How BarBox Cocktails Is Changing the Way We Imbibe In the Age of COVID-19


Canned cocktails, boxed wine, and the like have gained traction in the spirits industry within the last five years. While the concept of tasty ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages is nothing new at this point, it’s brands such as Florida-based BarBox Cocktails that are taking a fresh approach to the category to ensure a legacy that goes beyond the trend. Overseen by founders and brothers, Matthias and Jacob Kozuba, BarBox endeavors to produce quality juice for craft cocktail lovers throughout the States.

Straight Out Of Poland

The Kozuba brothers grew up in Poland. Under the mentorship of their master distiller father, Zbigniew “Papa” Kozuba, the sibling duo assisted in operating Kozuba & Sons Distillery in 2005. Fun fact: Kozuba & Sons Distillery was the first privately owned, family-owned and operated distillery in Poland. In fact, per Matthias, their family company was the first established distillery in Poland after the Second World War. Initially, the distillery created cordials before transitioning into producing vodka and the first Polish single malt whisky.

The Kozuba brothers’ father earned a biochemistry degree. So, this gave the brothers insight into the chemical processes of distillation. Matthias also studied biochemistry, so he had a fairly solid background in the operative components in creating spirits. However, it was his dad who he cites as the main reason he has a more scientific approach to distillation. Matthias adds, “Everything that he does is immaculate. I really appreciate that he taught me respect towards the chemical angle and approach and how to be consistent in terms of quality.” Their father also respects tradition, but always strives to inject it with his own experimentation. Matthias says, “So, on one hand, he’s very conservative and he looks back to traditional methods of production. Then, on the other hand, he always wants to add something that he created that is unique. So, I think that’s a perfect balance between the science and the tradition.”

No doubt the Kozuba brothers’ training and wealth of wisdom inherited from their father has played an important role in the inner workings of BarBox. When the brothers decided to move the operation to the United States, they settled down in Florida in 2014. The poor economy in Poland, especially in regard to the spirits sector, was one of the motivating factors that brought the brothers stateside. Matthias mentions, “We didn’t want to quit. We didn’t want to stop doing what we were doing. So, it was a big, bold decision that we made. We were just looking for an alternative to leave our country and go to a different market that is more mature and that still has a lot of potential for companies like ours.” In 2014, the United States had merely 600 craft distilleries and the numbers continued to rise each month. “The move seemed to be the natural choice,” Matthias adds. “Besides, the American market is more open and flexible compared to other European markets that are more conservative and kind of closed. I think that was the best decision we could make.”

Though entering the American market was what Matthias says was “a piece of cake,” being successful has presented its challenges – with the foremost hurdle being part of a much more saturated spirits space in the U.S. compared to Poland. “We had a few failings in the past with product that we experimented with where they didn’t work out. Obviously, with every new product, we kind of were getting better and better with our forecasts and understanding the trends and taking an analytic approach to what’s happening right now and what’s going to happen next,” Matthias says.

Bringing The Cocktail Home

The Kozuba brothers configured a game plan that’s proven to truly set them apart from their peers. They banked on the fact that most Americans don’t want to come home after a long’s day work to create their own cocktail. “Even if you buy the gear to make cocktails at home, how often do you actually make them? How often do you reach out for a shaker, ice, and shake it, and pour it into your glass? I have all the gear at my home for like ten years probably and I’ve used it maybe five times,” Matthias states. Furthermore, with the onslaught of COVID-19, it’s changed the way we enjoy cocktails. “We wanted to give people the opportunity to enjoy their favorite cocktails, because they cannot go to their favorite cocktail bar anymore,” Matthias says. “So, we decided to take the next step and kind of let people purchase their favorite cocktails in a store or online in the future, and just bring it home with them. Then again, with one purchase, they’re good to go with 14 cocktails. So, it’s not only about the safety of that form of consumption of cocktails, but also the simplicity and functionality.”

