Special Delivery Spirits
In the past few years, the demand for online mixology, wine, spirits and beer retailers has been increasing consistently. With demand come solutions. Numerous spirits websites – each with a unique focus – have popped up. These sites are focused on a specific section of the marketplace: people who might not live in major cities, people looking for premium or difficult to find spirits, and people interested in making their own cocktails at home.
In a marketplace saturated with different online retailers, it’s important to find a way to make your business stand out from the crowd. Cocktail Courier , Crafted Taste, Flaviar, Master of Malt and Merchants of Beverage are all sites that cater to enthusiastic drinkers, and each has found a spot in the ever-changing landscape of online retailers.
Founded in 2013, Crafted Taste is a cocktail subscription and gift service that was designed to bring unique cocktails directly to your home. Founder Kat Rudberg had spent many years in the hotel/hospitality industries; every town she visited, she checked out the local bar scene, discovering the distinct cocktails that were been mixed in that city. Then back at home, she recalls, “I was trying to recreate these cool recipes that I’d had in bars. I was living in Indianapolis at the time and I couldn’t get everything I need. I wanted to learn organically how to make cocktails at home.”
So, Rudberg made a prototype – a cocktail kit for friends featuring ingredients to make the cocktail they had on their first date. The kit was a success and Rudberg was off and running. “The Crafted Taste site is a one-stop shop for building your home bar, effortlessly,” explains Rudberg. “We also offer custom cocktail kits for both personal and corporate gifts.”
You can choose from three different subscription plans: Mixers ($65), Monthly ($130), and Premium ($200) per month, with shipping included in the cost. The Mixers package ships everything except the alcohol and the Premium plan ships an enhanced kit every month, with either an upgrade in the monthly spirit selection or additional hand-selected bottles to fill out your home bar. As far as extra features, you can schedule specific deliveries, opt-out or upgrade your choices, and cancel at any time.
Cocktail Courier focuses on personalized ingredients assembled to create recipes sourced from bartenders including Natasha David (Death & Co., Nitecap), Tim Cooper (Sweetwater Social), Thea Chard (Soho House) and Masa Urushido (Avroko Hospitality Group). The latter are members of ShakeStir.com, the world’s premiere online community for bartenders; each month, these people, along with many others, submit their very best recipes to be featured on Cocktail Courier. “Cocktail enthusiasts can order these cocktails, which arrive the next day in a kit that includes all ingredients necessary to recreate the drink (i.e. liquor, fresh squeezed juice, garnishes, easy to follow recipe, etc),” explains co-founder Scott Goldman.
Flaviar’s business model is based on the concept of tasting packs, delivered according to the members’ choice. The company ships to the United States as well as internationally. With monthly, quarterly, or two-month subscriptions available, Flaviar offers a variety of choices depending on one’s interest level. Tasting selections of gin, scotch, rum, whiskey,
Master of Malt
Based in Scotland, Master of Malt is a retailer and independent bottler of Scotch whisky, as well as a wide range of alcoholic products. The company began in 1985 as a mail order whisky company. A retail shop was opened in 1990 and a website was founded in 1997. With this, the company closed the brick-and-mortar shop and turned its attention completely to online retail. In 2009, to keep up with the marketplace, Master of Malt re-launched its website to include a large number of independent bottles, additional sub-brands, brand distribution and a trade retail business.
Merchants of Beverage
Jeffrey Meisel started Merchants of Beverage because he realized there was a vital need in the luxury online market for a company dedicated to offering highly-curated wine and spirits as well as stylish and smart gifting solutions. “I wanted to feature the artisans who don’t always get airtime but who produce world-class products, always with an interesting story to tell,” notes Meisel. His mission with Merchants of Beverage is to make exceptional drinking a part of everyone’s lifestyle so we can all drink better at home.
Along with high-end spirits, Merchants of Beverage also offers specialty items like hand-blown crystal stemware and professional barware. “The site is designed with the customers’ needs in mind,” explains Meisel “and with a specific focus on gifting solutions, and streamlining that decision process by presenting only the most noteworthy bottles in a unique and easy to use format.”