Our Story

Welcome to My Tiny Bottles, the project where I’ll be exploring my grandmother’s legacy of miniature liquor bottles, one tiny bottle at a time.

The story starts with my grandmother, Margaret Coxen. Grandma was a collector. She collected souvenir bells and spoons and, starting in the 1970s, miniature liquor bottles. Grandma bought some of them herself, but like any collection, many of them were gifts. I grew up in Canada, and we often vacationed in the States. And every drive back home would include a visit to the duty free to find a mini that hopefully Grandma didn’t have yet.

Read the rest of the story

Welcome to My Tiny Bottles, the project where I’ll be exploring my grandmother’s legacy of miniature liquor bottles, one tiny bottle at a time.

The story starts with my grandmother, Margaret Coxen. Grandma was a collector. She collected souvenir bells and spoons and, starting in the 1970s, miniature liquor bottles. Grandma bought some of them herself, but like any collection, many of them were gifts. I grew up in Canada, and we often vacationed in the States. And every drive back home would include a visit to the duty free to find a mini that hopefully Grandma didn’t have yet.

Grandma collected miniature liquor bottles until the mid-2000s, when she moved out of her cottage in Port Stanley, Ontario. After she died in 2019, I asked my dad “whatever happened to Grandma’s mini collection?” Because while I never thought much about was in those bottles when I was a kid, now it was a subject that I was really interested in. Since 2011 I’ve been teaching cocktail classes through my business Tammy’s Tastings, and diving into the history and stories behind spirits, liqueurs and cocktails is the heart of my business. I knew there had to be some amazing liquid time capsules in that collection!

In November of 2021, my Dad came to visit, and when he arrived at my door he had a little box filled with maybe 30 or 40 bottles. Of course, I immediately started checking them out. Then he told me there were two more giant tubs in the car, and asked if I could I help him carry them in?

It’s hard to overstate how thrilled I was by this unexpected inheritance. We don’t know for sure, but think it’s between three and four hundred bottles. Just looking at a few of those bottles in the first box, I found things that I already knew had amazing backstories, or had been long out of production. Pulling each bottle out of the box was like a discovering a bit of treasure, and pretty much right away I knew I had to share my delight with other people who care about history, booze, and/or old dusty bottles.

The project has a few parts:

Reveal Videos – About once a month I’ll pick a few new bottles at random bottles live on camera, and make some guesses about them based on a quick glance. And I do mean random: there’s no inventory, and I haven’t peaked at any more than the ones that were in that first box.

Bottle Deep Dives – I’ll research each bottle and try to find out when it was made, and discover whatever interesting facts and history it might contain. I’ll share these in three ways: text based blog posts on this site, 6-8 minute podcast episodes, and 3-4 minute YouTube videos. You can find all those on the Episodes tab, as well as my YouTube channel and your podcast platform of choice.

Tasting Videos & Interviews – My Grandma never drank these. She was a collector. But for me, alcohol is a social thing. I love nothing more than opening up an interesting bottle of something to share. So as I discover what I’ve got, I’m planning to sit down with a bottle or a few at a time, and someone who I think will have something interesting to say about it. We’ll talk about the bottles, then crack them open and taste, live on video for you to see.

Ready to join the fun? Watch the first bottle reveal video here.

Listen Now

Our Story

Welcome to My Tiny Bottles, the project where I’ll be exploring my grandmother’s legacy of miniature liquor bottles, one tiny bottle at a time.

The story starts with my grandmother, Margaret Coxen. Grandma was a collector. She collected souvenir bells and spoons and, starting in the 1970s, miniature liquor bottles. Grandma bought some of them herself, but like any collection, many of them were gifts. I grew up in Canada, and we often vacationed in the States. And every drive back home would include a visit to the duty free to find a mini that hopefully Grandma didn’t have yet.

Grandma collected miniature liquor bottles until the mid-2000s, when she moved out of her cottage in Port Stanley, Ontario. After she died in 2019, I asked my dad “whatever happened to Grandma’s mini collection?” Because while I never thought much about was in those bottles when I was a kid, now it was a subject that I was really interested in. Since 2011 I’ve been teaching cocktail classes through my business Tammy’s Tastings, and diving into the history and stories behind spirits, liqueurs and cocktails is the heart of my business. I knew there had to be some amazing liquid time capsules in that collection!

In November of 2021, my Dad came to visit, and when he arrived at my door he had a little box filled with maybe 30 or 40 bottles. Of course, I immediately started checking them out. Then he told me there were two more giant tubs in the car, and asked if I could I help him carry them in?

It’s hard to overstate how thrilled I was by this unexpected inheritance. We don’t know for sure, but think it’s between three and four hundred bottles. Just looking at a few of those bottles in the first box, I found things that I already knew had amazing backstories, or had been long out of production. Pulling each bottle out of the box was like a discovering a bit of treasure, and pretty much right away I knew I had to share my delight with other people who care about history, booze, and/or old dusty bottles.

The project has a few parts:

Reveal Videos – About once a month I’ll pick a few new bottles at random bottles live on camera, and make some guesses about them based on a quick glance. And I do mean random: there’s no inventory, and I haven’t peeked at any more than the ones that were in that first box.

Bottle Deep Dives – I’ll research each bottle and try to find out when it was made, and discover whatever interesting facts and history it might contain. I’ll share these in three ways: text based blog posts on this site, 6-8 minute podcast episodes, and 3-4 minute YouTube videos. You can find all those on the Episodes tab, as well as my YouTube channel and your podcast platform of choice.

Tasting Videos & Interviews – My Grandma never drank these. She was a collector. But for me, alcohol is a social thing. I love nothing more than opening up an interesting bottle of something to share. So as I discover what I’ve got, I’m planning to sit down with a bottle or a few at a time, and someone who I think will have something interesting to say about it. We’ll talk about the bottles, then crack them open and taste, live on video for you to see.

Ready to join the fun? Watch the first bottle reveal video here.

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