit: Courtesy of Haus

Best for Apéritifs: Haus

Designed to be enjoyed before dinner as a way to stimulate your appetite, apéritifs make a delightful addition to a dressy cocktail party or a relaxing night in. The wine-based apéritifs from Haus are a refreshing new take on the classic European drink, made from natural fruits and botanicals rather than artificial flavors and added sugars. Try unexpected flavor profiles, like orange peel and elderflower and grapefruit and jalapeño, on the rocks in a light spritzer or as the base of an easy-to-make cocktail. Haus offers sampler kits, individual bottles, and a monthly subscription that comes with one, two, or six bottles depending on your preference. 

"Unlike traditional aperitifs, Haus' wine-based versions aren't syrupy sweet," Food & Wine writer Katie MacDonald said. "[They] actually taste like the fresh ingredients used to make them. I enjoy sipping them straight on a weeknight or mixed with stronger spirits for no-fuss cocktails when I have company."

To buy: From $40;

cocktail subscription delivery
Credit: Courtesy of Cratejoy

Best Alcohol-Included Cocktail Kit: American Cocktail Club

Effortlessly craft high-quality cocktails in the comfort of your own kitchen thanks to ingenuitive flavors and low-sugar ingredients from American Cocktail Club. The unique mixers you receive each month, such as watermelon mojito or spicy Moscow mule, arrive at your doorstep fully prepared and ready to be combined with your favorite spirit. Each cocktail kit includes four servings' worth of bitters, syrups, and alcohol—everything you need to create a refreshing drink without ever having to blend, muddle, or prep ingredients. And if your liquor cabinet is already full, you can sign up for the Everything But the Booze box, which excludes alcohol from your order. The subscription automatically renews each month, but you can easily cancel anytime by emailing the company. 

From now until December 31, Food & Wine readers can receive 20% off their first shipment by using code FOODWINE20 at checkout.

To buy: From $39 per month;

cocktail subscription delivery
Credit: Courtesy of Cratejoy

Best Mocktails: Raising the Bar

Instead of deliberating between keeping a clear head and crafting a delicious drink, sip your favorite beverage sans alcohol. The mocktail recipes, garnishes, and barware you receive in your monthly Raising the Bar cocktail kit help you make delicious zero-proof beverages with ease. Each kit starts with an alcohol-free spirit or tea, followed by unexpected tonics, syrups, and bitters to add a flavorful dimension. You'll also receive unsweetened juices, carbonated beverages, and unique barware to help you craft a sophisticated mocktail. The service offers its month-to-month subscription on Cratejoy and renews on the fifth of every month, meaning you can continue growing your mixology skills without sourcing recipes and ingredients yourself. 

From now until December 31, Food & Wine readers can receive 20% off their first shipment by using code FOODWINE20 at checkout.

To buy: From $49 per month;

cocktail subscription delivery
Credit: Courtesy of Avec

Best Low-Sugar Cocktails: Avec

product descriptions on its websiteAnyone who's enjoyed multiple sugar-laden drinks in a night and woken up the next day with a wicked headache knows there's a market for low-sugar cocktails. These fun, fizzy mixers from Avec replace bland club soda and sugary additives in your favorite mixed drink with natural ingredients and revitalizing flavors. Try exciting combinations like grapefruit and pomelo, jalapeño and blood orange, and pomegranate and hibiscus mixed with the spirit of your choosing (Avec offers pairing suggestions in the product descriptions on its website). Order a 12-pack of one flavor or purchase a sample pack that includes three cans of each flavor available. You can also sign up for a recurring subscription, which allows you to save 10% on every purchase. 

To buy: From $36;

kin euphorics canned mocktails

Best Mocktails for Happy Hour: Kin Euphorics

Kin Euphorics has a goal to transform social drinking from something that leaves you feeling fuzzy and less than your best into an experience that energizes and refreshes. That's why the company developed a line of "mood-defining drinks"—aka canned mocktails made with real botanicals and infused with ingredients like mushrooms, citrus, and ginger. Try the smoky Dream Light mocktail for a calming bedtime beverage or sip the Kin Spritz mocktail if you're looking for a fizzy, floral drink. The company even created special playlists to match each of its four flavors, which will help you set the tone at happy hour. Purchase each flavor individually, try a sample pack, or subscribe at checkout to receive 15% off your monthly order. 

