The lockdown survival guide

ByThe Cocktail Lovers

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Above: Tim and Stephanie from Avallen Spirits

Sorry to be bearers of bad news but it looks we’re all going to be at home for another few weeks. On the positive side though, we’ve seen some amazing drinks initiatives spring up since the world has been on lockdown. From top-of-the-range delivery services to virtual tastings and online forums, there are plenty of new ways to get first-class drinks experiences whatever stage of the cocktail journey you happen to be on.

Here are a few of our faves…

LET YOUR FINGERS DO THE WALKING…
DIAL FOR DRINKS

We’re not going to pretend that anything beats getting up close and personal with your favourite bartender in your favourite bar, but let’s face it, that ain’t happening any time soon. So while we wait for the new normal to kick in, let’s skip to the next best thing: expertly made drinks delivered to your door.

OUR PICKS:

Get the drinks in at: Shop Cuvee

With curated creations from some of the biggest names in the drinks biz, Shop Cuvee is like the Harrods of bottled cocktails. The variants on offer run from Empirical Spirits cans to a party-popping jeroboam filled with Negroni.

On the menu

24-carat designer-style cocktails from the likes of Mr Lyan, Tayer + Elementary, Three Sheets and Scout, ranging from 20ml single serves to the aforementioned jeroboam. 

What’s the damage? 

From £5 to £150

Any extras?

Probably more than most. Order your drinks at the same time as stocking up on essentials such as toilet paper through to fancy pasta and tinned goods as well as posh ready meals. There’s also a hand selected wine and cheese pairing from their in-house cheese expert (£25).

Delivery:

UK wide postal delivery; London: courier service Mon-Fri 4pm-9pm; Sat & Sun 1pm-7pm UK wide

topcuvee.com

Door deliveries from Callooh Callay

Get the drinks in at: Callooh Callay

Remember weekends? The award-winning east London bar is on hand to get yours off the perfect start. Every Thursday through to Saturday you can place orders for bottled cocktails made in-house and delivered (with ice and garnishes) by one of the team. 

On the menu: 

Eight cocktails, ranging from the booze-tastic Callooh Callay signature, Builder’s Breakfast (Bacardi Rum, Hennessy VS Cognac, Smith & Cross Rum, Porter, lemon sherbet and tea syrup), through to classics such as the Dry Vodka Martini (Belvedere Vodka, dry vermouth). 

What’s the damage? 

Prices from £39-£44 for 75ml bottle (approx 8 serves).

Any extras?

More of a spirit/mixer kinda drinker? There’s a selection of 20ml serves of popular choices (think Jack Daniels and Coke,  Jim Beam Rye and ginger ale etc), all coming in at a very reasonable £3.90 each. For wine lovers there’s a well priced selection of reds, whites, rosés and the fizzy stuff.

Delivering to: 

Pretty much London wide (call for details). 

Delivery slots: 1pm-4pm (order the day before) and 7pm-10pm (same day delivery)

calloohcallaybar.com 

Cocktail kit from Mothership Scotland

Get the drinks in at: Mothership Scotland

Another banger of a curated drinks list, this one put together by the uber talented team at Mothership Scotland.

On the menu:

The best drinks that Scotland has to offer including bottles of gin and whisky, natch, artisan sodas and beers through to liqueurs. There are mixed drinks too, including the postbox friendly three cocktail pouch set featuring drinks from top Edinburgh bars Bramble and Lucky Liquor, or the bottled cocktail sets available in small and large sizes.

What’s the damage?

From £2.40

Any extras?

Yes. As mentioned above, wines, whiskies from Scotland’s finest, plus a few faves from further afield. Old school music fans might like to order the 12″ vinyl from Nasty P, the resident DJ at Bramble, to provide the soundtrack to their cocktail hour.

Delivering to:

UK wide

mothershipscotland.com 

Cocktail pouches to your door from The Drinks Drop

Get the drinks in at: The Drinks Drop

Launched this week, this new initiative sees Highball Brands working with a changing roster of specially selected bars in London and Manchester. Their mission? To deliver ace drinks directly to your door. All cocktails come in nifty, ready-to-go, chilled pouches but you may wish to stir over ice to keep them cooler for that little bit longer.

