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Live by the catwalk, die by the donut.

Scottish Bitches is a fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog by Laura MacDonald and Corrine McConnachie.

Bottle in a Box - The Subscription Box for Craft Spirits

Bottle in a Box - The Subscription Box for Craft Spirits

When it comes to gifting for an occasion, you can't really go wrong with a bottle of something good. But, sometimes gifting your standard bottle of Smirnoff or Hendricks can seem a little impersonal. Enter Bottle in a Box - Scotland's hottest Spirits Subscription and Gift Box brand! 

Bottle in a Box is built on enhancing the drinking experience and focuses on exposing gin, whisky, rum and vodka enthusiasts to the world craft brands, as well the complimentary nibbles and mixers needed for a complete sensory tasting session!

We caught up with the brand's founder, Chelsay Brown to find out more!

Hi Chelsay! It’s not very often we hear about something as cool as a Gin Subscription business starting up in Falkirk! How did Bottle in a Box come to be? 

I was looking for a gift for my auntie’s 50th, however, I was struggling to find a gift box that included a variety of items she would like. I love giving gifts, so I always try to get something that I feel can portray how much they mean to me. Wine hampers seemed to be in abundance but wine isn’t really my auntie's thing. With gin, I could only find single bottles asides from the odd gift set, but the contents didn’t impress me much. In the end I decided to make a “box of goodies” for my auntie, it contained her favourite gin, some unique mixers I managed to find online, her favourite chocolates, spicy nuts and some hand cut crisps for her to enjoy. My auntie was over the moon with her box, not one bit of it went to waste (she would send me some selfies of her tucking into her goodie box). She posted a picture of her gift on Facebook, and her work mates were all asking where she had got it from so they could get something like that for their friends too. The positive reaction from her friends got me chatting to my friends and asking opinions of others to see what they all thought. Everyone thought it was a brilliant idea, with my mum suggested I started up a wee business doing bespoke gift boxes. It was then that I decided to take the plunge and Bottle in a Box was born. We launched the business in August 2017 when our website finally went live. 

There’s been a massive gin boom in Scotland over the past few years. What’s your favourite craft gin and why? 

At the moment, my favourite craft gin from Scotland is Caorunn. It is full of flavour and I love the mixture of spices followed by the fruity punch from the apple and delicious rowan berry. On its own or in a G&T with a slice of red apple, I feel Caorunn celebrates the wonderful ingredients of Scotland while giving a delightful drinking experience. Plus, the bottle shape is quite quirky, stands out in the drink cupboard.

Are there any up-and-coming distilleries we should keep our eye on? 

Always! There are hundreds of micro distillers out there, new ones starting up every day who are constantly putting their own twist on the classic gin. I think this year flavoured gin will have its turn in the spotlight, bringing us new and exciting flavours. I would say to keep your eye on Rock Rose Gin, they are a Scottish company. Word is they have some new and exciting products coming out this year!

Gin is often produced by distilleries whilst they are waiting for whisky to mature. What advice would you give a gin drinker who is cautious about trying whisky? 

My advice, try everything once! I used to tell myself I didn’t like whisky before I had even tried it. Whisky is a very complex drink, packed full of flavour. I find the ageing process fascinating and how different casks produce different finishes and aftertastes. My personal preference is a single malt, but I would advise to try the blends initially with some ice or even a drop of water. If you jump straight to the full bodied, complex single malts out there, you may write whisky off all together!

What was your inspiration for starting Bottle in a Box? 

The lack of spirit gift boxes was my inspiration for Bottle in a box. It's easy enough to find branded spirit boxes with glasses etc. but these tend to just be the common brands - nothing craft. I liked the idea of having boxes for every occasion: a night in with the girls, a cosy night in with your other half, a wedding present that suited the bride and groom, or an important birthday like an 18th when a bottle is given, but you need the extra accompaniments to make it that bit more special. When I receive a bottle myself, I begin planning on when I can use it, and a bottle is always better shared in good company, with a selection of tasty treats. With Bottle in a Box, you can also add free personal message to further enhance the gifting experience for those birthday or celebrations you can’t attend but want to add that personal touch. Many other companies offer this however there is usually a charge, but I wanted it to be free because sometimes the messages people want to send are just as important as the box contents.     

What are your goals for Bottle in a Box?  

2018 is set to be an exciting year for us. We are extending our product range constantly and have booked into a few trade shows to make sure we are touching base with as many distillers as possible to bring our customers a great variety of quality products. We are also in the process of creating new boxes that our customers will be able to chose from based on the occasion they are buying for. "Happy Birthday", "Thank You" and "Best Wishes" will be the first of our new boxes, which we are hoping to have ready for the end of March/beginning of April. 

What challenges have you faced starting up an alcohol based start up?

There have been a few bumps in the road with setting up Bottle in a Box. Finding a reliable courier to dispatch our parcels was difficult. A lot of the well-known distributers would not insure boxes containing alcohol. Trying to find someone who is both trustworthy and reliable but would also insure us, was challenging. But, the hardest part of all was finding the right company to make our boxes for us. We designed our own logo and box, however we were finding many companies were unable to provide us with a box that was high quality yet sturdy enough to protect the contents during transit. After many meetings, emails, calls and sample boxes - we had a cupboard full of them - we finally found a company who met our expectations. I couldn’t believe how long it took, who would have thought out of the whole process of setting up Bottle in a Box that the boxes would be our biggest challenge?!

Bottle in a Box - Get Gifting Right

Getting gifting right doesn't mean having to break the bank. Bottle in a Box offers a number of options for every price point, without having to compromise on quality. One-off gin gift sets begin at just £23.

Subscription boxes are priced at £40 and can be delivered monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly.

Do you struggle to buy gifts for your loved ones? What's your fall back gift? What alcohol gift sets would you like to see more of? Leave us a comment below!

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