With the UK in yet another lockdown, for yet another unknown length of time, we’ve once again swapped the 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…
Fancy a Negroni? Or a Salted Caramel Espresso Martini? But don’t quite have the know-how of an award-winning mixologist? Don’t worry, The Cocktail Service are purveyors of handcrafted and deliciously developed cocktails. Through their Cocktail Club, they offer ready-made, bottled cocktails and beautifully put-together cocktail kits should you fancy creating one yourself, or with flatmates.
Prices start from £12 but we recommend the 500ml bottles to see you through the rest of lockdown.
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 – half price beer. New customers can shop eight craft beers, a tasty snack and the award-winning beer magazine, Ferment, half price with free postage. Self-isolating just got a whole lot easier.
To order your free crate, visit beer52.com/handbook
We’ve all been partial to a few homemade cocktails during lockdown, but co-founders Natasha and Jack Durling took their cocktail Zoom calls to the next level and embarked on a new business venture.
Lockdown Liquor & Co. launched back in April 2020 and has since grown from strength to strength. The company delivers small-batch pre-mixed cocktails to your door, but the focus is on premium ingredients mixed by expert mixologists. Choose from their delicious options, including the Picante, a delicate blend of Reposado tequila, lime, agave nectar and chili. It’s sure to pack a punch in every sip.
Lockdown Liquor & Co. is a true business born out of the pandemic and the result is simply brilliant.
Order yours here: www.lockdown-liquor.com
Famous East London drinking den and one of the original ‘speakeasy’ style bars of the past decade, Callooh Callay, is saving the day with their bottled cocktail service. For £39 you can order a 700ml bottle (that serves 8-10 drinks) off their finest cocktails, bottled with garnishes and a bag of ice straight to your door with all the necessary social distancing requirements.
Choose from the Builder’s Breakfast (Bacardi Rum, Hennessy VS Cognac, Smith & Cross Rum, Porter, lemon sherbet and tea syrup), a classic House Negroni or Old Fashioned for cosy nights on the sofa or tequila and vodka-based cocktails for your next Zoom party.
Who needs the pub after all?
With pubs and bars now firmly closed for the next month, we’re making it our mission to find the best alcohol deliveries you can get delivered straight to your door. New on the list is The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve. It’s The Glenlivet’s first ever whisky to be selectively finished in Caribbean rum barrels, and they’ve launched a cocktail kit, the Caribbean Reserve Tartan Tiki, helping you keep the summer feeling alive, despite what the weather outside is doing…
Full of fruity tropical flavours, the Tartan Tiki is the signature serve for The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve and the kit has been crafted so that you can enjoy the tiki serve at home. The Caribbean Reserve Tartan Tiki comes packed with a bottle of The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve, Pago pineapple juice, London Essence white peach and jasmine soda, Angostura bitters, fresh orange garnish, plus a branded tumbler to enjoy the tipple from. It also comes with a recipe card too with step-by-step instructions on how to mix the signature cocktail. Close your eyes and imagine you’re on a sunny tropical beach, rather than your tiny London flat.
Looking for a cocktail with a kick? Co-founders of Kocktail have teamed up with international award-winning Neil Donachie, the former senior bartender of Savoy Hotel’s Beautfort Bar to bring fruity flavours and boozy tipples straight to your door.
Sign up and each month you’ll receive expertly crafted cocktails through your letterbox. Each box comes complete with the tipple, alongside a garnish and a ‘story behind the serve’, explaining the low-down on the origins of the flavours and ingredients.
Get yours at: kocktail.co.uk
Cocktails by post? Yes please.
Get expertly mixed cocktails each and every time when you order from NIO Cocktails. Their boxes are able to be built to suit you and your individual tastebuds. Pick and choose from 17 crafted drinks, from signature cocktails including a Cosmopolitan, Whiskey Sour and Manhattan, to non-alcoholic offerings for those looking to carry on Dry January.
Order yours at: niococktails.co.uk
Who doesn’t love a classic Negroni?
Treat the cocktail lover in your life with a special boozy package courtesy of Send A Negroni. Perfect for birthday gifts or just enjoying yourself, choose from the Classic Negroni, Passionfruit & Guava Negroni or try the 5 Negroni Package for a real cocktail fused treat.
