Top Shelf box is a home bartenders’ tool kit that attempts to demystify mixology
After the coronavirus shut down large events in Summit County, Top Shelf, a professional bartending service, lost all its gigs.
After a few weeks of inactivity, owner Casey Metzger and his team rolled out the Top Shelf Bartenders Box, a cocktail mixing kit that can be picked up at Top Shelf offices at Silver Creek or delivered directly to clients.
“We’re going to help people entertain in whatever format, group size or whatever they choose to do in the privacy of their own home or business,” he said. “We want to be empowering people with a cocktail party experience by giving them the tools and information to make them bartenders.”
The box contains all the ingredients — except the alcohol — to empower people to prepare their own professional cocktails, according to Metzger.
“Our plan is to create a new menu each month that offers five cocktail choices that are all based around vodka, gin, whiskey, tequila and rum, and each option can make eight cocktails,” Metzger said. “We wanted to offer something for everyone who likes to drink cocktails. We may create theme menus in the future.”
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Every box includes an insulated package of fresh-squeezed juices, handcrafted syrups and fresh-cut garnishes, Metzger said.
“We do this because there’s a difference between fresh-pressed pineapple juice and canned pineapple juice you find at the grocery store,” he said. “We also take pride in our syrups, and put specialty flavors in them, because we’re geeks when it comes to bartending.”
The Bartenders Box also includes a recipe card and a bartender’s easel, Metzger said.
“Bartenders are artists, and the easel is the centerpiece of the whole experience,” he said. “Once you set up the easel, it will hold the recipe card.”
The card includes cocktail-making instructions and a QR code.
“When you hold your phone up to the code, you will be directed to a video format,” Metzger said. “There’s a place at the bottom of the easel where you can put your phone to watch the video, and that’s when we pop up.”
In the video, Metzger and his team gives a short presentation that includes a bit of the cocktail’s history, anecdotes and mixing tips.
“While we’re not known to be funny, we do try to lighten the mood,” he said with a laugh. “This is to make it approachable and easy. We want to break down the barrier of what mixology is.”
Furthermore, all the materials in the box can be recycled or repurposed, Metzger said.
“For example, the plastic bottles are the easiest to recycle, but they can also be used to pack water on hikes and family outings,” he said.
Bartenders Boxes can be ordered by visiting thebartendersbox.com.
Orders must be placed 24 hours in advance, and there is a two-order minimum to have the box delivered, he said.
Deliveries will run from 4-7 p.m. every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and single-order boxes can be picked up at Top Shelf offices, at 6436 N. Business Park Loop, Unit C.
The idea for the Bartenders Box evolved from hospitality industry insiders, Metzger said.
“Over the past few years, there were a lot of people in our industry around the country who were pivoting to offer experiences to their customers,” he said. “When COVID-19 hit, we knew we wanted to be relevant and save our business, because there weren’t any large gatherings we could work. So we thought about how we could cater to smaller groups, and decided to give this a roll.”
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