Ready-To-Drink That Stays Ready

Most RTDs are crafted at a lower proof between 16 to 20 proof. With BarBox, nothing goes below 40 proof. Anything above 40 proof, stays fresh and with the innovative packaging, there’s no oxidation. “We didn’t want to go into the low-proof drinks. We also didn’t want to go into fermented-based beverages, because we deal with spirits. So, we were thinking in terms of creating an RTD that is based on real spirits like vodka, whiskey, and gin,” says Matthias. Currently, BarBox offers three cocktails: Negroni, Cosmopolitan, and Vodka Sour. All spirit-based ingredients in their cocktails are made in-house. They only source outside ingredients when they’ve exhausted options. For example, their Negroni has sweet vermouth, amaro bitter liqueur, and gin. Regarding the Negroni’s ingredients, Matthias says, “Believe it or not, we made all three of them. Technically we cannot make vermouth because it’s a fermented beverage that cannot be made in a distillery by a distiller. So, in that case, we sourced Pinot Grigio from California. The next step is macerating herbs and there are actually about 25 different herbs in that recipe. We made it in-house. So, we basically made vermouth only sourcing the base spirit, which is wine, and then did all the rest in-house from scratch.”

“With BarBox, we have already experimented with the bag-in-box format with our vodka. We were thinking more in terms of what will really shine – especially where we are in Florida,” says Matthias. The box format is not only about the capacity – which is at 1.75L – but is more about being eco-friendly. He adds, “The bag is exactly the same as you would find in wine in the box. It just has a different film inside because it’s in direct contact with a much higher-proof spirit, which has to stay fresh and there is a chemical reaction between the plastic bag and the spirit. So, we buy special bags and a special spout that doesn’t release any off-flavors into the spirit.” Their bag-in-box design is 100 percent recyclable. Furthermore, it’s shatterproof which is perfect for partying poolside, beach, or the boat.

Though the future in the “new norm” is riddled with ambiguity, one thing’s for certain: BarBox will continue to keep our palates quenched and our curiosity engaged as they release new flavorful libations.


Drinkology: Vodka Sour


Each month, we’re serving up insider information and tidbits about our classic BarBox cocktails. Up first, we bring you: Vodka Sour. As you may know, the British Navy is credited with popularizing the sour.

A traditional “Sour” contains three ingredients: the base spirit, lemon or lime juice, and a sweetener. We use lemon juice in our sour, and we’ve added a twist to this classic concoction by infusing our house-made simple syrup with real blueberries, giving our Vodka Sour its purple-tinged hue and hint of blueberry flavor.

Imagine yourself sailing the seven seas (or maybe just hanging out on the beach or camp fireside with friends) sipping on this strong, yet delightfully balanced cocktail that was ready to drink straight from our bag-in-a-box Better Planet Packaging. We do the work for you, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy craft cocktails on the go. And with 14 four-oz cocktails per box, there’s plenty to go around.

Hot cocktail enjoyment tip: add some club soda or seltzer to any BarBox cocktail to make it a spritzer. Perfect for those warm, inviting days.

With spring in the air, the great outdoors is calling to us all, so why not be the hero and bring the bar with you? Your friends will thank you.

Available for purchase online and in select stores, now is the time to open the box.


Pop, Pour, Garnish, Ahhh!


Rejoice! BarBox is now available for purchase in select regions online and in stores. So, what do you do when you get your hands on your first BarBox order? You pop, pour, garnish and enjoy, of course.

To get you started on your next BarBox cocktail hour, here are our tips for max enjoyment:

1. Serving Tips

Traditionally, a Cosmopolitan is served with a lime or lemon wheel or peel. We like to stick with the classic style here, but you can add ice if you’re in the mood.

Negroni cocktails should be served on ice with an orange peel. We like a lot of ice with our Negroni, because it packs quite a punch.

Serve our Vodka Sour over ice – you can also add sparkling water to make it a spritzer – garnish with a lemon wedge and add some blueberries to get your fruit serving for the day.

2. Shared Enjoyment

Sharing looks a little different these days, but BarBox is still begging to be shared with your best pals. The good news is that the weather is warming up, so outdoor gatherings + BarBox will be your go-to for hanging with your pod.

