Editor’s Note: This product was provided to us as a review sample by Clayton & Crume and Angostura. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.
This Clayton & Crume cocktail kit, branded with the Angostura name, is absolutely beautiful. The full contents include: the leather bag, a drink stirrer, a peeler, a sphere ice mold, a leather-wrapped rocks glass, a tiny bottle of Maker’s Mark, and three types of Angostura bitters: original, orange, and cocoa.
It’s clearly a kit that’s meant to be used in a situation where one has time and access to other resources. The ice mold, for example, isn’t exactly an on-the-fly tool. And, obviously, you’d need to get your hands on some citrus to make use of the peeler.
There’s also no single cocktail that this kit can make without other ingredients. Even to make an old fashioned, one of the simplest of cocktails, one would need some syrup. Personally, I would use 2:1 Demerara syrup – which, luckily I keep on hand and so could make an old fashioned with this! I also recommend using two dashes of the angostura bitters and one dash of the orange since Maker’s Mark is a wheated bourbon. The absence of a jigger or bar spoon meant that unless you’re feeling reckless and just eye-balling it, you’ll need to find your own measuring tool.
A few specific classic cocktails can be made in a glass, though for quality control I don’t generally recommend that. Since the kit doesn’t have either a mixing glass or a shaker, you’d be limited on the range of drinks you can make, unless you have either one already.
The bitters bottles are labeled with the ability to make two drinks each – however, that has to depend upon the drink. The Maker’s Mark bottle contains 50mL, which I’d imagine has to do with standard bottle sizing, but is not exactly a tidy cocktail amount (that comes to about 1.6 ounces, which is either slightly too much or not quite enough for general cocktail specifications). I also found the inclusion of cocoa bitters an interesting choice – though it makes sense when you consider that the included bitters are the three types that Angostura makes.
I generally favor a bar spoon to stir drinks, but the included stirrer was perfectly fine. The smooth texture altered my stir technique a little bit, but in no way hurt the quality of the drink. The peeler worked great as well.
My favorite part of this kit is probably the bag. It was made by Clayton & Crume, as was the leather wrap on the rocks glass. It’s well-made and durable, and the leather is absolutely lovely. When the bag is fully unzipped, the top pops open and stands up on its own, which I thought was a nice touch.
All in all, this is a striking kit. The tools look good as you use them, and the drink looked very nice in the glass. I can imagine this would make quite the impact when you whip out this bag at a gathering with some friends – especially during holiday party season.
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Talia is part of the Portland service industry community, and an alumna of the Multnomah Whiskey Library. She’s an avid spirit and cocktail enthusiast, and likes to experience them both academically and recreationally. When not sipping whiskey she’s a ceramic artist and lover of travel.