I’m a massive sucker for ‘X of the month’ clubs, recipes, cocktails, gin, and amassing excuses to use a coupe glass. So I think Shaken was actually designed entirely with me in mind – it combines all these things into a monthly delivery designed around a lead spirit, which always changes and varies from gin, to whisky, to vodka. Inside the box, you get recipe cards for the cocktails, a booklet about the lead spirit, and the ingredients to make the cocktails! All you need to do is get the bar equipment ready and nab some lemons and limes!
The box I tried was the gin introductory box, and features two cocktails based around Broker’s gin (and the booklet has interesting info about the spirit as well…) The theme is the Prohibition era – think glamour, jazz, Speakeasys, and illicit boozing under cover of darkness and via secret knocks.Inside the kit were the recipe cards and booklet, plus five glass bottles containing 200ml of Brooker’s gin, 30ml of green chartreuse, 60ml of maraschino, 10ml of absinthe and 10ml of creme de violette.
The first cocktail was Aviation, served in a chilled martini glass – a combination of gin, maraschino, creme de violette and lemon juice, stirred with ice. This pretty blue drink has a delicate floral taste like parma violets, backed up by a heady punch courtesy of the Broker’s.
With the subtle hint of blue and the sweet taste of flowers, this is definitely a feminine drink, but don’t let that fool you! Just like all the most formidable women, it looks pretty but it packs a punch.
Now let’s move onto Last Word – an exotic and mysterious combination that includes the green fairy herself – a rinse of absinthe! I’d never actually had an absinthe cocktail before, so I was intrigued to try a drink that included a spirit with such an infamous reputation, joining the ranks of absinthe drinkers such as Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Oscar Wild and Charles Baudelaire. Rest assured, the amount of absinthe in Last Word is nowhere near enough for you to dissolve into the legendary deranged behaviours or hallucinations the myth of the la fee verte would have you believe. Combined with gin, maraschino, green chartreuse and lime juice, the absinthe rinse in Last Word imparts a subtle aniseed flavour to this tart and medicinal tasting drink, which also has hints of liquorice and cherries.
Each Shaken box has enough ingredients in it to create two cocktails for each recipe, with enough of the main spirit left over for you to try that on its own – so, five bar-strength drinks in all!
If you want to join the monthly subscribers as an Explorers’ Club Member, the cost for each box is £24, including delivery (but I have a money-off code, below!). Each month, you’re emailed ahead of time about that month’s box, and if you prefer, you can swap it out with the gin or whisky introduction boxes. Also, you can cancel any time, and even skip boxes too!
Shaken also has an online shop with gift certificates, one off boxes and full sized bottles of each box’s lead spirit. Shaken’s Gin, Whisky and Espresso Martini boxes are available at their shop for £29 each – I think these are awesome for a dinner party or gathering! I’m definitely signing up, and I know a certain friend of mine who may well be getting one of these beauties as a gift in the next few months!
Follow this link to get £10 off your first Shaken box:http://bit.ly/1WS87u7, making it just £14. You can choose from the gin box that I trialled, or the whiskey box, which includes Four Roses Small Batch bourbon, Campari, sweet and dry vermouths and orange bitters to make a Manhattan and Boulevardier. Hmm… I may have to do some more ‘research’ on this one. You know, just to test it out…
Thanks to Shaken for sending me a box to try. All my opinions are my own!