y this point in the pandemic, we’ve learned a thing or two about lockdown living. There’s only so much banana bread one can – or will – eat, quizzes are best left to TV panel shows and there are clever ways to bring our fast-paced BC lives indoors.
This approach extends to home bars too. Fuelled by DIY hashtags and glossy Pinterest pics, who hasn’t dedicated a nook – be it a shelf, cupboard, or full-on bar cart – in which to pour a cold one and unwind at the end of another Groundhog day.
It’s time to go one further, and a proper cocktail kit is the way forward. Previously only familiar to seasoned mixologists, there has been a huge interest in all-in-one kits to help you make a killer cocktail. In fact, online marketplace Etsy recently reported a 1,183 per cent increase in searches for DIY cocktail kits.
Great fun for you, and an even better gift to send a parched pal, you can get sets with all the trimmings; think measures, shakers, glasses, garnishes and more. Others come complete with booze, and there are options for non-drinkers too.
Ready to dive in? Happy hour is just a click away.
Find our favourite DIY cocktail kits below
Sipsmith cocktail set
Get the full Sipsmith experience without breaking lockdown rules thanks to the London gin distiller’s gorgeous kit. As well as a bottle of its classic London Dry Gin, the package comes with gleaming barware: a swan-topped stirring spoon, jigger, strainer and a Martini stirring glass. This would make a lovely gift for the gin-obsessive in your life.
STIR-UP cocktail subscription service
Pull up a stool, cocktail school is about to begin. New subscription service STIR-UP is on a mission to get the nation mixing, shaking and pouring like a pro with monthly parcels to make iconic drinks like Negronis, Old Fashioneds and Mai Tais to name just a few. As well as ingredients, you’ll learn about the origins and story behind each drink, plus a playlist to get you well and truly in kick-back mode. An education.
Create Cocktails Multi Box
Usually found mixing delicious drinks for corporate clients and big parties, this cool handcrafted cocktail brand has diversified into at-home packages. This means winter warmers delivered right to your door and there’s even a box to make mocktails using non-alcoholic brand Ceder’s.
In honour of our great city, we’re putting in an order of the LDN Box, which comes with everything you need to make four drinks: a Pink Porn Star, Honey Truffle Sour, Koh Tao and a glass of pink Prosecco. It will include recipes and those extra details like garnishes that make it feel like you’re in a proper bar. Bottom’s up!
The Cocktail Man Monkey Shoulder Salted Caramel Old Fashioned
With enough booze to create 22 serves (that’s £3.41 a glass, the company is keen to highlight), this parcel is perfect for those who take their whisky cocktails with a shot of fun. The twist comes in the form of a vintage egg cup in lieu of a measure, sea salt to garnish and instructions. You’ll also get a 70cl bottle of Monkey Shoulder whisky and a 50cl bottle of salted caramel ‘sliqueur’, made by The Cocktail Man.
If you’re not much of a whisky drinker, there are many other kits to try (we’ve got our beady eye on the Grey Goose Chocolate Espresso Martini box) as well as three-, six- and 12-month subscriptions for a rotating monthly box of imbibable goodies.
Fortnum & Mason The Bellini Box
Bring weekend brunches back from the brink with a little help from Royal grocer Fortnum & Mason. The delightful Bellini Box, clad in the brand’s signature blue box, comes with a full-sized bottle of prosecco and a 33cl bottle of juicy peach nectar. Mix, serve and feel transported to the Venetian canalside.
Taste Cocktails Margarita Cocktail Kit
There’s nothing like a margarita for a temporary reprieve from these troubling times. Make your own with a few to spare with Taste Cocktails’ Margarita Cocktail Kit. This box makes six drinks and comes with lab-style bottles of tequila, Grand Marnier, agave nectar, triple sec and a recipe card with tips on technique.
Try your hand at making a classic, a Tommy’s Margarita and one that rolls most pleasingly off the tongue, a Million Dollar Margarita.
Seedlip Self Care Spritz
A party pack (it makes six drinks) for moderate drinkers, this haul has it all. From a full-sized bottle of Seedlip and Double Dutch soda waters to mix up a drink, to a cucumber to make refreshing garnishes, candles – even face packs! A real treat to enjoy in the garden when the weather allows.
Sandy Leaf Farm Shimmering & Colour Changing Gin Infusing Kit
Die-hard gin fans looking to shake things up will love this kit, which infuses your favourite spirit with shimmer and colour-changing properties. The starter kit can transform up to 15 bottles which will gleam or change hue when mixed with tonic. Think of it as a magic show for drinkers.
