Subscription services are available for almost any niche, interest, hobby, or palate. So, it’s no surprise that one could find one for high-quality mocktails.
Raising the Bar offers monthly subscription boxes for anyone choosing not to drink. Whether this decision is temporary or permanent, zero-proof mixology can be delivered right to your door.
What is Raising the Bar?
Raising the Bar is a monthly, non alcoholic subscription box that delivers everything you need to make alcohol-free craft cocktails at home.
With an emphasis on sophistication, Raising the Bar kits embrace craft mixology. They’re here to prove that you can create complex, delectable non alcoholic beverages while facilitating a community for alcohol-free connection. Their blog provides information, resources, and stories for people curious about sober living.
What’s Inside A Raising The Bar Subscription Box?
Each Raising the Bar subscription box centers around a zero-proof cocktail recipe and includes almost everything you’ll need to make it. Occasionally, a recipe requires fresh citrus or seltzer/soda water, but alcohol-free spirits, teas, tonics, bitters, syrups, juices, bubbles, garnishes, and barware are included.
Monthly shipments include enough ingredients to make a minimum of four drinks, making it a great activity for date night or a small get-together with friends.
A Subscription for Zero-Proof Cocktails. Enjoy craft cocktails without any of the alcohol. Offering 12-Month, 6-Month, 3-Month, and Month-to-Month options.
Raising the Bar offers one of the most flexible subscription plans we’ve found. They offer standard three, six, and twelve-month options and one-time and month-to-month purchasing. Longer subscriptions come with significant price savings (almost $10!) per box.
Here are the prices:
- 12-month: $50.75
- 6-month: $53.00
- 3-month: $55.00
- Month-to-Month: $58.00
- One-time: $60.00
Monthly subscriptions cost an additional $8.50 for shipping and handling. For one-time purchases, shipping is $10.
Raising the Bar offers also offers custom corporate and group orders. I’d never considered making craft mocktails for a work function or large party, but now I wonder why not. Making alcohol-free cocktails sounds like fun way to spice up a corporate-sponsored team-building activity.
Why Did We Choose Raising the Bar?
There are subscription boxes for literally anything and everything. While considering options for Sober October, we wanted to find tasty drinks, just without the booze. We wanted actual cocktail making sans alcohol, not basic juice and soda. The recipes, ingredients, and information featured on the Raising the Bar website offered exactly that.
Box #1: The Golden Hour
- Wilderton Lustre
- Avec Ginger Mixer
- Emily G’s Peach Marmalade
- Woodster Smoked Orange Bitters
Wilderton Lustre is a bright gin alternative that offers delicate and balanced botanical and citrus notes. Orange, tarragon, and lavender make this non-alcoholic botanical spirit perfect for light drinks. We would put it in the same category as Seedlip’s offerings, as it is not a direct gin replacement but offers similar flavor notes.
Avec is a brand of carbonated premium mixers that offers bold, low-sugar alternatives to traditional mixers. The Ginger Mixer was inspired by Jamaican ginger beer and had a phenomenal spicy ginger flavor with a hint of allspice with a little bit of fresh pineapple juice.
Emily G’s is a jam company in Georgia, U.S.A. The peach marmalade included in the Golden Hour box tastes of dried, candied peaches and is pleasingly tart. Surprisingly, the marmalade wasn’t too saccharine, making it an excellent sweetener for this cocktail.
Woodster Smoked Orange Bitters has a fantastic charred aroma with light hints of citrus. We were intrigued to try it in a cocktail.
The Golden Hour Recipe
- 1.5 oz. Wilderton Lustre
- 0.5 oz. Emily G’s peach marmalade
- 0.75 oz. Fresh lemon juice*
- Two droppers full of smoked orange bitters
- 3 oz. Chilled Avec ginger mixer.
- Combine spirit alternative, marmalade, lemon juice, and orange bitters in a mixer with ice.
- Gently stir in the Avec mixer.
- Strain into a martini glass.
- Garnish with a fresh slice of peach if you have it or if you want to.
The Golden Hour: when the sun is low in the sky, creating a golden glow around everything, the soft, yellow, and orange lighting reaches. Raising the Bar said this zero-proof cocktail “embodies the golden hour in a glass,” and we couldn’t agree more.
Each ingredient featured in this cocktail provided a level of complexity that made this mocktail shine. We would happily order this as a non-alcoholic cocktail alternative in a bar.
Overall, we were very impressed with our first box.
Box #2: The Alchemist
- Crescent Simples Apple Spice
- Siren Shrub Sparkling Rhubarb
- Fire Brew Restore
- Wildwood Mulling Spices
This box’s shining star was the Crescent Simples Apple Spice simple syrup. Made from fresh apples and spices, this syrup tastes exactly like what it promises. The apple flavor is fresh and juicy. Best of all, the apple isn’t lost behind the warm baking spices.
Siren Shrub Sparkling Rhubarb is a mixer made from apple cider vinegar, fresh rhubarb, sugar, and carbonated water. It’s polarizing, and I wouldn’t say I liked it. Carl thought it was fine because the rhubarb flavor was nice, and it had a balanced sweetness. But if you’re not a fan of vinegar, this ingredient isn’t for you.
