The Handbook
The Handbook

Hands up if you need a drink right now? As the coronavirus crisis continues and the nation comes to terms with social distancing, life feels pretty strange at the moment. We’ve swapped dinners out for takeaways in, the pub for virtual pub quizzes and house parties for the Houseparty app.

But this crisis is far greater than our social lives and if it means having to sit on the sofa for a few weeks, staying in for a few months and catching up via video call, embrace it. And to reference Micky Flanagan, you may not be going out out but you can still have fun and relax a little even when you’re staying in in.

Here, we’ve handpicked some of London’s finest brewmakers, wine experts and cocktail wizards bringing the booze to you, so you can self-distance in style. From wine boxes to your door to expertly crafted bottled cocktails, here are our favourites…

Beer 52

Bringing you guys the best beer on the planet straight to your door, Beer52 is the go-to delivery company for bona fide beer snobs whether they’re after a hoppy pale ale, a crisp IPA or a rich stout. The team handpick beers from 40+ countries and have over 700 beers in the bank, plus, customers can earn points and rewards as they shop – you will literally earn points as you drink beer, what’s not to love?

Right now we’ve teamed up with Beer52 to bring The Handbook readers an offer they cannot refuse – a free case of craft beer. This includes eight carefully sourced craft beers, a tasty snack and the award-winning beer magazine, Ferment with just £5.95 postage costs to cover. Self-isolating just got a whole lot easier.

To order your free crate, visit beer52.com/handbook

London Shell Company

It was little over a week ago we was sat on the Grand Duchess, the floating restaurant on Paddington’s canal ways, that’s run by The London Shell Company – the food, by the way, was outstanding.

London might look very different in terms of socialising right now, but you can still order The London Shell Co.’s utterly delicious sparkling wine, also called The Grand Duchess, from the comfort of your sofa. The limited release sparkling wine is made from 60% Bacchus and 40% Pinot Gris, creating a fresh, crémant-style fizz that can easily give French champagne a run for its money.

Order a case now and you’ll get each bottle for £19 instead of the usual £24.

Simply follow the below link and use password Duch3ss-sTar to redeem.

www.hattingleyvalley.com

Rock Leopard Brewing

If you’re feeling the effect of your local craft boozer closing over the weekend, Rock Leopard Brewing are here to help.

The London-based craft beer company are delivering tinnies direct to homes in Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Dartford and until 31st May 2020 you can save 10% with code ROCKLEOPARD at checkout.

If you’re not based in South East London, head over to the Cloudwater Brewing Co. site where you’ll find a Rock Leopard beer, Step Up, that the two brands have created together, and have it delivered throughout the UK.

As if you needed another excuse, the beer has been given the thumbs up by top chef Neil Rankin, of Temper fame, who posted about it on his Instagram stories just a few days ago.

www.rockleopardbrewing.com

St. John

This is one box of wine you’re not going to turn your nose up at. St. John, the London restaurant famed for its nose-to-tail eating, are curing all your self-isolation woes with their Bag-In-Box.

Choose from white, red or rosé (all from the Languedoc region) boxes that hold four bottle’s worth of wine and keep up to four weeks. Because, let’s face it, who knows how long it’s going to be before we can socialise again.

www.stjohnrestaurant.com

Ladies & Gentleman

Up your Houseparty app game and swap a bog-standard bottle of Savvy B for some proper cocktails instead. London’s only five-star dive bar (yep, it’s meant to look a bit shit), Ladies & Gentleman have created their own ‘Quarantinis’ and will be delivering them to houses throughout North London.

The expertly mixed tipples include; the Quarantini made with either gin or vodka and the Zombies – classic blends like Old Fashioneds and Negronis.

For those feeling more virtuous but who still want to get in on the quarantine party spirit can opt for the bar’s selection of pressed Ayurvedic juices with fresh oranges, turmeric and cayenne pepper. They double up as great hangover cures too.

A minimum order of 5 x cocktails at £6.50 per cocktails, or full 700ml bottle of Ayurvedic juice for £5.50 is required and all delivery and payment is contactless. To order, email [email protected]

www.ladiesandgents.co

Quality Wines

Sister wine store and tasting bar to Farringdon’s Quality Chop House, Quality Wines, have come up with an ingenious way to spend your time self-distancing.

The wine experts are putting on live, virtual wine tastings via their Instagram account so you can buy a bottle and get involved without leaving the sofa.

Slide into their DMs or send them an email direct to buy their incredible wines and keep checking their Instagram page for the next tasting. Plus, the lovely team at Quality Wines know that not everyone can get hold of the exact wines they will be tasting but are still encouraging people to get involved, with any bottles they can get hold of as long as it’s the same grape. These guys have self-isolating nailed.

www.shop.thequalitychophouse.com

Discount Suit Company

What we wouldn’t give to pull up a pew at one of our favourite bars right now. Time is maybe a little different but we can still have fun, just responsibly. East London ‘speakeasy’ the Discount Suit Company (legit used to be a discount suit company) are easing the at-home weekends with their at-home cocktail kits.

Choose from Martini and Tonic, the Quarantini Kit (Old Fashioned, Negroni or a Boulevardier), Beer & Bump (Brewing Ginger Beer with 250ml of Irish Whiskey thrown in) or go wild and pick the Lucky Dip Box of eight beers.

www.thesuntavern.co.uk

Diogenes the Dog

South London wine experts, Diogenes the Dog have launched a virtual sommelier service to ensure your isolation period is as middle class as possible. Simply tell them what you’re cooking for that week or what you’re cooking for a special meal (we’re allowed to have a little fun, right?) and their experts will offer advice on what to buy over the phone.

Those dialling in will then be able to choose the bottles they would like to order (two bottle minimum order) which will be delivered to the door, free of charge by Diogenes sommeliers (within one mile of the bar).