Thanks to this lockdown, every night is Friday night and every day is the new Friday. One problem? It’s a little trickier to make our way to our favourite bars when they’re closed. But no fear. We live in the 21st century and what better way to make use of our innovative ways than to arrange for home delivery of our favourite tipples – to see us through this quarantine. From wine at our favourite restaurants to our local watering hole’s creative cocktails, London bartenders and sommeliers aren’t about to let you go thirsty during this pandemic and we felt it only fair to share.
Not ready to give up a life of luxury in lockdown? Hedonism Wines is continuing as normal with their wine deliveries – across London and nationwide so it’s never been easier to bring the bar home. They also ship internationally, I’m just saying, depending on how much of a wine fiend you are. The fine wine and spirits boutique in Mayfair supplies to the sommeliers of HIDE Mayfair so if you’re familiar with the Michelin-starred restaurant, you have an idea of the vast wine selection upon which you’re about to feast your eyes. A self-isolation perk to this all-year-round delivery service: Hedonism is currently offering free delivery on orders of over six bottles in London and UK – who says a glass (or bottle) or wine can’t help you through hard times?
Bar Douro just opened its second restaurant in Finsbury Avenue Square so it deserves any support that can be given. Choose from a quality selection of Portuguese wines and get them delivered to your door across most of the UK. True, they’re best enjoyed alongside the restaurant’s delicious small plate (if you know me, you’ve heard about that suckling pig sandwich) but take what you can get during this lockdown – it might just save you in this self-isolation situation we’ve got going on here. Bring the bar home with your favourite wines – but don’t do what I did and find yourself with corked wines when you have no corkscrew. Need another reason to support these guys? £1 from every bottle (not order) will be donated to Hospitality Action which has been set up to help vulnerable hospitality workers.
Novikov Cocktail Classes
No deliveries from Mayfair restaurant Novikov but the Lounge Bar is running its own cocktail classes for 11 weeks on the restaurant’s Instagram TV channel. Anyone missing their Friday night drinks (any day of the week, to be honest) can head to Novikov’s Instagram and watch bartender Gianfranco Lozzi teach us all a think or two about making our favourite tipples. Bring the bar home and have some cocktails in quarantine. Put some music on, get out of your sweatpants and it will feel like a night out before you know it. Next one is this Friday – see you there?
Funkin House Party
Why not bring the bar home with everyone’s favourite on-the-go drinks – a good old “tinny”. Funkin has launched the Funkin House Party which includes two of each of their cocktails in a tin: Passionfruit Martini, Espresso Martini and Piña Colada. There’s six Nitro cans in a pack and it costs only £12. This one is definitely for those of you who are doubting their cocktail creativity skills – and for those who would rather pop open a can in three seconds, rather than put your bartender skills to work.
East Londoners might be familiar with this agaveria bar in Dalston – perfect for getting your agave fix. With an impressive list of 25 different tequilas and mezcals (always baffling me), the bar even offers lesser known agave spirits (further baffling me). Haha had huge success with their signature drink; the Mirror Margarita (made with Don Julio tequila) and have now made this cocktail available for delivery during this lockdown period. Sipping on the Cocktail of the Year (CLASS bar awards) seems the only appropriate way to bring the bar home and you can enjoy this 50cl bottle for just £35.
We’re all fans of Ryan Chetiyawardana, aka Mr Lyan, the award-winning bartender. Known for his innovative drinks skills and forward thinking sustainable cocktail creations, don’t fret that you can no longer get your sustainable serves – he’s only gone and launched a bottled selection of his most popular cocktails. Shop from Master of Malt and treat yourself to a Bonfire Old Fashioned; made with Mr Lyan whisky, lapsang souchong and Mr Lyan cola bitters. Bring the bar home and knock back a Spotless Martini – which contains Mr Lyan gin, vermouths, distilled olive and distilled lemon.
Sorry to sound as though I’m encouraging you to be an alcoholic; I’m simply trying to help out those of you who are missing the watering hole. Here’s a list of branded bottles you can get your hands on easily while still continuing to social-distance and self-isolate. All available via contact-free delivery so now is the time to stock up.
