Cocktails in a box have become such a fast-growing category that you wonder how come it took so long to happen. Wine has been available in boxes for decades and has long done away with the myth that boxed wine has to equal cheap wine. Of course it can be cheap, but it can also be top quality.
These BarBox Ready-to-Drink Craft Cocktails are from the Kozuba and Sons Distillery in Saint Petersburg, Florida. The company makes a range of vodkas and whiskeys, and already sells three different boxed vodkas, so cocktails in a box is a logical step, starting with three classic cocktails including a Vodka Sour. All boxes are 1.75 liters and contain 14 4oz servings. The boxes are fully recyclable and biodegradable. At a recommended price of $25, that’s under $2 a cocktail.
BarBox Blueberry Vodka Sour – This is the best of the first three cocktails launched in boxes by BarBox. Made from vodka, blueberry simple syrup, and lemon juice, on the nose it has that pleasant fruity blend of blueberries and lemons, which follows through on the palate, where the ‘sour’ part also kicks in. It’s a simple but perfect balance that lingers on the finish too. Add a lemon wedge and have it on the rocks, and this is one to pour for friends to taste before revealing where it came from. 40 proof. A- / $25
BarBox Cosmopolitan – This uses a standard recipe of lemon-infused vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and lime juice, perhaps losing a little edge by having triple sec rather than the pricier and higher-abv Cointreau, as recommended by the International Bartenders’ Association. A Cosmo can be easy to spoil as if you have too much lime juice it will be sour, too much cranberry juice and it will make you pucker, and too much orange liqueur and it will be overly sweet. This gets the balance spot-on, and with a noticeable alcohol content too. While it’s not the most exciting of drinks, you’d be happy to get this in a bar and pay $12 for it, rather than under $2 to have it at home. 48 proof. B
BarBox Negroni – The Negroni mixes gin, bitter liqueur, white wine with natural flavors and Cochineal extract. This is the least successful, and the only one to refer to ‘natural flavors,’ without specifying what those might be. Cochineal extract is purely a coloring. A Negroni is naturally a bitter cocktail, which I often opt for in a cocktail bar. This, however, was way too bitter and sent me scurrying to the kitchen for several more ice cubes and to find something sweet to make it palatable. A generous slug of orange juice helped. 52 proof. C
each $25 per 1.75 liter box / barboxcocktails.com