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…

Image Credit: Emily Rose-Harding via @lockdownliquorco

Lockdown Liquor & Co.

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 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

Callooh Callay

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?

Visit calloohcallaybar.com or email [email protected] to order.

 

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 –  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

Babylonstoren Exclusive Offer

You know it’s summer when you can sit out in the sun with an ice cold glass of rosé. If that’s your idea of heaven too, make the most of our exclusive offer on Babylonstoren Mourvèdre Rosé, as we’ve teamed up with the South African wine brand to give The Handbook readers a change to shop three bottles for the price of two.

With a creamy rhubarb taste and a hit of fresh of watermelon and a subtle punch of acidity, this is the perfect accompaniment to lazy brunches in the sun, family BBQs and post-work sundowners.

Simply go to thenewt.co.uk/thehandbook and purchase fives bottles of the 2020 Babylonstoren Mourvèdre Rosé and you’ll automatically receive the sixth one for free at checkout. 

London Shell Company

It was only a couple of weekends before London lockdown 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.

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

Hiver Beer

Make the most of our sweet deal on Hiver Honey Beer and save 25% 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.

The Handbook readers can save 25% off Hiver’s normal case price as well as free delivery.

Order now at www.thehandbook.com using the code HANDBOOKHONEY

Rock Leopard Brewing

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 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 during lockdown

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 across London and nationwide.

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).

Moore House Cocktail Company

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 £8.50 for a single serving but we recommend the 250ml bottles that serve up three delicious tipples.

www.moorehousecocktails.co.uk

Forest Road Brewery

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.

www.forestroad.co.uk

Bottle Apostle

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.

www.bottleapostle.com

Black-Lines Drinks

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.

www.blacklinesdrinks.com