My boyfriend’s sister is one of those people who is very good at buying presents. I mean very good. To the point where trying to buy a present for her sends us both into a panic spiral.
One of the gifts she bought us for Christmas a couple of years ago was a beautiful star shaped box filled with Drinks by the Dram bottles. Gin for me, vodka for Adam. All carefully handpicked and nestled in their boxes in shimmery shredded tissue paper. See? I said she was good.
We had instructions to let her know which ones we liked best, which we dutifully did (well, I did. Adam just drank his). My birthday and Christmas presents for the following year were then my two favourites of the miniatures; Audemus Pink Pepper and Thomas Dakin.
I loved the surprise element of this gift and the idea of having a gin that I wouldn’t have picked myself, so when I found out about Craft Gin Club (and with lockdown in full swing), I thought I’d give my first subscription box a try.
What is Craft Gin Club
If you haven’t seen the adverts, or beautiful boxes and bottles across social media, Craft Gin Club is a subscription box for gin lovers. Each box contains a full sized bottle of small batch gin, tonics and garnishes, ‘cocktail of the month’ ingredients, sweet and savoury snacks and their magazine. The subscription is £40, which is pretty good when you consider that most small batch gins are in this price range.
What is the subscription
There are three subscription options; monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly. I signed up for the quarterly subscription. You have the option to easily pause or change your subscription in your account.
I debated for a couple of weeks about signing up. Although it is great value, it is quite a lot of money. I was also worried that I wouldn’t like the gin I received. While I was debating I signed up to their newsletter and a few days later received an offer of 50% off my first box.
I couldn’t get this to work, so contacted them and Alba got back to me really quickly with a code. She was really friendly and helpful and I signed up to my first box for just £20.
I started my membership on the 16th April, in time for May’s box. I received an email on the 29th April to let me know that my box was being packed, a second email on the 1st to say it was on its way and then a tracking email from Royal Mail. The box was scheduled to arrive on the 5th, but actually turned up on the 4th (hooray!)
May box Craft Gin Club review
The box arrived in perfect condition and everything inside was extremely well packaged in an air filled bag and paper. My first thoughts were how much you received (which is silly, given that I knew roughly what was going to be in the box).
May’s gin is La Distillerie de Monaco Gin aux Agrumes, the first gin to be distilled in Monaco and is from the maker of L’Orangerie orange liqueur. The bottle itself is absolutely stunning, with a tapered neck to an angled, almost Art Deco body. The stopper is plain wood and the label on the front is in two parts to allow the back label, with its evocative image of the Rock of Monaco, to show through. Definitely a bottle that will be taking pride of place on the drinks tray.
This month’s box included:
- La Distillerie de Monaco Gin Aux Agrumes
- Two bottles of Antica Ricetta Siciliana Tonica
- Bottle of Antica Ricetta Siciliana Tonica Spuma
- Bottle of Martini Fiero
- Race Car cocktail syrup (for the cocktail of the month)
- Dried orange slices and juniper berries
- Olly’s Olives (I received basil and garlic)
- Bonne Maman Madeleine
- Crosta & Mollica Fennel Seed Tarallini.
A very Mediterranean theme to the box, with products from neighbouring Italy playing support to the Monégasque gin. I have so far tried the gin with the included tonic and in the Race Car cocktail. There is a delicate citrus note to the gin – this is not an orange flavour gin, but a light and citrussy warmth with a hint of something extra that adds a definite summery feel without being sharp or overpowering. In a G&T with a wedge of orange it’s refreshing and in the Race Car cocktail downright delicious.
So far we have sampled the olives and tarallini, both of which paired well with the gin, the tarallini especially (which would also be perfect with a glass of white wine). I’m looking forward to trying some of the other Monte Carlo inspired cocktails from the magazine.
If future Craft Gin Club boxes are half as good as this I can’t wait. I know that this particular box has received rave reviews, but from what I’ve read its comparable to other month’s boxes, which is a great sign. I am seriously considering switching my membership to a bi-monthly, but am also tempted by Craft Gin Club’s shop which sells previous box’s gin, many of which are available at a special price for club members and some which are exclusive to them. Members also earn rewards points for making a purchase and for each box received, which can be exchanged for shop vouchers or money off a box.
Overall I am very impressed with my first subscription box and already looking forward to my next one in August. In the meantime, I am off to enjoy a gin in the sun. Santé!