Bespoke Post Alchemy Review: Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze?

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William Barton Avatar by  William Barton | Last Updated:  Nov 19, 2020
Bespoke Post Alchemy Review: Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze?

Looking to level up your mixology game but not sure which set is the best kit to get you started?

The Bespoke Post Alchemy box comes in at an eye-catching $45 as part of a subscription, but is it better value than your standard Amazon buy? By the end of this review, you’ll know whether it’s worthy of your home bar.

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Bespoke Post Alchemy

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Bottom line: If you want to get into mixology, the Bespoke Post Alchemy box has all you need to get started. The tools are all high quality stainless steel and get the job done, although if you already own a few of them, it’d be hard to justify getting a second set.

Ratings:

The Adult Man Image/IconQuality of Products The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/IconCuration The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/IconValue for Money The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/IconSubscription Management The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/IconPackaging The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon

Pros:

  • It's an easy way to expand your home bar instantly with core mixology tools
  • Good quality stainless steel tools that get the job done
  • The orange bitters add an interesting note in place of Angostura bitters

Cons:

  • It may not be value for money if you already own a few of the items
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A few months ago, I posted an Instagram story on how to make the best Old Fashioned (@theadultman—check it out). 

Shortly after, I got a DM. 

“Looks good. But your ice game is weak.”

The truth can hurt. 

The fact is, about two years ago, I had to choose what was essential enough to put into my car for a cross-country move. The home-bar I’d been building for a few years didn’t make the cut.

Since all of my bar essentials (like ice-moulds) have been packed away in my dad’s garage for two years, I’ve been making cocktails with weak ice. 

And then Bespoke Post Alchemy showed up this month and gave my home bar a much-needed equipment boost. 

But I’m still tender after that DM. I don’t know how much ice-related criticism I can take.

Does the Alchemy pack enough value for me to lick my wounds and put myself back out there?

Will my ice ever be strong?

You’re about to find out. 

Unboxing and First Impressions

Bespoke Post Alchemy

If you couldn’t tell from the intro, Bespoke Post’s Alchemy box is basically a bar in a box. Consider it a starter kit for anyone looking to get into mixology or building a home-bar. 

Bespoke Post is a Manhattan based subscription box for men that serves up a range of tailored lifestyle boxes on the monthly. You can buy each individual box outright or subscribe for a discount of $10 off each box (follow our links for an additional 20% off).

Check out our in-depth Bespoke Post review to learn more about the service as a whole.

Alchemy has everything you need to make most of your cocktails (besides the actual liquor, of course). You get a Boston style shaker, a jigger, a barspoon/muddler, a strainer, a large cube ice tray and Bespoke Post also throws in some orange bitters to get you started. 

Bespoke Post Alchemy Review

I’ve been getting away without these bar basics for the past several years mainly because my favorite drinks (Old Fashioned, Negroni, and a glass of Scotch) don’t require anything other than a simple stir. 

Luckily, this month’s shipment doesn’t contain anything I have already, so in that respect, I’m excited to dive in. But nothing here looks particularly unique (besides the bitters), so my opinion is going to come down to the value (i.e. if I bought these separately, would they cost less?).

Bespoke Post Alchemy Review: A Hands-on Look

Boston Shaker

Bespoke Post Alchemy closeup on boston shakers

Did the Boston shaker originate in Boston? Who cares?

But I do know that the coolest bartenders all use a Boston shaker. 

This is basically two stainless steel tumblers, one smaller than the other, that nest to create the perfect environment for shaking up your favorite cocktail. 

If you pour it just right, you can have the smaller top tumbler strain out the ice for a frosty drink that won’t get watered down. 

Those are the virtues of the Boston shaker. 

Bespoke Post Alchemy closeup on boston shakers and jigger

The particular shaker Bespoke Post sent me isn’t any different or better than any other shakers I’ve used in the past. They have a nice weight to them, and the wall thickness adds a little buffer to keep the warmth of your hand away from the cocktail. 

But this is a basic shaker. I can’t say there’s anything special about this individual unit. I can say, though, that I’m very happy to have one. 

Cocktail Kingdom Barspoon/Muddler, Jigger, and Strainer

Bespoke Post Alchemy barspoon and strainer

Chefs have knives, baseball players have gloves, and the barkeep has a spoon, jigger, and strainer. 

These are the essential tools you need to make a robust set of drinks. As I said, I’ve gotten away with just a spoon for a long time, but that’s because my favorite drinks are stirred. 

But there’s so much limitation in that. 

Bespoke Post Alchemy drink strainer

Shaken drinks are more light and airy, which makes for better spring and summer cocktails. Having these tools allows me to make so many other types of cocktails I haven’t touched yet. Mojito, mint julep, whiskey sour, daiquiri, and the list goes on. 

I love the muddler on the end of the barspoon. I’ll admit that I haven’t spent a ton of time looking through bar tools, but I haven’t seen this type of dual purpose tool before. 

Bespoke Post Alchemy bar spoon stainless steel

The strainer and jigger and good quality stainless steel. I have no complaints, but like the Boston shaker, I don’t have much praise, either. They’re just good quality bar tools. 

Cocktail Kingdom Ice Cube Tray

Bespoke Post Alchemy ice cubes

This ice cube tray makes big ice. 

