What if making a paloma, hot toddy or Old Fashioned at home was as easy as pouring the spirit of your choice into a jar? That’s the idea behind brands like Camp Craft Cocktails.
Camp’s jars come packed with pre-measured ingredients like dehydrated fruits, vegetables, herbs, cinnamon sticks, non-gmo citrus-infused sugar and spices. So, all you need to do is add alcohol, steep, shake, strain and drink, according to Rhonda Stringfellow, co-founder of Camp Craft Cocktails.
“Our kits are one-stop,” Stringfellow says.
In addition to their simplicity, infusion kits also make for a low-waste drink option, according to Rachel Garcia, who carries Camp’s jars at her shop, Dry Goods Refillery, a zero-waste, plastic-free store in Maplewood, New Jersey.
“You don’t need to be running around buying a bunch of different ingredients,” says Garcia, which might go bad in a forgotten fridge corner or end up collecting dust on a bar cart.
Garcia also loves that kits like these can be infused twice and make up to 20 drinks. By the time she’s composted any of the jar’s leftover contents and repurposed the vessel at home or in her store, she says, “I’ve wasted nothing.”
Plus, although more of us are out about about these days, it’s still a pandemic out there and not everyone is keen on impromptu trips to the store for specialty drink ingredients. But with the kits, “I have all the things I need for a delicious cocktail at home, right at my fingertips,” says Garcia.
Other small businesses are offering creative takes on cocktail infusions, from jumbo-sized jars to refill packs. Here are some brands that offer opportunities for celebrating (or coping) at home, simply and sustainably. All you need to do is supply the alcohol.
Camp Craft Cocktails
Along with classics like Bloody Marys and cranberry martinis, Camp sells seasonal creations such as Peppermint Bark Martini, with cacao nibs, peppermint bark, vanilla & citrus infused non-GMO vegan cane sugar. All you need to add is alcohol. You could also try the Aromatic Citrus, with dehydrated oranges, rosemary, thyme and bitters-infused sugar. You can also check out their Pineapple Jalapeño.
Stringfellow says she and co-founder Suzanah Raffield have seen a huge uptick in demand, especially throughout Covid-19.
“People are looking for ways to serve something that feels or tastes like what you would go out to get,” Stringfellow says.
And while customers can use Camp’s recipe recommendations to jazz up a kit, just the alcohol and some juice or tonic works, too, according to Stringfellow.
At home in Queens, New York, during the pandemic, Argentina Flores turned to family recipes for herbal teas and fruit infusion blends.
These juices and remedies, taught to her by her grandmother, a native of the Dominican Republic, rely heavily on the island’s tropical fruits and abundant herbs.
Wanting to share these flavors and her heritage, in the form of alcohol or zero-proof cocktails, Flores launched Mix’d Roots in October.
While Spicy Margarita, Sangria and Island Punch are top sellers, Flores says she has been blown away by the response to her preservative-free fruit and spice infusion kits overall—a month in, she had to move operations out of her home into a commercial kitchen space.
Besides building the budding Mix’d Roots community, Flores says sustainability is top of mind for her. Each glass jar can make up to 8–10 drinks and be infused twice. Flores also suggests customers ditch a straw and repurpose their jars. She’s also seen people reuse the infused ingredients as garnishes.
1 Part Co.
1 Part Co.’s Alcohol Infusion Kit with Infuser Bottle replaces fussy cocktail mixers and makes it easy for anyone to craft delicious bar-quality cocktails right at home. All of 1 Part’s blends are made from 50 herbs, spices, florals, botanicals and teas.
Enjoy their Essential Spirits cocktail pairings kits from whiskey, gin and vodka to Variety Blend kits ranging from citrus to mint, each featured in small, tea bag-like pouches.
This compact size means fewer bottles of mixers and drink supplies and less waste, according to Andrew Hellman, 1 Part Co.’s CEO and co-founder. You can shop by spirit, and split your order to send packs to friends, too; a single pack makes six to nine drinks.
Once giftees have received their cocktail packs, they won’t have to wait long: 1 Part’s infusions steep in a few hours, unlike other infusion kits that often need a few days before they’re ready to drink.
Hannah Matthew Martinez and Hannah Brock Silva wanted fun, flavorful drinks without a ton of added sugar. So they created Salut, infusion kits made with antioxidant-rich and mostly organic ingredients.
Salut is also focused on what its kits don’t include, which are any refined sweeteners—Salut’s blends use monkfruit powder instead. Glass bottles and recyclable packaging are a priority for the duo.
The company wants customers to know the blends work just as well with alcohol or wine as they do with water, sparkling water, or coconut water.
As a mother of four, Ashleigh Evans knows plenty about being busy.
So, Evans, who’s blogged about food for over a decade, understood when viewers of her easy cocktail tutorial videos still found making drinks at home to be too much effort. To make things as effortless as possible, she started InBooze a little over two years ago.
Evans’ kits include fruits, spices and herbs from primarily local and organic farms.
Evans says she uses every part of these fruits and vegetables to minimize waste, and the infusion bag itself is compostable.
Aged & Infused
Chicago-based Aged & Infused’s products are designed to be used repeatedly, says co-founder Jess Feller. Kits come with ingredients ranging from dehydrated apples and raspberries, to candied ginger, cardamom and dried rose petals. And all ingredients are packaged inside a 16-ounce jar that has a built-in spout for pouring, so there’s no straining required once it’s done infusing. They also come with recipes.
Want to try more than one flavor or reuse the bottle for another batch? Aged & Infused sells refill packs, too.
This article was updated on November 2, 2022.