Edinburgh Gin Cocktail Set
Edinburgh Gin is fast becoming known for exciting gin-soaked sets delivered in novel ways: we’ve had them delivered in perspex locked safes, and sent with classic works of literature. Building on the book theme, this fun set will put the joy back into happy hour.
The box riffs off Dickens’ famous Oliver Twist – here named Olive or Twist – and contains everything you need to pour a tasty tipple. Think a full-sized bottle of its Classic gin plus chic bar accessories, from a glass and stirring spoon to a muddler and measuring spoon.
Salcombe Gin Miniatures Cool Bag Set with Rosé Sainte Marie
Take your bar on the move (when the time comes) with this gin cocktail set that comes in a portable cool bag. Complete with tumblers, you’ll find Salcombe Gin miniatures and tins of Fever-Tree tonic inside too.
Shoryu DIY Cocktail – Dirty Lychee
For those craving the excitement only a Shoryu cocktail delivers, do we have a treat in mind for you. Containing two servings, this Capri Sun-style packet holds 435ml of pre-mixed Dirty Lychee cocktail, making it perfect for park picnics.
NIO Experience Box
You’ve no doubt seen the letterbox cocktail company doing the rounds on your newsfeed. Packaged in impossibly flat CD-sized envelopes, the pre-mixed drinks are hugely popular.
This kit, while won’t slide through your front door, does offer a step up from the base offering. It includes five pre-mixed cocktails of your choice (we recommend Tommy’s Margarita), a pair of cut glass tumblers and a designer mould that make the chunkiest blocks of ice ever.
Piña Colada Cocktail Kit
A bundle with all the supplies you need to make this tropical-inspired cocktail, we love this kit for bringing some much-needed sunshine to your home. This kit contains a 70cl bottle of El Dorado 3 Year Old White Rum, a litre of Eager Pineapple Juice, a 425g can of Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut, and a Poco Grande Pina Colada Glass for good measure. Cocktail umbrellas, unfortunately, not provided.
Manhattan Cocktail Gift Box
With news of a SATC reboot on the way, there’s never been a better time to whip up a classic Manhattan at home. This box has everything you need to recreate one of America’s oldest cocktails yourself (supposedly first served to Winston Churchill’s mum Lady Randolph Churchill, no less) with whisky and vermouth miniatures, bitters and even a jar of olives. All you need to add is ice. Textbook Manhattans, here you come.
‘Liquid Story Maker Enclosed’ Whisky and Shots gift box
Transport yourself to the rugged wilds of the Highlights with this whisky kit. It comes with Glenfiddich and Balvenie miniatures as well as gold-coloured shot glasses in a faux leather zipped pouch. Perfect for weekend rambles.
Soho Home Picante All Day Cocktail Set
If you’re up for spending some serious money, it doesn’t get splashier than Soho Home’s Picante Cocktail kit. It’s a case of luxury all the way: the set contains four hand-cut crystal Barwell tumblers, a full size bottle of Patron Reposado and some agave syrup. They’ve also thrown in a martini shaker and ice bucket for the full private club experience.
Special Touch Botanicals For Rum Cocktails Set
The right flavours can upgrade your regular drink to new heights, but ingredients can be tricky and expensive to source. Special Touch has done the running around for you and collected the finest botanicals to add to your rum special, all in one smart box. This one is calibrated for rum, but there are versions for gin and vodka too.
VonShef Green & Brushed Gold Cocktail Set
Recreate the feel of a professional bar at home. VonShef’s cocktail set is a thing of beauty with a brushed gold-coloured theme on the shaker, bar spoon, double-ended cocktail measure, strainer and a glass. There’s also a wooden muddler, useful for bashing up herbs in a Mojito. The set includes a recipe book to help you expand your cocktail menu.
Manhattan Cocktail Shaker Set
A complete set for wannabe mixologists, this seven-piece set will have you mixing like a pro at your favourite bar. The bundle includes a cocktail shaker and stirrer, muddler, mixing spoon and separate measures (25ml and 50ml) along with a cocktail book.
Complete with gin as well as Insta-worthy barware, Sipsmith’s cocktail set is one making room for in your home bar. There’s no danger of it gathering dust either: we’ll use any excuse to show off the stunning rose gold kit.