End of story? Heck no. 

Yes, this tray makes good ice (strong ice, I think). But I’d like to take this moment to share a bit of bartender wisdom with you.

I did an experiment freezing three types of water: boiled water, tap water,  and carbonated water. Here’s what the ice cubes looked like (boiled, tap, carbonated from right to left):

Bespoke Post Alchemy ice cubes boiled vs tap 1

And here’s a time-lapse of those ice cubes melting:

Alchemy Ice Melting Test

I’ve always heard that boiled water makes beautiful clear ice. Maybe I’m boiling my water wrong, but that’s just not the case for me. 

The cube on the far right was made with boiled water and there’s just as much air trapped in the cube. 

The cube on the left was made with carbonated water and it’s opaque, which is a cool effect. Also, in the melting gif above, it actually melted slower than the other cubes. However, it melts much faster than the other cubes when it’s in liquid. 

So what’s the takeaway? 

Just make ice in whatever way is easiest for you. I’m sure you’re already doing that, but I just thought I’d give you a reminder to not waste your time fiddling with different types of ice like I did. 

Bittercube Orange Bitters

Bespoke Post Alchemy closeup bittercube orange bitters

I gave the Bittercube Orange Bitters a try in one of my favorite laid back cocktails: the Old Fashioned. 

Usually, you melt a sugar cube with Angostura bitters, lay down the ice, pour a double shot of whiskey over the top and garnish with orange peel. But to put it over the top, I used the orange bitters and garnished with a slice of orange and the result was delicious. 

It’s almost a different drink and has a much fruitier flavor, which I liked. 

I’ve also been adding a few drops to my Negronis when I don’t have an orange on hand. Maybe it’s a bit overkill with the bitter flavor, and maybe there’s an old Italian man shaking his fist at me, but I like it.

Negroni sbagliatto made in glass

Bitters are the secret ingredient that can help make your cocktails much more nuanced and developed. 

While Angostura bitters will continue being my mainstay—the flavor is classic and some drinks die without it—having orange bitters puts a few drinks over the top.

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Bespoke Post Alchemy
(Get 20% off your first box automatically by following our links)

If you want to get into mixology, the Bespoke Post Alchemy box has all you need to get started. The tools are all high quality stainless steel and get the job done, although if you already own a few of them, it’d be hard to justify getting a second set.

Check Best Price Read Our Review
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

The Value

Bespoke Post Alchemy top down shaker

After scouring the web, I came to two conclusions:

  1. You can piece together lower quality (thin, light stainless steel) versions of the same equipment for about $30. These are good enough to make drinks with. That doesn’t include the bitters. Bittercube prices their bitters at $10. That puts the total price of this bundle at $40. 
  2. If you were to piece together the same quality of equipment yourself, it’d run you $70, plus another $10 for the bitters. 

So, you have a choice to make. This box cost $45 as part of a subscription. It costs more than to piece together cheaper equipment, so if you want to build a small cheap home bar, head over to Amazon and load up your cart and save $5. 

Bespoke Post Alchemy box full setup

But if you want better-quality equipment—refined gear that feels good to make drinks with—you’re getting a much better bargain with Bespoke. 

I also enjoy the element of surprise with Bespoke Post, so for me, that’s worth it. And like I said, these are all things I’ve wanted for a while, but never prioritized getting them.

My Overall Thoughts on Bespoke Post Alchemy

What I Like

  • I didn’t previously have any of these tools, so this really helped me expand my home bar. That’s something I’ve been wanting to do, but never prioritized. 

  • While none of the bar tools were exceptional, they’re all good quality stainless steel and get the job done.

  • The orange bitters add an interesting note in place of Angostura bitters—they can become your secret ingredient. 

What I Don’t Like

  • If you already own a few of these things, it’s hard to justify getting a second set. There isn’t anything inherently unique about these items (other than the bitters), and you can’t really get much use out of having an extra around. 

Who’s Bespoke Post Alchemy for?

If you’ve been looking to get into mixology, this is a great place to start. These are the basic tools that unlock the ability to make hundreds of iconic drinks.

The Verdict

As someone who didn’t have any bar gear, this box is awesome. Updating my home bar was on my to-do list for over a year, but somehow never made its way to the top. 

And then it was like it was done for me. 

That’s really what I’ve come to enjoy about Bespoke Post over the past several boxes (I’ve gotten six boxes now). Most months, I open my delivery up and get a version of something I’ve been wanting for months but haven’t made time to pick up. 

Now, I’m mostly a wine and beer drinker, so I don’t have a huge catalogue of cocktails I’m dying to make. But there are a few standby drinks like the Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sour, and Negroni that fit certain moods. 

Having a home bar set up elevates my date-night game. And now, no one can accuse me of having weak ice.

Exclusive Discount Available
Bespoke Post Alchemy
(Get 20% off your first box automatically by following our links)

If you want to get into mixology, the Bespoke Post Alchemy box has all you need to get started. The tools are all high quality stainless steel and get the job done, although if you already own a few of them, it’d be hard to justify getting a second set.

Check Best Price Read Our Review
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

For more insight into Bespoke Post, check out our in-depth review of Bespoke Post here, or catch our Bespoke Post video review below covering 7 months worth of boxes, including Alchemy: