With the UK’s imposed lockdown set to continue, and with pubs, restaurants and bars forced to close for the foreseeable future, the food and drink industry has already suffered enormously. Fortunately, a great number of businesses are adhering to strict social distancing guidelines, yet continuing to deliver excellent spirits and pre-mixed cocktails all over the UK. These are the best spirit and cocktail delivery services operating through the COVID-19 pandemic.
A destination agaveria bar with an evolving list of 25 different tequilas, mezcals and lesser-known agave-based spirits, HACHA have become particularly renowned for their agave flights and their signature ‘Mirror Margarita’, which won Cocktail of the Year at the CLASS bar awards. Recommended served simply over ice, the bar has batched the cocktail in 50cl bottles (equal to four large serves), now available for delivery when ordered via HACHA’s website.
London’s Original Whisky Specialist, Milroy’s of Soho and their new site Milroy’s of Spitalfields, have launched a nationwide Drams-to-your-Door delivery service, offering whisky lovers across the UK unprecedented access to their selection of the world’s best whiskies. The team have used their knowledge to compile 20 flights, with prices ranging from £15 to £130. Each flight contains three drams and categories include Highlands, Lowlands, Speyside, Islands, Islay and Campbeltown alongside Irish, American and World whiskies, in both introductory and premium pairings. Also available will be three ultra-premium selections of five drams each, including ‘The Pappy Flight’ (£70), ‘The Four Roses Special Releases Flight’ (£130), and ‘The Rising Sun Flight’ (£60).
Also renowned for their in-store tastings, Milroy’s has also launched ‘Tastings at Home’, offering one of six whisky tastings for all levels, accompanied by a live virtual tasting from one of Milroy’s’ whisky experts, as well as personalised virtual consultations via Zoom. Further information can be found on the Milroy’s website.
The Proofing Room Cocktail Delivery
In addition to Milroy’s’ Drams-to-your-Door, the team behind the Milroy’s bars, The Vault in Soho and The Proofing Room in Spitalfields, have launched a cocktail delivery service. With a list inspired by the classic Highball, a selection of The Proofing Room’s cocktails are available in bottles, serving two or more, priced from £10 (two serves) – £24 (four serves). Alternatively, bottles of Hayman’s Gin are offered, paired with a mixer of customers’ choice, all available for no-contact delivery across the UK. Orders can be placed on The Proofing Room’s website. Minimum spend £30.
Mr Lyan Bottled Cocktails
Award winning bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana, AKA Mr Lyan, has bottled a selection of his best-loved cocktails, including his ‘Bonfire Old Fashioned’ made with Mr Lyan whisky, lapsang souchong and Mr Lyan cola bitters; and the ‘Spotless Martini’, made with Mr Lyan gin, vermouths, distilled olive and distilled lemon. All are available for delivery via Master of Malt. For every order placed, Master of Malt are donating £1 to Hospitality Action.
Aske Stephenson Cocktails
Aske Stephenson, from the team behind award-winning whisky bar Black Rock, have launched a range of bottled cocktails. Including their take on renowned drinks, such as the ‘Peanut Butter and Jam Old Fashioned’, ‘Garden Bramble’ and ‘Flat White Russian’, the entire range is available for delivery when ordered via Amazon.
Cocktails by Lollipop
An immersive hospitality group, Lollipop has launched ‘Cocktails by Lollipop’, delivering bar-quality cocktails to customers’ homes. Mixed and bottled in London, following all safety advice, the cocktails are delivered all over the UK, accompanied by garnishes. Drinks include the likes of Lollipop’s Espresso Martini, ‘The Valentina’ (a play on a classic Bellini), and more. Individual bottles are available, as well as boxes of six or 12, priced from £6.90 per cocktail and £32 for six. A monthly subscription box is also available at £25 per month. Orders can be placed at wearelollipop.co.uk.
