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Drinking preferences are as varied as people: A glass of port by the campfire at sunset, Coronas and limes in a frat basement every Saturday night, weekly cocktails with hand-crushed ice from the bar that calls itself a House of Mixology, or no drinks at all.
And more often than not, knowing what your drinking style is—and learning how to navigate the wide world of drinking for yourself—can be confusing. Which cocktail should you master? Which wine is the best wine? What even counts as an artisan brewery? There are just So. Many. Options.
Luckily for us and our drinking habits subscriptions services are here to help. Here are 6 alcohol subscription service (and one non-boozy service) that take the guesswork—and liquor store runs—out of crafting the perfect bar cart:
1. If you flip to the back of magazines for the personality quizzes: Bright Cellars
Why it's unique: Once you've completed their online quiz, they'll run it through an algorithm and send wines that match your way.
Deeper dive: Launched by two recent MIT graduates, Bright Cellars chooses the wine for you—all you have to do is fill out a seven-question quiz (What type of chocolate is your favorite? How adventurous are you?) and they'll send four different wines per month your way. Every month you're given the option to rate the wines you received, so the more you use it, the more it will adapt to your taste preferences.
2. If you have dreams about quitting your "desk job," getting a couple tattoos, and working at that secret bar that's behind the taco stand: Bitters and Bottles
Why it's unique: It provides you with all the tools you need (pre-measured booze) to learn how to make a perfect drink at home.
Deeper dive: Each month, Bitters and Bottles sends four to six ingredients, starting with essential alcohols (bourbon) and moving up to more esoteric spirits (mezcal) so that by the end of their twelve-month program, you'll have cocktail-making tips and tricks under your belt, as well as all the essentials of a home bar (each box builds upon the previous box). You'll be a mixologist in no time.
3. If you would never be caught dead with a Coors Light—or anything that's served with a free lime wedge, for that matter: Craft Beer Club
Why it's unique: It sends little-known beers from craft breweries to your door, so you can stay in the know without stalking your craft beer store.
Deeper dive: Each month, Craft Beer Club sends twelve beers (four different types, with three bottles of each) to your door from small American breweries (here's a look at some of their most recently featured). Beer party, anyone?
4. If you're that friend who's always the First to Know (Yes, we know you started listening to Macklemore waaaaaay before Thrift Shop): Mash & Grape
Why it's unique: They send samples from small-batch, award-winning distilleries that are under-the-radar—before they're cool.
Deeper dive: Every month, Mash & Grape ships a box with three samples (50 milliliters each) of whiskey, gin, rum, vodka, tequila, or liqueur from award-winning distillers so your highly refined palate can taste the good stuff, on the rocks. If you find something you like, they also sell full-sized bottles at a discount to subscribers.
5. If you're the kind of person who buys textbooks to read in your free time: Club W
Why it's unique: Each of Club W's wines comes with a handy card and link to a short video with information on the wine, what to pair it with, and how to serve it so you can learn as you drink. Or not.
Deeper dive: Similar to Bright Cellars, Club W chooses the wines they send you by targeting your preferences with a short quiz. Once you receive your wines (they let you see their choices before they ship them), you can learn more about them through a handy card, video, and even through their personalized app—which updates to feature the wines shipped to you each month. It's great for the tech-inclined and those who just want to learn more about wine.
6. If your idea of a good time is taking the subway to a stop you've never been to and seeing where the day takes you: Crafted Taste
Why it's unique: Every month, they ship you everything you need to make a "modern cocktail"—no Old Fashioneds in sight.
Deeper dive: Every kit contains the ingredients and step-by-step instructions to put together a cocktail invented by some of the "world's best bartenders"—with full bottles, enough for about twelve drinks. Choose from one of their three plans: Premium, Monthly, or Mixers Only or buy each kit individually.
Announcing our Christmas Coffee Giveaway Winners! Thanks to all who entered, here's to more cups of delicious coffee ahead! @kears_10 @that1guysteve @cozmohollis @perezz4 @brewwknee @jesskarin @emilybarringer @runsqrlrun @laurenreavely @andrewhermann You've won a gift pack with three bags of our Roaster's best. Email [email protected] with the subject WINNER!
7. If you're more of a day drinker—and hey, we're obviously talking about coffee: Misto Box
Why it's unique: If you're more of a coffee drinker than a cocktail drinker, Misto Box delivers artisan coffee to you, according to your personal preferences.
Deeper dive: Whether you're a four-cups-a-day or a casual coffee drinker, Misto Box arranges deliveries to coincide with your consumption habits so you never run out. They source their coffee from 30 artisan coffee roasters, so we're not talking about bodega coffee here, either.
Love subscriptions as much as we do? Here are some of our personal favorites from the Food52 Shop:
What are some of your favorite subscription services? What subscription service do you wish existed? Tell us in the comments below!