Take BarBox with you on your next excursion, and enjoy together – responsibly, safely, and with style. Soon, we’ll be releasing some pretty sweet insulated to-go cocktail mugs. Oh yes.

3. Storing

Each box has 14 four-ounce cocktails, so you will likely have leftovers after you break the seal. We recommend storing and enjoying your BarBox in the fridge for up 2 weeks for optimal freshness.

Unopened BarBox cocktails should be stored at room temp or a little cooler to help maintain freshness.

Now, go forth and get you some BarBox!


BarBox Ready-to-Drink Premium Craft Cocktails In Stores Now


BarBox is now available to purchase at select retailers in California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Washington. Consumers will be able to purchase these premium, ready-to-drink cocktails online in select regions as well as from the convenience of their home courtesy of their e-commerce partner, Thirstie.


BarBox RTD Cocktails Now in Stores

BarBox Negroni, Vodka Sour, and Cosmopolitan

BarBox is now available to purchase at select retailers in California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Washington. Consumers will be able to purchase these premium, ready-to-drink cocktails online in select regions as well as from the convenience of their home courtesy of their e-commerce partner, Thirstie.


BarBox Offering Delicious Cocktails On The Go


BarBox’s ready-to-drink cocktails are a GAME CHANGER. The AM Tampa Bay crew got to try BarBox and loved how easy and tasty the drinks were. If you’re looking for an easy way to make cocktails at home, you need to grab a BarBox. They have various flavors to choose from that include Vodka Sour, Negroni, and Cosmopolitan. Barbox started in St.Pete and will be available at local retailers near you this holiday season, so be sure to snag some.


Effortless and Contactless Cocktails and Wines


BarBox offers a variety of premium yet playful craft cocktails easily imbibed on the go. Made with fine artisan spirits and carefully selected all-natural ingredients, BarBox is served in signature eco-friendly boxed packaging that is lightweight and convenient. BarBox combines fresh ingredients and distinguished spirits and is designed with modern convenience in mind making it perfectly suited for on-the-go, outdoor gatherings. Simply push to break the seal on the box, pull to extend the spout, pour the cocktail over ice, then garnish for a complete bar experience.

The BarBox launch collection includes three timeless cocktails: The Cosmopolitan, featuring lemon-infused vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and lime juice, serves a fruit-packed, thirst-quenching flavor, The Negroni with gin, bitter liqueur, white wine with natural flavors, making for a sweet and herbal experience, and The Vodka Sour showcasing vodka, blueberry simple syrup, and lemon juice for a simple yet expressive take on this classic cocktail. 

Each BarBox serves more than 14 four-ounce cocktails and retails for $24.99 SRP. BarBox will be available for purchase at select retailers this holiday season in Florida, California, Colorado, Illinois, and New York.

By Fran Endicott Miller Dec. 4th, 2020


News Briefs


Ready-to-drink, bag-in-box cocktail brand BarBox is debuting across the Florida, California, Colorado, Illinois, and New York markets. Retailing at $25, each BarBox contains 14 four-ounce cocktails, with initial offerings including a Cosmopolitan (24% abv), Negroni (26% abv), and Vodka Sour (20% abv), recommended to be served over ice. The St. Petersburg, Florida-based company was founded by brothers Matthias and Jacob Kozuba.

November 17, 2020


The Dozen – Over the Hump


BarBox Negroni, BarBox Cosmopolitan, Barbox Vodka Sour (1.75 liters, $25 each). A very well done new line of blended cocktails, all with the potency to back up the flavors. The Negoni (26 ABV) has lovely spicy and herbal aromas and flavors with a creamy texture, and it correctly relies on bitters rather than acidity to complete the taste. The Cosmopolitan (24 ABV) is lean and mean in a good way, with fresh, juicy complexity and a long, potent finish.  The Vodka Sour (20 ABV) uses blueberries, not a fruit I normally associate with sours.  However, my wife (who eats Canadian bluets for breakfast) loved it.