The bottle : Shots Box , boxes starting at $39.99
The back story: So, you want to buy dad a special bottle for Father’s Day. But you’re not sure which spirit is his favorite. Scotch? Bourbon? Maybe even a cucumber-flavored vodka?
Enter Shots Box, a company that creates sample packs of craft spirits with the thought that you can have it all.
The California-based outfit, launched two years ago by entrepreneur JC Stock and attorney and craft distiller Casper Rankin, offers boxed assortments of 10 mini bottles (50 ml). You can stick within a spirit category, including gin, vodka, whiskey or liqueurs. Or you can create your own customized box with as much variety across categories as you desire, picking from dozens of options. Monthly subscriptions are offered as well.
Shots Box says it aims to spotlight brands that are generally not on store shelves nationally. “A lot of these are mom-and-pop companies,” says Kendra Mack, vice president of product development.
But the goal is not just to sell shots. The company offers the bottles in full-size format (750 ml) as well. The idea is that if you like a particular mini in an assortment, you can then commit to something bigger.
Company officials won’t share sales figures, but say the business has seen exponential growth over the last year-and-a-half.
What we think about it: A Shots Box is a lot of fun in one package. We tried a Customizable Shots Box ($49.99) and had a good time sampling everything from a fig liqueur to honey-flavored moonshine to the aforementioned cucumber vodka. (The latter, from a Texas brand called Western Son, was perhaps our favorite in the group.) Some prominent craft names, such as Balcones, a Texas brand devoted to whiskey, are available as well.
How to enjoy it: The real pleasure is in the picking — that is, figuring out what to get in your customizable box. Beyond that, just crack open the minis and enjoy them straight or in whatever cocktail you desire.