NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 19: Cocktails are for sale to go at Dudley’s bar and restaurant in Manhattan as … [+]
In March, as Americans hunkered down for an indefinite period of self-isolation, sales of alcohol surged. Spikes were observed across the board: purchases of distilled spirits were up 75% compared to the same period last year; for wine that number was 66%; beer climbed 42% according to market research from Nielsen. Spearheading the trend is the proliferation of online alcohol sales, which have increased some 243% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you’re one of the millions of drinkers imbibing responsibly from the comfort of your own home, keep up the good work: you’re doing your part to flatten the curve. Here are some ways to continue safely sourcing great bottles—and cocktails—in the age of the ‘quarantini’.
Popular online delivery services such as Drizly and Saucy are fulfilling more orders than ever before. The e-commerce sites service most major markets in the lower 48, providing all primary categories of alcohol along with essential adjuncts like ice, mixers, and garnishes. Beyond the big boys, however, there’s also a multitude of niche sites. Places like Haus for example, which specializes in low-ABV aperitifs and offers free shipping on orders over $50.
For oenophiles, options are even more robust. While many of your favorite domestic wineries will deliver direct-to-consumer (just visit the brand’s website), you can also slake your thirst for international offerings by joining a wine subscription service. Winc is a perennial favorite. You can choose individual bottles broken down by varietal, and the site currently offers $20 off when you purchase 4 or more. Or you can become a subscriber and have 3 bottles sent to you monthly, based upon your chosen flavor profiles, for $39.
If full bottles are too much of a commitment, Vinebox specializes in a by -the -glass model. For $79 you’ll be sent nine vials of vino every three months, each one representing the flavors of the season. The company prides itself on exposing customers to ‘hidden gems’, hard to find labels from a global stable of top-tier producers. When you come across a taste of something that demands the full bottle treatment, head over to Wine.com, offering online’s widest selection of the liquid. The site now offers spirits for sale, and includes a $20 discount on your first order.
Fans of local craft beer can actually turn to popular food delivery services including Instacart or Grubhub. In recent weeks, the companies have been increasing their capacity to bring select suds to your door. They’ve even worked with restaurants looking to unload rare spirits selections at deep discounts. Rum from Three Dots and a Dash in Chicago, or mezcal from Madre in Los Angeles are both being offloaded this way.
Alternatively, you can go directly to the source. In light of the nationwide lockdown, many local municipalities are easing up restrictions on alcohol delivery and to-go options. Even control states like Pennsylvania have given the green light to temporary online sales. So, if there’s a local brewery, distillery, winery, or liquor shop that you want to support get them on the phone and see if they can deliver product to you.
The world’s best bar offers boulevardier cocktails to go.
In urban areas, direct-to-consumer sales are likely an option with your neighborhood bar. Moments after issuing a shutdown of bars and restaurants in New York, governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the shuttered businesses could still sell alcohol to go. Suddenly, places like Dante—recently named the world’s best bar by 50 Best—and speciality lounges like Amor y Amargo in the East Village, were offering their award-winning cocktails in take home cups. If you live in the immediate area of many of the city’s best bars, they’ll likely run it over for an added fee. Simply pour the tipple over ice and its ready to enjoy.
Other states allowing takeout cocktails now include Texas, Colorado, New Hampshire, California, Nebraska, Vermont and Kentucky. The list is expanding by the day. So check with your preferred business’s website for frequent updates. And have a toast to better days ahead.
A patron stands in front of a shelf full of wine bottles at The Liquor Store.Com on March 20, 2020 … [+]
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