Sweden’s first dedicated gin distillery, and the world’s most northernmost, Hernö Gin is one of Europe’s most awarded and acclaimed craft distilleries. As well as having launched a UK Shopify, offering UK-wide spirit delivery, with £1 from each bottle donated to Hospitality Action, the distillery has introduced a new Pink Bottle Gin, designed to challenge the market’s sub-par pink gins. With a base of 96 per cent organic wheat GNS, the gin also features juniper berries, coriander seed, and strawberries, added to the spirit and heated to just under 60 degrees and macerated for 18 hours before rose petals, cassia, black pepper, lemon zest and vanilla are added. The Hernö Pink BTL Gin is available to order from selfridges.com, while the rest of the brand’s portfolio can be ordered from herno-gin.myshopify.com.
Set up in the spring of 2015, Conker was Dorset’s first gin distillery, having since sold over 200,000 bottles around the UK. Embodying the spirit of Dorset, the distillery blends British wheat spirit and New Forest spring water with botanicals found across the Dorset coast and New Forest to produce its gin. Since launching, a cold brew coffee liqueur has been introduced, as well as a cold brew tea liqueur in collaboration with Fortnum & Mason. All of the brand’s expressions are available to purchase from the Conker website shop, including their ‘Community Spirit’ hand sanitiser launched to help tackle the Coronavirus crisis. Free delivery on all UK orders over £50.
White Heron Drinks
Specialising in British cassis produced with blackcurrants grown in Herefordshire, and British framboise made with raspberries grown on the brand’s same Herefordshire farm, White Heron Drinks is currently delivering UK-wide, as well as offering 10 per cent off for key workers. Further information can be found on White Heron Drinks’ website.
Ramsbury Single Estate Spirits
Spanning over 19,000 acres in the heart of the Kennet Valley, Ramsbury Single Estate Spirits’ grain-to-glass vodka and gin are available to order online, as well as their own hand sanitiser, developed to support the distillery’s local community, made from spirit produced at the distillery, delivered in bulk five-litre bottles to hospitals and local police.
Moreover, the distillery has also launched Ramsbury & Friends, a new initiative to support British bars and venues. Ramsbury & Friends will enable customers to buy drinks vouchers for their local bar or pub through a virtual tip jar, with Ramsbury Single Estate Spirits matching every pound spent as a tip for the venue (£500 maximum tip per outlet). With the total donation going straight to the venue, the initiative aims to help ease the current pressure on drinkers’ much-loved bars. What’s more, it will give customers a pre-paid bar tab to look forward to post lockdown, redeemable against a round of Ramsbury Single Estate gin and vodka serves of their choosing until 31/12/2020, from a selection of featured bars. Further information can be found at ramsbury.com.
The Drinks Drop by Highball Brands
Highball Brands, a luxury drinks distribution company, has launched a not-for-profit cocktail delivery service, ‘The Drinks Drop’. The contact-free delivery service has partnered with a selection of bars in London and Manchester to deliver cocktails made by professional bartenders. All of the profits from sales of the cocktails will be evenly redistributed to the bars taking part. Each of the bars have created cocktails using the Highball Brands portfolio of spirits, including Takamaka Rum and Dangerous Don Mezcal, and that reflect and celebrate the bar’s style and personality. All cocktails will be priced at £7.50 and will be delivered as reusable single serve pouches, chilled and ready to drink. The delivery will initially launch in London and Manchester and will be on a monthly rotation with different cocktail bars taking part. Further information can be found at thedrinksdrop.com.
The Cotswold Distillery
Located in Stourton, Shipston-on-Stour, The Cotswolds Distillery produces Cotswolds Dry Gin and Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky, which was launched in 2017. Joining their profile of British spirits, the distillery has recently launched its small-batch Wildflower Gin Collection, with the first expression – Cotswolds No.1 Wildflower Gin, featuring a blend of cornflowers, lavender and orange, layered over the distillery’s classic London Dry Gin. Moreover, the distillery’s website has reduced to minimum spend for free delivery to £25, from £75. Further information on the brand’s spirit delivery service can be found on The Cotswolds Distillery’s website.
Voted three consecutive times as the most innovative distillery in the world, Master Distiller & Founder William Lowe set out to create outstanding gins using local, fresh botanicals. Cambridge Distillery’s portfolio of multi-award winning gins currently includes Truffle gin; Curator’s, created in partnership with Cambridge University Botanic Garden; and Anty – ‘the very first gin in the world to be made from insects’, with each bottle featuring the essence of around 62 red wood ants. All three are available to order online for nationwide delivery. Further information can be found on Cambridge Distillery’s website.
Copenhagen based distillery and self-proclaimed ‘flavour company’, Empirical Spirits has launched a series of pre-batched cocktails, all available for free, worldwide home delivery. Teaming up with bartenders from around the world for each release, the first batch includes two of the distillery’s own cocktails (the ‘Pony Negroni’and ‘Bonita Applebum’) as well as a collaboration with Ryan Chetiyawardana, aka Mr Lyan. Chetiyawardana’s cocktail is a play on a classic martini, infusing pineapples with Empirical Spirits’ Onyx, mixed with olive-brined Helena from the Empirical Spirit collection. A percentage of the sales from each of the collaboration bottles will be donated to the bartender’s chosen charity, beginning with Ryan’s choice of Hospitality Action. All three cocktails are priced at €45, 35.7cl bottles, and are available to order via the Empirical Spirits web shop. Free worldwide delivery with the ‘STAYSAFE’ promotional code.
Black Lines Drinks
Having supplied clients such as Orasay, The Standard Hotel, and Boxpark before the outbreak of Covid-19, Black Lines Drinks’ three signature cocktails are currently available for home delivery. Featuring the ‘Paloma’, ‘Elderflower Collins’, and ‘Pear & White Tea Fizz’, the cocktails are available in 750ml bottles and can be ordered in a combination of single bottles and various case sizes. Using fresh-pressed juices and partnering with independent British distilleries such as Chase, East London Liquor Company, and Kanpai Sake, Black Lines Drinks aims to provide customers with “the best lockdown libations possible”. Orders can be placed at the brand’s website and Master of Malt, with 10 per cent of proceeds donated to Help them Help Us.
Bacardi X Deliveroo Editions
Part of the Bacardi #RaiseYourSpirits initiative, helping UK bars and bartenders to generate income during the coronavirus crisis, the world’s largest family-owned spirits company has launched a partnership with Deliveroo Editions, allowing customers to order premium cocktails from top bars, delivered in as little as 30 minutes.
Featuring a rotating menu of five professionally crafted cocktails made using Bacardi brands such as Bacardi rum, Bombay Sapphire gin, Grey Goose vodka, Martini Fiero, and Patrón tequila, new bars and cocktails will be added every two weeks over the next two months. For the first instalment, participating London bars include Callooh Callay, Kitchen Cocktail, Artesian (Whitechapel and Bermondsey), Grind (Whitechapel and Bermondsey), The Proofing Room at Milroy’s, Kwant, Mr Foggs and a London-based bartender from Bristolian favourite, Filthy 13. Manchester bars include Science and Industry, Cultureplex, Cottonopollisy, as well as 2019 International Bartender of the Year winner, Joe Schofield, and a Manchester-based bartender from London’s Grind. Cocktails can be ordered by clicking the following links, in each area: Bermondsey (London), Whitechapel (London), and Manchester.
A collaboration between De Kuyper Royal Distillers and bartender Salvatore Calabrese, Acqua Bianca is an aromatic liqueur designed to be used in cocktails. Produced following a revived and reworked 19th century recipe, Acqua Bianca uses all-natural ingredients, such as peppermint, rose, Amalfi lemons, Calabrian bergamot, Asian cidron, and ambergris. Acqua Bianca is available from The Whisky Exchange. £29.25, 50cl.
