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Madison-based Mixology Monthly sends DIY cocktail kits to your door

Brown paper packages tied up with strings are some of almost everyone’s favorite things.

This may be why the subscription box business has exploded in recent years. The businesses allow buyers to receive a package, usually monthly, based on a product theme like beauty (Birchbox), organic snacks (Naturebox) or clothing (Trunk Club).

Now, thanks to the new Madison business Mixology Monthly, subscribers can receive a kit to make their very own craft cocktails.

Brett Cleveland, a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, is the CEO and founder of Mixology Monthly, a craft cocktail subscription box service kicking off this June. Subscribers to the service receive the glassware, bar tools, recipe and ingredients needed to make a cocktail every month. It’s a BYO-alcohol system, and subscribers also have to provide their own fresh ingredients, like limes or oranges.

Subscribing doesn’t lock buyers in to monthly credit card charges or a mystery box. This particular box service comes with a surprising amount of choice; at the beginning of each month, subscribers will get an email announcing what cocktail boxes are available. They can pick any of the boxes for $60 with free shipping. If none of the boxes look particularly appealing, they can skip that month and wait for the next round.

Cleveland, a double business major in marketing and entrepreneurship, has known that he wanted to start his own business for a long time. After college, he began exploring different entrepreneurship ideas. One day, he was considering a subscription box that caters to men with items like workout gear, clothing and homebrewing materials.

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“That’s where the wheels started turning that I could maybe build a subscription box myself with something I have a lot of experience with. And that ended up being cocktails,” Cleveland said.

Cleveland, who has experience in the service industry and as a bartender, wants to provide a box that makes craft cocktails more accessible to everyone. He can see the kits being used for casual get-togethers, dinner parties or even tailgating.

“I think one of the problems why people don’t create craft cocktails themselves is they don’t know how or where to start,” Cleveland said. “I want to make the process simple and a one-stop shop.”

To make sure buyers aren’t overwhelmed, the first boxes available are relatively simple: a margarita, a Moscow Mule and an Old Fashioned.

“I tried to think of three styles of cocktails that are popular but also accessible — like people have tried them, but are not super hard to make right away,” said Cleveland.

The company website features more than 60 cocktail recipes, instructional videos on how to make cocktails, and a fun blog with entries like “An Open Love Letter to Tequila.”

Boxes are now available to order online, and shipments will begin on June 16th.

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