Things change fast in a time of coronavirus. Check websites for latest details and delivery zones, and drop us an email with any newcomers we should know about.
For when you’re staying in, but still want to go All Out, these are the pre-mixed cocktail delivery services bringing a dash of ceremony to your night on the sofa.
And, virtuous alternate reason to order enormous amounts of alcohol, helping you keep the London bars you love afloat and waiting to welcome you on the other side of lockdown.
The Sun Tavern — for the Sazerac
The Quarantini Kit from Bethnal Green’s The Sun Tavern, comes with your choice of two bottles (four serves in each bottle). On the basis that you should order things which are a hassle to make for yourself — could be because they’re difficult to get right, or because you probably don’t have all the esoteric ingredients at home — we’d go half Sazerac (if you have a ready supply of your own brandy and Peychaud’s Bitters in your cupboard, we bow to your superior adulting), and half the Toreador (tequila, apricot and lemon; less saccharine and way more forceful than it sounds).
Delivery: free within 2 miles of their Bethnal Green bar. £10 for all other deliveries.
The Sun Tavern Quarantini Kit includes eight cocktails (choose two cocktails from their list, four serves of each) for £30. (In January, discounted to £24)
Order from The Umbrella Project here.
Del Mago — for the Boulevardier
The negroni’s smokier, sultrier cousin, the Boulevardier swaps out the gin for whisky — though thanks to Torinese cocktail maestros Del Mago, you don’t have to choose between the negroni’s kick or the Boulevardier’s warmer caress. You can order both for UK delivery now, along with a bottle of the Milano-Torino (2022’s big campari-based cocktail, we reckon).
The Boulevardier from Del Mago is £38 for 50cl.
Order from Sager and Wine here.
My Neighbours the Dumplings — for the Madam Butterfly
The Madam Butterfly’s a spicy love letter to lychee, made with sake, vodka, lychee liqueur, and chilli syrup — it’s not going to replace the lychee martini in your affections, but it’s complex, punchy, and lovely. And it doesn’t hurt that these guys also make — and deliver, within a limited London radius — beautiful, cook-at-home frozen dumplings. If you live nearby enough, drop a few packets of their roasted peanut potstickers into your delivery order, as the perfect side dish.
Delivery: nationwide delivery available.
Cocktails from My Neighbours the Dumplings are from £7 for a serving or £24 for a box of their four cocktails.
Order from My Neighbours the Dumplings here.
Black Rock — for the Tropical Thunder
A fresher, margarita-length riff on a pina colada, Black Rock’s forsaken their usual whisky for the Tropical Thunder — with Nc’nean Botanical Spirit, coconut water, pineapple syrup, and Takamaka Coco liqueur. Sharp enough to slice through the sweetness, this is all the coconutty joy of the fruity original, none of the saccharine stickiness.
Delivery: available Wednesday — Saturday — order by 3 pm for same day delivery in London, or nationwide next day delivery.
Black Rock cocktails are sold through The Drinks Drop, and are from £7 for a single serving — you can choose a mix of six servings from a range of bars for £40.
Order from The Drinks Drop here.
Mr Lyan — for the Bonfire Old Fashioned
We were drawn to this for shallow reasons (the name) but it’s as smoky and soul-warming as it sounds. Mr Lyan’s cocktails can be quite high concept, but this one’s a straightforward pleasure, though maybe not one for Old Fashioned purists (whisky, cola bitters, lapsang souchong tea).
Delivery: delivered across London via Master of Malt. Varying delivery charges.
Mr Lyan cocktails are from £30 for a 50cl bottle.
Order from Master of Malt here.
Pamela — for the Des Barres
If we’re completely honest we strongly (strongly) considered making Pamela’s Old Fashioned the star of this rec, and only didn’t because we were embarrassed to have so many whisky cocktails on the list. We contain multitudes. Have a vodka-based rec instead. The Des Barres is a bright green bottle of jalapeño-infused vodka blended with kiwi purée, in a thick, vivid smoothie. All the better for the weird dissonance that comes from it looking strikingly like a wheatgrass shot, or something else that’ll be good for you.
Honourable mention to the wholesome-but-not-wholesome Oat Milk White Russian DIY set. Oat milk takes the slightly stomach-curdling pleasure of your standard White Russian — like, yes, the wonders of dairy but still: the thin sharpness of vodka, that mix of cream and angularity, come on — to a perfect, malty coarseness where the acerbic kick of vodka suddenly makes more sense.
Delivery: London zones 1-3, £5.
Pamela cocktails are from £30 for a 50cl bottle, and the Oat Milk White Russian package is £45 for the set.
Order from Pamela here.
Cocktail Trading Co. — for the Fuck It, It’s Still The Weekend
Jagermeister Manifest, walnut-spiced Pinot Noir, coffee and Rooibos. Objectively, this sounds awful — as does the description of it as pretty ‘out there’ — but part of what we missed in those long stretches of lockdown about going out in London, was drinking something regrettable and pretty ‘out there’.
CTC also offer pleasant-sounding pre-mixed bottles, if lockdown’s hit you differently than it’s hit us. If you’re still in the market for… nice drinks, that you will have a Nice Time drinking, then go for The Ultimate Mule.
Delivery: a lot of London, check the Flask Cocktails map for delivery area here.
Cocktail Trading Co. bottles start at £7 for a single serve.
Order from Flask Cocktails here.
The Cocktail Society — for the Coconut and kaffir lime daiquiri
The coconut and kaffir lime make this twist on the Caribbean classic feel nicely light — weighing in at 16% ABV, it’s not exactly shy and retiring, but it packs less of a punch than your standard homemade version. Good for a slow summer afternoon’s drinking in the park. The company’s deliveries are zero plastic, and use only recyclable and biodegradable materials in the packaging.
Delivery: next day delivery across London for orders placed by 12 pm on a weekday, £4.50 delivery charge.
The Cocktail Society daiquiri is £26 for a 50cl bottle.
Order from the Cocktail Society here.
NIO — for the Manhattan
NIO’s build-your-own boxes of pre-mixed cocktails come in batches of three, six or nine servings — all of them packaged in (completely recyclable) pouches, meaning even the most decadent orders can still slide through your letterbox. Not much brightens a long Zoom conference like hearing that evening’s (really surprisingly good) Manhattans thud alluringly onto your doormat.
Cocktail mixes are the work of Patrick Pistolesi (of Rome’s Drink Kong bar), but his NIO recipes are more straight-bat than Drink Kong’s flamboyant swagger — including a classic Manhattan and a not-bad zero-alc negroni that didn’t even have us lunging straight for the drinks cupboard to add a slug of gin.
Delivery: across London, with a next-day delivery option.
NIO cocktails are £39 for a box of six.
Order from NIO here.