On the menu:

For April, bottled cocktails from Kwant, Black Rock, Dandy, Lake Kane and Doña in London and Cottonopolis, Crazy Pderos, Liars Club, The Jane Eyre, CBRB, Edinburgh Castle and Grindsmith Coffee Roasters in Manchester.

Any extras?

Just to say that all profits are evenly redistributed to participating bars.

What’s the damage?

All single serve cocktails at £7.50 each

Delivering to:

Select London and Manchester postcodes, please check for details. Delivery days: Thursday to Saturday (order by 3pm for same day delivery) Bartenders can deliver the drinks by foot or bicycle to earn extra money during lockdown

thedrinksdrop.com 

Get the drinks in at: Deliveroo Editions

If anyone’s going to come out of this lockdown fitter, it’s your trusty Deliveroo cyclist. See them go! Now, in addition to the usual pizzas and curries, they’re adding cocktails to the mix, courtesy of Bacardi and its #RaiseYourSpirits campaign.

The company, no strangers to tough times itself, has announced that it’s investing £1.5million in a number of initiatives to keep bars ticking over, including a new platform which launched today (16th April) on Deliveroo Editions where 120 bars in the UK and Ireland will be able to sell their drinks.

On the menu:

To keep things interesting, the menus on the virtual #RaiseYourSpirits bar will change every fortnight but to kick things off in style, there are treats from Artesian, Kwant, Filthy XIII, Mr Fogg’s and Grind in London; Science + Industry, Cultureplex, Joe Schofield and Cottonpolis in Manchester.

Any extras?

Whatever takes your fancy from the Deliveroo offerings in your area.

What’s the damage?

Single serve cocktails, £7; doubles £12.

Delivering to:

Initially to London and Manchester postcodes. Check for details.

deliveroo.co.uk

Bottled cocktail from The Cocktail Trading Co at Your Local Delivered

Get the drinks in at: Your Local Delivered

This recently launched site was set up by with one mission in mind: to connect locals with local, independent food and drinks businesses.

On the menu:

Currently on offer, wines from our friends at Farmyard in St. Leonard’s (hello Ben and Kate!), beers from Beer Box and All Good Beer, and bottled cocktails from our pals at The Cocktail Trading Co in London (hey Andy, Elliot and Ollie!) and Tails Cocktails.

Any extras?

You betcha. Log in for groceries as well as goodies from bakeries, butchers, pharmacies, florists and restaurants.

What’s the damage?

Check individual supplier for details.

Delivering to:

Check individual supplier for details.

yourlocaldelivered.co.uk

For other delivery services, see our post here

NAIL YOUR AT-HOME COCKTAIL MAKING SKILLS

Anyone can make cocktails at home. But not everyone makes them well. Cue a plethora of resources designed to make the experience a whole lot easier. 

Mix it up with: Speciality Drinks and The Whisky Exchange

Take the guesswork out of the equation and order one of the special cocktail bundles available at The Whisky Exchange. As part of their Bring The Bar Home collection, TWE have partnered up with some of London’s top bars, packaging up all of the ingredients you need to make your chosen cocktail in a special discounted bundle. Details of how to make the drink available are on the website. A portion of all sales goes directly to the bar. 

Prices from £47.95 to £105 for full-sized products of everything you need to make your favourite cocktail in each bundle. 

So far the Bring The Bar Home series includes drinks from Rules, The Artesian, Sabor, Kanishka, Liquorette,Trailer Happiness, Coupette, Four Sisters, the Blue Bar at The Berkeley and Yacht Club.

Order from thewhiskyexchange.com

PS: Bars wishing to take part in the initiative should email discerningdrinkers@specialitydrinks.com to sign up.

Mix it up with: The Duppy Share and Fever-Tree

For a simple serve with a powerful punch, place your orders for the Home Rum package from The Duppy Share. Made up of a 20ml The Duppy Share Aged Rum, two 200ml bottles of Fever-Tree Ginger Beer and two The Duppy Share gold cups, the fiery combo works a treat for all that ails you. So does the fact that all proceeds from the kit goes to Hospitality Action, a charity dedicated to supporting the industry during times of crisis. theduppyshare.com

Watch: 

Check out Naren Young’s Instagram page for super-simple but oh-so delicious recipes and clever how-to’s delivered in his inimitable, laid-back, no-nonsense style.
Instagram/forkandshaker

Read:

Head to your favourite online bookstore for Kitchen Cocktails by JJ Goodman. All of the recipes feature store cupboard ingredients (yes, even guilty pleasures like Angel Delight and Coco Pops!), made using kitchen utensils.

Join:

BrewDog Online Bar

Make your cocktail or grab a beer, then tap into the BrewDog online bar for Q&As, online tastings, giveaways, comedy and pub quizzes. brewdog.com/uk/onlinebar

Tip:

For every cocktail you make at home, or Houseparty session you ‘attend’ make it your business to add some money to a virtual tip jar. It doesn’t have to be a lot but let’s face it, every little helps. Not only will the money go towards ensuring that your favourite bars are still around when lockdown is finally over but the funds raised will go some way to helping those in the industry who are facing hardship.

The folk at Ramsbury Gin are inviting people to buy drinks vouchers which will be redeemable in bars when things get back to normal. And here’s the good bit: for each voucher bought, Ramsbury will match the amount as a tip for the bar. Result! Find out more and donate at ramsbury.com/friends

For other tipping options, check out:

hospitalityaction.org.uk (UK)

wearetipjar.com (UK)

serviceindustry.tips (US)

virtualtipjars.org (US)

WORK IT LIKE A PRO

Bartenders won’t need any help in the cocktail making department but that’s not to say that they can’t sharpen their drinks know-how whilst on lockdown. Here’s where the internet has really come into its own.    

There are plenty of inventive groups set up to keep the grey matter ticking over nicely, covering everything from genning up on spirit categories to appealing to your competitive side with online contests. Highlights below:

16th April: Death & Co AMA

The AMA here stands for Ask Me Anything, the name of the new weekly series running on the Death & Co Instagram page. This week National Beverage Director Tyson Buhler will be on hand to answer questions on everything from how he started his career to how to build and design a bar program. Tune in from midday US time.

16th April (4pm): The Booze Brain – Audio Garnish

Set up by Maxim Schulte and Jo Last from the American Bar and the Beaufort Bar at the legendary Savoy hotel in London, this Facebook/Instagram Live series has built up quite the following. Each week the duo call on experts in their field to share their views on an array of different subjects, ranging from keeping yourself curious whilst living in confinement to everything you need to know about brewing kombucha. Today’s session features Declan McGurk, Director of Bars at The Savoy and Sly Augustin from Trailer Happiness talking about the importance of music and atmosphere in bars.
facebook.com/theboozebrain

17th April: The Booze Brain – Empirical Spirits

Checking in with the great minds at the maverick drinks company, Copenhagen-based Empirical Spirits.
Read more about The Booze Brain here

17th & 18th April: Learn about Baiju with #AtHomewithFaiju

The eight-part livestream series which started on 10th April is designed to give people the lowdown on baiju. Includes everything from how to drink to food pairings.
Instagram.com/Cheng_International

*18th April: Optimising Self-Care in a Covid-19 World

Jack McGarry owner of the Dead Rabbit teams up with Dr Sarah Matsuzaka in an invaluable session on how to navigate addiction and mental health issues during these most testing times. Having been instrumental in helping Jack deal with his own predicaments in this particular area, Dr Sarah’s credentials as a licensed clinical social worker specialising in a variety of addiction and mental health problems, comes highly recommended.

The first hour of the 90-minute Zoom session will focus on coping strategies, with the last 30 minutes open for questions.