To buy: From $30;

cocktail subscription delivery
Credit: Courtesy of Curious Elixirs

Best Bottled Mocktails: Curious Elixirs

If you're a fan of negronis, spicy margs, and old fashioneds but want to cut back your alcohol consumption, you're in luck. Curious Elixirs is a booze-free beverage company that creates interpretations of classic cocktails and makes them using organic ingredients. Restock your bar cart with a bitter pomegranate mocktail inspired by the negroni, or sip on a fizzy citrus spritzer made with non-alcoholic prosecco. With six different flavors to choose from including three that are limited-release, you can appreciate a variety of taste profiles without the need for spirits. Curious Elixirs offers its mocktails in cases of four or 12, and you can even sign up for a recurring subscription to save as much as 25% on every purchase.     

To buy: From $36;

cocktail subscription delivery
Credit: Courtesy of Cheeky

Best Cocktail Recipes: Cheeky

No matter if your go-to order at the bar is a Moscow mule, a classic margarita, or something completely different, you can create the perfect concoction right in your home thanks to Cheeky. The women- and minority-founded online service offers all-natural syrups, juices, and garnishes that'll ignite your creativity. You can purchase cocktail kits to easily make your favorite mixed drink, try a sampler to experiment with fun flavors, or buy a la carte ingredients. The syrups and juices are the same high-quality products you might find behind a professional cocktail bar, allowing you to try out different recipes and new combinations. Cheeky also has a host of free recipes, tips, and tricks on its website with video instructions to help foster your at-home bartending skills. 

To buy: From $15 for kits;

cocktail subscription delivery
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best for Travel: The Cocktail Box Co.

We've all got at least one person in our lives who's impossible to shop for—but if you know their go-to cocktail order, finding the perfect gift just became a lot easier. Instead of settling for a gift card or an impersonal knickknack, give them everything they need to make their favorite drink no matter where they are. The travel-size cocktail kits from The Cocktail Box Co. come with premium ingredients like cocktail syrups and bitters, all packed neatly in a TSA-compliant tin for effortless travel. All your giftee needs to do is mix in their spirit of choice and enjoy—no bar tools required. The Cocktail Box Co. offers individual tins, including a Moscow mule, an old fashioned, and a gin and tonic, or you can purchase a gift set with up to six different cocktail flavors

To buy: From $23;

Canned Ghia
Credit: Courtesy of Ghia

Best Fruit Mocktails: Ghia

Inspired by happy memories of summer evenings spent enjoying apéritifs by the Mediterranean, Ghia's founder set out to create a spirits-free version of her favorite drink. The resulting bottled beverages are packed with botanicals and natural ingredients. Available in an attractive glass bottle or as a spritzer, Ghia apéritifs are made with riesling grape juice, figs, and elderflower, and graced with lemon balm and orange peel extract. You can try one of the creative mocktail recipes on Ghia's website or concoct your own drink. Ghia also offers a limited-edition holiday cocktail kit that contains a bottle of the original apéritif, panettone bread, and a jar of natural hazelnut spread, all packaged in a unique gift tin. 

To buy: From $18;

cocktail subscription delivery
Credit: Courtesy of Mouth

Best Cocktail Kits for Beginners: Mouth

If you're just getting into the craft cocktail game, the Cocktails Every Month subscription from Mouth is a great place to start. The indie food retailer works with some of the best small-scale food and drink makers across the country to send delicious snacks, gifts, and beverages right to your doorstep. In each subscription box, you'll receive unique mixers and easy-to-follow recipes that'll help you create a different beverage every month. Expect to strengthen your mixology skills and expand your palate with ingredients for drinks like a gin and tonic, a tropical margarita, or an old fashioned. 

To buy: $85 per month;