How We Test Products

At, it is our mission to help anyone and everyone interested in drinks, from professionals to home enthusiasts, make the best purchase decisions. Our recommendations are independent and based on research and product testing, both in our dedicated Lab and at home. If you visit links within our content, we may receive commissions from your purchases, but we never receive any compensation or consideration for the content of our recommendations.

Our Testing Process

We take our readers and our recommendations very seriously. All of the products in our lists and reviews are carefully chosen by our editors and writers after thorough research, expert consultation and testing. After considering manufacturer data, user reviews and recommendations from professional bartenders, sommeliers and more, we purchase products and send them directly to The Lab in Birmingham, Alabama or to the homes of our experienced, qualified writers. 

Using comprehensive methodologies, our testers take the items through a number of steps, then rank them on key attributes tailored to each category. For instance, we rate wine fridges on installation and features (among other factors) but evaluate whiskey glasses based on their durability and style and more.

Ultimately, we calculate overall ratings, determine the pros and cons and identify which products are the best fit for various circumstances. “Best Compact” might be helpful for home drinkers who don’t have a ton of space, for example, while an industry pro might be searching for the “Best Commercial” option.

We also gather qualitative feedback on the testers' experiences with the product: Did the wine fridge take a long time to install? Was the decanter easy to hold and did it pour without any drips? You'll find all of these insights—both positive and negative—as well as industry intel on our lists and reviews.

About Our Lab Testing

We have a 7,000-square-foot testing space in Birmingham, Alabama, complete with two test kitchens. There, we evaluate everything from ice makers to Margarita machines using customized and standardized methodologies. This controlled environment ensures that we're rating all the options—often up to a dozen at a time—accurately and fairly on consistent factors such as aesthetic, effectiveness and ease of cleaning.  

We get creative, timing how long it takes ice to melt in a variety of beverages, for example, or taste-testing frozen drinks made in a dozen different blenders. During lab testing, we capture photos, videos and personal insights to give you an in-depth look at how the products perform. 

About Our Home Testing

Since we aim to serve both industry pros and home enthusiasts, it’s just as important to test products in a real-life, home bar setting. We send products directly to our editors and writers, who also use methodologies, rate on the same established factors, provide personal feedback and capture photos of the items in use.

Testing at home allows us to vet delivery to different locations, setup and installation issues and product lifespan. Think: How often does an electric wine opener need to be charged? How does a set of wine glasses hold up to multiple dishwasher cleanings? 

Why You Should Trust Us

Team of Experts

With resumes that include Food & Wine, The Whiskey Wash, Martha Stewart and Forbes, our team of experienced writers and editors are dedicated to finding the best products for novices and connoisseurs alike. In addition to exhaustively researching and testing a broad range of products both at The Lab and in our homes, we make it a point to consult experts, tapping into our extensive network of industry professionals. We utilize our connections to notify you about the latest releases and upgraded models, from wine aerators to cocktail shakers and more. 

Editorial Integrity

The product recommendations from are purely editorial and based on our own research, interviews and testing. We do receive an affiliate commission on some, but not all, of the products that we recommend if you decide to make a purchase, but we are not loyal to any one specific retailer or brand. 

Our team never promises coverage nor lets retailers, public relations firms or salespeople dictate our content. Occasionally, brands and PR agencies may send us products for editorial consideration, but our thoughts and opinions are our own, and we are transparent about any samples received. 

Diversity and Inclusion

We are committed to ensuring that our commerce team reflects the diversity of the food and beverage world, in terms of both content creation and hiring practices. This means showcasing brands owned by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and other minority groups whenever possible, hiring more diverse writers and staff members and featuring experts from a wide range of backgrounds. 

We also have an Anti-Bias Review Board, which advises us on language, images, themes and tone. 

Read Our Diversity Pledge to learn more about our promise of equality, inclusion and anti-racism.

Fact Checks and Updates

Our dedicated fact-checkers and medical review board help us verify that the information presented in our lists is both accurate and up-to-date. Look for these badges next to the author's byline. 

Things move fast in the spirits world, so we don’t just forget about our content once it is published. Our team is relentless when it comes to updating and keeping our recommendations fresh, accurate, helpful and in stock.

Please note that all products, including those we review and recommend, may from time to time be subject to recalls or revised use recommendations. We, therefore, urge you to monitor any official announcements here that may be related to products you purchase.

The Store 

In September 2021, we launched our online store, which contains items curated by our editorial team. We only link to our store from commerce lists where we already recommend that product, and you'll always have the option to purchase it from a different retailer.

Meet Us

Mary Kate Hoban

Mary Kate is an Associate Editorial Director for The Spruce Eats. She joined the company in December 2018.

She has contributed to a variety of publications including Life & Style, In Touch Weekly, Closer, First for Women, Atlanta Parent, and Elite Daily.

She received her B.A. in Journalism from The University of Georgia.

Read more

Mary Kate Hoban

Senior Commerce Editor
Prairie Rose Liquor

Prairie joined as commerce editor in October 2020, and became the senior editor in March 2023. She is the founder and editor of Bit By a Fox, which won Saveur Magazine's Readers' Choice Award for Best Drinks Blog, the host of the popular Bit by a Fox Podcast and the author of Mixology for Beginners. Her work has appeared in The Whiskey Wash, Forbes, Men's Health, Self Magazine, Design Sponge and others.

Read more

Prairie Rose

Senior Editor
Rachel Lee

Rachel Lee has been the Editorial Commerce Producer for since March 2021.

Previously, she has worked in both editorial and PR and has experience writing about food and drinks and more.

In her free time, she loves exploring cool rooftop bars and speakeasies in every city she visits, especially NYC.

Read more

Rachel Lee

Editorial Commerce Producer
Collier Sutter

Collier Sutter is the Food & Drink Review Editor on the commerce team. She develops methodologies and conducts tests on everything from ice molds to juicers in our dedicated product testing lab.

Her writing and editing has appeared in many publications including Architectural Digest, People Magazine, House Beautiful, Delish, Eat This, Not That!, Greatist and more.

Collier has a Bachelor's degree in English & Journalism from Lehigh University.

Read more

Collier Sutter

Food and Drink Review Editor

Contact Us

If you have questions, comments, or opinions you’d like to share with our team of editors, please feel free to email us at