How to Make a Cocktail Kit, the Perfect DIY Gift for 2021

Shake things up this holiday season with homemade cocktail kits.

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ingredients for a homemade cocktail kit
Photo: Allrecipes

You may not have the crafting skills or time to create a gift from scratch, much less for everyone on your list. But you can still put together a gift that feels just as thoughtful, creative, and appreciated: a DIY cocktail kit. We'll guide you through assembling your own gift boxes with packaging, goodies, and cocktail ingredients — plus a few homemade alternatives so you can choose how hands-on you want your kits to be.


Choose your cocktail, then build the rest of your kit around it. We're sharing three classics, but you can go with your own signature drink or a Christmas cocktail if you're feeling extra festive.

Let your gift recipient know if their kit contains ingredients that need to be refrigerated, like homemade simple syrup, maraschino cherries, or ginger beer. Also, we're not including ice or water in the kits, so consider writing the full recipe on a recipe card for them.

Old Fashioned

Tap into the nostalgia of the holiday season and gift a Classic Old Fashioned.

  • Angostura bitters: Shop it.
  • Simple syrup: Get the recipe or replace with a sugar cube or two.
  • Maraschino cherry: Get the recipe or shop it.
  • Orange: Include a whole orange.
  • Whiskey: Include a 50 ML bottle for one drink or a 100 ML bottle for two.

Hot Toddy

Cold nights meet their match in a comforting Hot Toddy.

  • Honey: Shop it.
  • Cinnamon stick: Shop it.
  • Whole cloves: Shop it.
  • Lemon: Include a whole lemon.
  • Whiskey: Include a 50 ML bottle for one drink or a 100 ML bottle for two.

Moscow Mule

Ginger beer gives the Moscow Mule Cocktail festive spice and fizz.

  • Ginger beer: Get the recipe or shop it.
  • Lime: Include a whole lime.
  • Vodka: Include a 50 ML bottle for one drink or a 100 ML bottle for two.

Cocktail Accessories

To make your cocktail kit extra special, include a tumbler or mug. If you plan to gift multiple kits, you can buy these in sets to save money. For an old fashioned, include a rocks glass (aka a lowball) with an eye-catching design. For a hot toddy, a stylish but sturdy glass mug. For a Moscow mule, a copper mug.

You can also personalize your homemade cocktail kits with a couple of accessories, such as a jigger, a stirrer spoon, and reusable straws. Divide sets of items like coasters, cocktail napkins (these have holiday flair), or bar towels between your kits.


Ingredient Packaging

Use mason jars to hold homemade ingredients (remember to keep them refrigerated!) as well as garnishes like cloves, cinnamon sticks, and sugar cubes. You can secure most of these ingredients in a 4 oz. spice jar or 4 oz. jelly jar. Making a Moscow mule? The 4 oz. size will hold just enough ginger beer if you fill it to the brim. So, if you have a Mason jar up to 8 oz. to spare, consider upgrading the size.

brown box with red ribbon and gift wrapping accessories

Gift Box

First things first: You want to keep your glass items from clinking. Grab a pack of crinkled paper shreds in Christmas colors or wintery white to fill your box. As for the box, go with a kraft paper gift box and you won't even need wrapping paper. Brown paper packaging creates an of-the-moment, minimalistic aesthetic with almost zero effort.

Wrap your packed box up with holiday-ready ribbon, candy cane-like bakers twine, or natural jute twine. Next, tie a gift tag to the ribbon. To spice up the box a little more, tie on jingle bells, a mini ball ornament, or another simple ornament. Tucking small Christmas tree clippings or a dried orange slice under the ribbon also adds cheer.


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