Order yours at: www.sendanegroni.com
It was only a couple of weekends before London Lockdown-1 that we were 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.
Shop at: londonshellco.com
Make the most of our sweet deal on Hiver Honey Beer and save £££ and get free delivery on your next stock up for Zoom parties, weekend BBQs and Friday night sundowners. The crisp and refreshing craft beers are made by fermenting beer with raw British honeys, giving the brews their signature depth of flavour and a crisp refreshing finish.
Each batch will come with a choice of honey blonde and honey brown ales perfect for this warm weather.
Order now at: hiverbeers.com
If you’re feeling the effect of your local craft boozer closing, Rock Leopard Brewing are here to help.
The London-based craft beer company are delivering tinnies direct to homes you can save 10% with code ROCKLEOPARD at checkout.
Rock Leopard Brewing is based in South East London and offers a range of modern-American inspired hop-forward beers.
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 during lockdown
Lockdown birthday coming up? Celebrate at home with Searcys. They’ve launched an online store dedicated to all things Champagne, because after all, there’s always time for Champagne isn’t there?
Choose from the Searcys Selected Cuvée Brut NV, Searcys Selected Cuvée Rosé or go all out with a mixed case. Right now you can get up to 25% off of six bottles or more, plus free delivery. Lockdown celebrations never looked so good.
Order yours at: searcys.giftpro.co.uk
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.
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 across London and nationwide.
The expertly mixed tipples include; the Disco Cherry Sour, Disco Old Fashioned and Disco Pina Colada.
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 bringing their wine to you so you can enjoy the bottles without leaving the sofa. Choose from rosé, red, fizz, white and even orange or sweet & fortified. Or purchase one of their expertly crafted cases.
These guys have self-isolating nailed.
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.
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).
When the bars are shut Moore House will bring the drinks to you and they are the people to go to when you’re in need of something strong. Choose from an Espresso Martini, a Manhattan or a Classic Negroni for your very own stay home happy hour. Each bottle comes packaged beautifully with it’s signature bisson branding and hand-sealed corks. All you need are some chilled glasses.
Cocktails start from £9.60 for a single serving but we recommend the 200ml bottles that serve up three delicious tipples.
If you’re part of London’s beer scene you’ll be familiar with these guys. They started off with a tiny batch of beer, brewed in a back garden in East London, now they are one of the hottest names on the craft beer scene but their ethos remains the same – to support local and to consistently produce a top quality beer. And you can take it from us, the Posh lager tastes pretty damn good.
Forest Road have also launched a Stay at Home lager encouraging people to stay home and save lives. For every bottle bought £1 will be donated to the National Health Service.
If wine is more your bag, Bottle Apostle is one of London’s best-loved independent wine retailers. They have stores in some of London’s yuppiest neighbourhoods – Victoria Park Village, Crouch End, Clapham and Primrose Hill – building up a loyal following in the capital. Now they’re delivering straight to your door, whether you’re after a Champagne or a sake.
They’re currently offering free delivery on orders over £100 so stock up, who knows when we can go out again.
The latest addition to Bermondsey Street, The Last Talisman, has recently launched a cocktail delivery and pick-up service, bringing expertly crafted cocktails straight to your door. Choose from the likes of the Ghost Negroni; Temptress Tini; and Dynamite Daiquiri and level up your cocktail experience at home.
Nothing beats a freshly made cocktail by a professionally trained bartender, but these bottled cocktails come pretty damn close. Using the best possible ingredients and the tightest of processes Black-Lines make their bottled beverages without compromise. Choose from an Elderflower Collins (twist on a classic G&T), a Paloma (tequila and grapefruit) or a Pear and White Tea Fizz (made with sake and vodka and tea).
Trust us, they are hands down going to beat your own homemade attempt for your next Houseparty call.
Miss dining out at your favourite restaurants? Get the experience at home with Drake & Morgan’s online wine cellar. Here you can pick and choose your favourite wines and Prosecco to enjoy at home, from a classic red Nelson Estate Shiraz to a bottle of Prosecco Pianer DOCG Le Colture NV for a special lockdown celebration.