El Rayo Tequila
“Created to represent and celebrate modern Mexico”, El Rayo is a premium, 100 percent agave tequila. Designed to be enjoyed as the base of a tequila and tonic, the spirit is available in two expressions: an unaged No.1 Plata silver tequila, and a No.2 Reposado aged over seven months in oak whisky barrels. Both are available to order from El Rayo’s website.
Award-winning Oregon distillery, Westward Whiskey launched in the UK at the end of last year. The brand’s flagship American single malt is currently available for delivery in the UK, made using natural ingredients from the distillery’s home in Portland, Oregon, where the hot summers and wet winters provide an ideal distilling and ageing environment. Westward Whiskey’s American single malt whiskey is available to order from Master of Malt. £62.95, 70cl.
Connecting whisky lovers with their favourite distillers and blenders around the world, while raising money for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic, OurWhisky is set to launch its first virtual whisky festival. Running online over four consecutive Thursday evenings from 30th April-21st May, ticket holders will be sent a package containing five unmarked whisky samples and invited to join a live-streamed tasting hosted on OurWhisky’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels, as well as at ourwhisky.com, where tickets can be purchased for £30 each, with just 50 tasting packs available for each session. All proceeds from the festival, which is also being sponsored by the featured brands, will be donated to The Drinks Trust, formerly known as The Benevolent.
Black Cow Vodka
Pure milk vodka producers, Black Cow Vodka are currently offering all of their products for delivery, including their naturally flavoured English Strawberries expression, produced using locally-sourced, leftover or misshapen strawberries that would otherwise go to waste. The distillery has also launched a new gift set, including their signature vodka, plus their deluxe cheddar and locally produced quince. Orders can be placed on Black Cow’s website.
Distilled in the UK’s first micro distillery, in the basement of Aberdeen bar Orchid, Porter’s Gin is available in two expressions: Original and Tropical Old Tom. Both gins are cold distilled, producing a light, natural flavour, with the low-temperature distilling enabling the producers to extract and champion the flavours of delicate botanicals such as Buddha’s Hand citrus. Both gins are available for delivery when ordered from Porter’s Gin’s website.
Intended to break the traditional stereotypes associated with Scotch whisky, the bartenders behind Langstane Liquor Company have produced a blended whisky specifically designed to make whisky highball cocktails. Bright and fruity, Glasshouse Whisky comprises malted barley distilled in column stills and pot stills, both made at Lock Lomond and aged in American Oak barrels. Glasshouse Whisky is available to order from Master of Malt. £30.95, 70cl.
Holy Island Gin
Operating from the island of Lindisfarne, mid-way between Newcastle and Edinburgh, The Holy Island Gin Company has compiled a new ‘stay-at-home’ bundle, available for nationwide delivery. Priced at £30, the Holy Island Gin ‘stay-at-home’ bundle features two 200ml bottles of Franklin & Sons premium tonic water, reusable ‘ice cubes’, dehydrated orange wheels, and a 350ml bottle of Holy Island Original – the boutique distillery’s signature dry gin, crafted to capture the spirit of high tide. Orders can be placed at Holy Island Gin’s website.
Due to current circumstances, including the local post office in Holy Island being closed, Holy Island Gin will only be dispatching orders once a week. In the meantime, customers can use offer code STAYHOME to redeem free shipping on the Lockdown Bundle.
East London Liquor Co.
Producing and importing award-winning gin, whisky, vodka, rum and other spirits, East London Liquor Co. has launched an online shop. The company’s entire range of spirits are available to order from the virtual bottle shop, including several drinks collaborations, and ‘Changeling’ – a limited-edition botanical bitter created by East London Liquor Co. distiller, Caitlin Bailey, made with barrel-aged gin, fennel seed, bay leaf, lavender flower, grapefruit peel, angelica root, peated moonshine, rhubarb and cardamom jam, and blackberry and bay leaf jam. Nationwide delivery is offered to mainland UK, as well as Friday pick-ups from the distillery for locals, in a responsible, socially-distanced way. Orders can be placed at eastlondonliquorcompany.com.
