All Bottled Up

Build your bar with a cocktail-making subscription program

Meredith Lantz and Joe Barwin don't only want you to have a properly stocked home bar; they want to stock it for you.

The co-owners of the seven-week-old Bitters & Bottles, a liquor store in a spare South San Francisco storefront rescued after decades of neglect, are a little like Stacy and Clinton of What Not to Wear–only less judge-y and far, far more pro-vermouth.

Their shelves of Scotches and small-batch gins are expanding as the renovations continue, as is the selection of barware. (Barwin's favorite tool, for instance: a good lemon juicer, $26. Lantz's: a swing-top bottle to store simple syrup in, $9.)

If you sign up for Bitters and Bottles' spirits subscription ($75) they'll mail you bottles of sipping spirits every month.

So far that has included a premium blended whiskey and a barrel-aged gin. It'll be "like a great date, something you can enjoy at home or bring out when friends come around," Lantz says.

Liqueurs that may appear in your mailbox

In comparison, each installment of the monthly cocktail subscription ($95) supplies you with recipes and all the booze you need to make five standard cocktails. "We're not sending you bottles that will just sit there on the shelf," Lantz promises.

She also guarantees no tinctures or blowtorches.

We suppose that's a good thing.