El Rayo tequila is a London-based brand who is encouraging the nation to indulge in a “T&T” (tequila and tonic). Well, why not? Now is the time to try new things and I think that sentiment should be extended to alcohol.
Carounn Gin has launched the ‘Sofa Spritz’; a cocktail you can easily create at home with apple juice, soda water and white wine. All of which are current staples in my kitchen right now (eggs and pasta have been stockpiled so these were all that were left). Who needs a bartender?
Try experimenting with your mixer too; Two Keys is an interesting and tasty alternative to your regular tonic or soda. Sold on Amazon, the flavours include green tea, black tea, grapefruit and lemon.
Pedrino Spritz takes the alternatives to a Gin and Tonic to a whole new level with its offerings of a Vermouth and Tonic; Sherry and Tonic and Ruby and Tonic Spritzes. Using natural and authentic ingredients, these spritzes will perfect your Aperitivo Hour (for one, obviously) or help you add a little spritz to the cocktails you’re currently creating (I hope you are inspired by this article, after all). It’s also nice to support the smaller businesses during this difficult time.
For those of you who are whisky-inclined, London’s Original Whisky Specialist Milroy’s has launched a ‘Drams-to-your-Door’ delivery service where they bring the best whiskies from their bars to your home. They are also doing a ‘Tastings at Home’ scenario where you can enjoy a live virtual tasting from one of Milroy’s whisky experts – complete with whisky flight and consultation. You know, if you get tired of the wine and cocktail offerings going on. One thing is for sure: Londoners won’t be getting thirsty during this lockdown.
World of Zing
Who needs a bar when in a world of bottled cocktails? The award-winning World of Zing has a selection of crafted cocktail creations that are ususally found in some of the UK’s most popular venues – ranging from The Langham Hotel to Byron Burger and Curzon Cinemas. They’ve designed a range to be enjoyed at home which couldn’t be better news now we are in lockdown so sit back on your sofa and enjoy the likes of Cherry Blossom Negronis or Persian Lime and Nori Margaritas. I personally love the interesting flavours – a zesty (or zingy) take on the classic cocktails; there’s also Elderflower and Earl Grey Gin Collins and Raspberry and Basil Mojitos to choose from and I haven’t even listed the full range. Can you tell I’m a fan?
The Duppy Share
A UK favourite when it comes to dark rum, The Duppy Share has also just launched an even spicier version. To help combat any lockdown blues, the brand has launched a ‘Home Rum’ isolation kit to help any rum lover get by. The kit includes The Duppy Share Aged (20cl), two bottles of Fever Tree ginger beer and two The Duppy Share gold cups. What’s more is that the rum brand plans to donate all profits from sales of this kit to Hospitality Action; a charity organisation dedicated to helping those struggling in the hospitality industry. Drink and it’s a good deed.
Not one to leave those who don’t drink out of Thirsty Thursdays (or thirsty any day, to be honest with you), I’ve also got a non-alcoholic option for you. Everleaf is made from sustainably sourced botanicals, allowing you to create the perfect spritz. Guilt-free, too. Chamomile is even used in the aperitif to enhance the fragrant aroma of the drink – you’re definitely not supposed to but I’d add this to my spirit to get some more goodness in my drink.
Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company
Not a wine, spirit or cocktail in the slightest but I do feel as though I need to give you a snack for all this alcohol I am advising you to purchase and consume. What better snack, as well, than some good old cheese? Really I’m just trying to maintain the aesthetic of a bar – and I cannot recommend a glass of wine and nibbling on some cheese every evening to get us through this lockdown. From experience, I admit. The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company is an independent supplier selling traditional cheddar cheese and cheese straws (Oh lord). The brand has just introduced ‘Isolation Bundles’ for customers who crave the cheese but can no longer get to the shop. Prices are reduced and do we need more reasons to buy cheese? Again, supporting small businesses is good, people.