Just launched in the UK, Cocktail Porter delivers craft cocktail boxes, from Global Drinks Agency Sweet&Chilli – the team behind Nine Lives in Bermondsey. With cocktails created by professional bartenders, Cocktail Porter’s boxes are filled with individual recipes for specific cocktails, alongside all of the ingredients to make the drink at home. These include the likes of premium spirits, infusions, cordials, infused tonics, and home-grown garnishes. All fruit is sourced from Nature’s Choice, and all of the dehydrated fruits are prepared by the Cocktail Porter team in Bermondsey. All ingredients are also ethically sourced, with the environment in mind. Barware is also available to purchase from Cocktail Porter’s website.
For the first collection, drinks include the likes of a Passionfruit Margarita, with Don Julio Blanco tequila, fresh passion fruit, limes, passion fruit-infused syrup, and dehydrated limes to garnish; a Whisky Highball Collection, featuring a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label, a selection of cordials from Belvoir Farms, and Double Dutch soda water; or a Seville Orange Negroni, including Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla, Campari, and sweet vermouth. Each of the cocktail kits are available in two sizes: The Petite Kit (£45, 6 serves) and The Porter Kit (£85, 17-20 serves), and will be available for next-day delivery if ordered by 3pm. Further information can be found at cocktailporter.co.uk.
Cocktail Rescue by BAO
In addition to establishing their own food delivery service, Rice Error, in response to the coronavirus crisis, BAO has launched a brand new home delivery drinks service. Available to Hackney residents on Fridays and Saturdays, Cocktail Rescue is part of the restaurant group’s ongoing mission to bring the restaurant experience into the home. Created in collaboration with House of Suntory, the drinks menu will feature 400ml bottled versions of BAO’s most loved cocktails, including the BAO-Hi, featuring Toki whisky, salted citrus cordial, and peach bitters. A step-by-step guide to recreating BAO Borough’s lemon tower will also be available. Delivered via bicycle, by BAO staff, delivery is currently available to the Hackney area only, with plans to extend the delivery radius during the summer. Cocktails are available in batches of five, priced from £20, plus £3.50 delivery. Further information can be found at baolondon.com. (London only).
MOOSE Mule Cocktail Box
An Alpine spirit made in the mountains of Austria, MOOSE features a blend of mountain herbs including mint, gentian, nettle, and pine, bolstered by a hit of chilli and the natural sweetness of Canadian maple syrup. As part of their ‘Stay In Feel Out’ campaign, launched in response to lockdown, MOOSE has introduced a new MOOSE Mule cocktail box. Priced at £20, the box contains all of the necessary ingredients to mix four MOOSE Mules at home, including a 20cl bottle of MOOSE, Fever Tree mixers, and fresh orange, lime, and mint. For every bottle of MOOSE sold, 10 trees are planted in partnership with The Sumatran Orangutan Society, aiming to make a sizeable impact in the fight against climate change, and to help to save the mountain snow. Further information can be found at stayinfeelout.com.
Two Key Mixers X Tequila Enemigo Cocktail Kits
In partnership with Tequila Enemigo, Two Key Mixers has launched a cocktail kit delivery service. Available for next day delivery nationwide, the cocktail kits contain a bottle of Enemigo 89 Añejo Cristalino and four Two Keys mixers, either pink grapefruit or lemon, meaning consumers can attempt to craft bar quality Palomas or lemon Margaritas at home. Both feature simple recipes, topping 50ml of tequila with either mixer, best enjoyed over ice. Cocktail kits are available to order from buyenemigo.co.uk.
A premium letterbox delivery cocktail brand, NIO Cocktails stands for ‘Needs Ice Only’. Expertly crafted by an in-house bartender, the pre-mixed cocktails are sealed in mini flat boxes, ready to drink, best enjoyed poured over ice. A selection of 15 cocktails are available in packs of three, six, or nine, including the likes of a classic Old Fashioned, Manhattan, Gimlet, and Gin Sour. Further information can be found at niococktails.co.uk.