Fire Brew Restore is a health tonic featuring apple cider vinegar, elderberries, and astragalus root. It’s undiluted apple cider vinegar with other natural ingredients added to make a liquid multivitamin.
The Wildwood Mulling Spices tea bags contain cinnamon, allspice, cloves, star anise, and orange peel. These bags are a great way to add mulling spices to single drinks.
The Alchemist Recipe
- 0.5 oz. Crescent Simples Apple Spice syrup
- 0.5 oz. Fire Brew Restore
- 2 oz. Spiced apple juice
- 2 oz. Siren Shrub Sparkling Rhubarb
- Dried apple garnish
- Heat 5 oz. of apple juice in the microwave for 1 minute. Add the Wildwood Mulling Spices tea bag to the juice for 5 minutes and cool.
- Add the apple spice syrup, Fire Brew Restore, and spiced apple juice to a shaker with ice and shake for about 30 seconds.
- Add the Siren Shrub and stir gently to combine.
- Strain the drink into a
rocks glasswith a large icecube.
- Garnish with a slice of dried apple on a cocktail pick.
The Alchemist zero-proof cocktail featured in this monthly box is heavy on vinegar flavor. Even Carl, who doesn’t mind the vinegary notes of a shrub, found this one tough to drink.
This mocktail might be enjoyable without the Fire Brew Restore. With it, the recipe tastes like a weight loss beverage wherein all other flavors are lost behind a heavy pour of apple cider vinegar.
Despite disliking the cocktail recipe, we enjoyed the included mulling spices, apple spice syrup, and the Siren Shrub cans.
Box #3: Ghost Town
Featured Ingredient: Spiritless Jalisco 55
Spiritless is a woman-owned non-alcoholic spirit company. The alcohol-free spirit offers agave, citrus, cinnamon, vanilla, and oak notes.
By itself, it tastes like tea with subtle tequila notes. But, in a cocktail, Jalisco 55 does is an excellent substitute for traditional tequila for non-alcoholic beverages.
Ghost Town Recipe
- 2 oz. Spiritless Jalisco 55
- 1.25 oz. yuzu juice
- 0.25 oz. Jalapeño Hex syrup
- 0.5-0.75 oz fresh lime juice*
- Jalapeño round and lime wheel garnish.
- Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake for about 30 seconds.
- Strain into a
- Garnish the drink with a jalapeño round and lime wheel.
Ghost Town is a delicious non-alcoholic cocktail experience. The drink is beautifully balanced and offers a nice little bite from the Jalapeño Hex syrup.
It was nearly impossible to sip this drink. Knowing it didn’t contain alcohol made it even more refreshing. The Jalisco 55 added just enough tequila presence, but not so much that we had to question whether or not there might be booze in the drink. This simple but impressive adaptation of a spicy margarita was quickly one of the best mocktails we’ve tried.
Box #4: Falling Slowly
Featured Ingredient: El Guapo Holiday Pie Bitters
The marketing materials call El Guapo Holiday Pie Bitters is “fall in a glass.” Pumpkin, pecan, apple, and sweet potato are used in these alcohol-free bitters for your favorite holiday beverage.
The bitters are mild, so you may need to use more than you’d expect when compared to mass-market bitters brands, but they do taste like fall spices and I like knowing non alcoholic bitters exists.
Falling Slowly Recipe
- 1 oz. chai concentrate
- 1.5 oz. Tart cherry juice
- 0.25 oz. Pumpkin pie maple syrup
- 0.5 oz. lemon juice*
- A few dashes of holiday pie bitters
- 3 oz. Pink peppercorn soda (chilled)
- Maple leaf or maple candy garnish
- Add chai concentrate, cherry juice, pumpkin pie maple syrup, and El Guapo holiday pie bitters to a shaker with ice and shake until the outside of the shaker is frosty.
- Strain the drink over ice into a
rocks glassor a tumbler.
- Top it with pink peppercorn soda and gently stir to combine.
- Add a few more dashes of bitters to the top and garnish with a maple leaf or maple candy on a cocktail pick.
We are here for anything chai flavored, and this cocktail was the perfect autumn treat. Every component of this drink combined wonderfully with the rest and was delicious. The pink peppercorn soda was our favorite ingredient, surprisingly.
Box #5: TBD
We’ll let you know!
We can’t wait!
Box #6: TBD
We’re going to be so sad that this is our last monthly box!
Our Raising the Bar Experience
Our Raising the Bar experience has been intriguing, fun, and worth the money we spent.
Even though one of the cocktails wasn’t our style, the individual components and the surplus of each ingredient in the subscription boxes gave us room to play with our own recipes.
We would highly recommend Raising the Bar to anyone who enjoys a good cocktail, not just those who are abstaining from alcohol.
Ingredients included in Raising the Bar subscription boxes make great non-alcoholic drinks. The monthly boxes are a fun way to try new things because we got ingredients and brands we may not have found otherwise.