Find your local number: 
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)        
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)        
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)        
+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)        
+1 253 215 8782 US        
+1 301 715 8592 US
Check in here; Meeting ID: 394 544 870

22nd April: Pouring with purpose

Join Tim Etherington-Judge and Stephanie Jordan, co-founders of Avallen Spirits, as they talk environmental positivity in the drinks industry with leaders in the field for World Earth Day. Tune in from 1pm (GMT)by following the link here

DrinkX

This new podcast powered by Ripples, explores everything from the changing nature of drink occasions to the current pandemic and its effects on the drinks industry.
thedrinkx.com

Turning The Table

We love these inspiring new shorts from Claire Warner, creator of our favourite non-alcoholic drinks, Æcorn Aperitifs. Beautifully shot and thoroughly engaging it takes the viewer on a journey of flavour through the finely honed palates of specially chosen guests.

The three-past series sees Claire chatting with her favourite rule breakers and game changers Ryan Chetiyawardana of Mr Lyan fame, Doug McMaster of zero-waste restaurant Silo and Jenny and Joe of The Table, sharing their unique approaches to tastes, with some clever new cocktails featuring Æcorn Aperitifs along the way.
Visit Instagram.com/aecornaperitifs and click on IGTV

Small Batch Learning

A free education platform for aspiring bartenders and those who want to further their skills. Level one sees you working your way through the major drinks categories and learning how drinks are made, as well as covering bar service etiquette and finding out how to taste and describe drinks.
Sign up at smallbatchlearning.com

Drinks at Home

The one where Diageo GB Brand Ambassadors share chat, recipes and clever tips on the World Class and Diageo Bar Academy social media pages. Tune in each day for details.
Instagram.com/diageobarac

Competition
Create a cocktail inspired by Italy

Bartenders: are you missing out on competing? If so, the team at Italicus are inviting you to show your love for Italy by celebrating the country where Guiseppe Gallo’s Rosolio di Bergamotto was born. To be in with a chance to win one of the €100 cash vouchers given away each week, create a cocktail inspired by Italy then take a photo of your drink and post on your Instagram feed together with the recipe and how Italy has inspired it.
Tag @italspirits and include the hashtags #ForTheLoveofItaly and #staystrong in your posts.
Make it good as there’s only entry per bartender. Winner will be announced every Tuesday. Ts&Cs apply.
See Instagram.com/italspirits

VIRTUAL TASTINGS

Whisky lovers can up their game by trying out the Tastings at Home package at Milroy’s in London. Take your pick from the three categories (Scotland, Around the World and American & Grain), and join the one-hour online tasting session where you’ll be guided through the five specially chosen drams and have the opportunity to ask questions.
milroys.co.uk

DRINKS FESTIVALS

30th April-21st May: Our Whisky

What’s this? A drinks festival from the comfort of your home? Yes, it really is a thing. Order your ticket/s for one or all of the four events in the Our Whisky Virtual Whisky Festival and you’ll receive a tasting kit to be sampled alongside the live-streamed sessions.
More details at ourwhisky.com

LAST BUT BY NO MEANS LEAST…

Forget WFH, most of us are going to encounter a WTF-is-going-on moment. When that strikes, take some time to regroup with yourself, check in with friends and be assured that you’re not alone.

Bartenders, join in the conversation at the Hospitality Industry Covid-19 Support Facebook page; check in with Tim Etherington-Smith at Healthy Hospo and if you’re facing any hardships (UK bartenders), head over to hospitalityaction.org.uk. There’s also
Speciality Drinks who, together with Edrington-Beam Suntory are offering wellbeing packs consisting of food, toiletries and other essentials (including gluten-free and vegan options) to anyone who needs it. Apply for your pack here
And to find out how bartenders who have been through the crisis ahead of us have coped/are coping, be sure to read our post with the team from Hope & Sesame

For the rest of us, check out Camille Vidal’s La Maison Wellness for health and wellbeing tips and dip into our Wellness issue and strike a few yoga poses here

And remember, be kind to yourself, be kind to others, it’s all going to be fine. Just a little bit different…


The Cocktail Lovers

The Cocktail Lovers

The Cocktail Lovers are Mr G and Ms S, a man and a woman who share a passion for cocktails. (We also happen to be married, so we’re cocktail lovers in more ways than one…)

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