Of all the things we’re missing right now, an expertly made cocktail is high on the list. Thankfully, some of our city’s best bars have not just turned to takeaway, but are now on the road delivering hand-crafted hooch as well.
And while it may not be quite the same as sliding into a booth or taking a seat at the bar and ordering your favourite tipples, it’s better than blowing your stimulus on all the gear needed to fix these drinks yourself. From pre-batch classics to a spot of DIY, think of this list as the virtual timber (or marble) between you and some of our favourite bars delivering cocktails to your door.
Run the Booze by Earl’s Juke Joint, Newtown
The smooth King Street staple is running “fresh” and “stiff” pre-batch cocktails to the inner west, as well as its neat wine and beer list and some merch. Bright and citrusy numbers such as London Calling (Tanqueray, Tio Pepe fino sherry, lemon, orange bitters, sugar) and Margaritas now come in 300-millilitre cans for $36 (we’re told that’s three serves). Enter Don Draper territory for $24 with stirred classics such as Old Fashioneds and Negronis. Or try a house creation like the Estavillo – a boozy number made with rye, Dom Benedictine, sweet vermouth and Peychaud's Bitters. It’s named after chef Pat Estavillo from nearby Continental Deli and is served in a 200-millilitre glass bottle. Earl’s is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday for pick up from 2pm to 6pm, and it’s also offering delivery. Order before 5pm for same-day delivery or pre-order for next day (with a small delivery fee depending on where you live).
The Sofa Series Volume One by PS40, CBD
The CBD experimentalists have released four isolation originals, with fun names like Jean Claude Pandan (pandan-leaf-infused rum, coconut Ceylon tea, pineapple, coconut water, spice and whey) and the Breakfast Negroni (gin, Campari, vermouth, banana bread, coffee and tonka beans). There are two serves in each 250-millilitre bottle, but a half-litre order gets you free delivery to anywhere in Sydney. Slide into PS40’s Instagram DM’s to order. Available Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Kuro at Home by Kuro, CBD
Fumiaki Michishita, the dapper head mixologist at this slick, multi-faceted CBD restaurant (he wears a very smart white jacket to mix his drinks when the restaurant is in full flight), has created three gin-based cocktails to pair with Kuro’s beautiful take-home meal kits (you can see photos of those here). The Tokyo Collins mixes Monkey 47 gin, Hoshiko Ume liqueur, cranberry juice, lemon and soda in a 250-millilitre glass bottle (this recipe gets the nod from Hoshiko creator Danny Aikawa, so you know it’s good). There’s also the Never Ever Tonic with juniper gin and yuzu, or the Provencale Mimosa with G’Vine gin, elderflower, orange juice, sparkling wine and lavender bitters. They start at $20 each, or you can nab the lot for $60. Delivery dates and locations vary.
Prince of Booze by Prince of York, CBD
One of the first CBD venues to pirouette gracefully into these strange times is now offering “ready to go” one-litre cocktails for $100. For example, the Margalita is just a big pre-batched Margy – all you need to do is salt the rim on your glassware and enjoy responsibly (with an isolation partner is best). There’s also a Mezcal Negroni with rose vermouth and raspberry Campari, or the Añejo Old Fashioned with crème de banana and chocolate bitters. The largesse makes sense – after all, this place used to encourage dancing on its tables. Additionally, there are 750-millilitre cocktails, including a Pimm’s Cup ($50), and mystery boxes of wine. Delivery is free on orders over $100 (so one of these cocktails will do the trick) and is available Wednesday to Saturday. You can pick up yourself on weekdays, or track down the little yellow van Prince staff are driving around Sydney. Its destination is announced on Instagram daily. More info here.
Merivale at Home by Totti’s, Fred’s and Bert’s, Sydney
A nod to Merivale eateries Totti’s,, Fred’s and Bert’s, the group is slinging half-litre pre-batched cocktails (Negronis, Old Fashioneds and Martinis, respectively) in the spirit of each venue for $40 each. Alternatively, you can just grab a cocktail kit for $95 – there’s an Espresso Martini kit stocked with enough Absolut Vodka, Kahlua and cold-brew coffee to make 15 serves (that’s our kind of stimulus package). There’s a $10 flat-rate fee for delivery anywhere in Sydney. Order before midnight on Sundays for delivery the following Thursday. There’s also lots and lots of wine. merivaleathome.com
Virtual Gully by The Golden Gully, Leichhardt
This inner-west venue with a penchant for native ingredients has boldly stated that it’s now “the best online bar ever”. You can decide – it’s now delivering classics in single serves for $17 or four-serve “party bottles” for $60. Choose from the Aussie Negroni, the Quarantini, an Old Fashioned or the Irukandji (a native twist on the Man O’ War featuring Starward whisky, sweet vermouth, fresh lemon juice, house-made orange shrub and pepperberry syrup). The Gully will even spot you a free bag of ice with your order, and if you want to learn more about the art of cocktail making, there’s virtual mixology classes too. Minimum spend is $50 with a $10 fee on deliveries outside 10 kilometres. Available Wednesday to Saturday 5pm to 9pm for pick-up or delivery.
Dulcie’s to Your Door by Dulcie's, Kings Cross
Dulcie’s is putting some serious love into its delivery service, sending out 90-millilitre “one step” cocktails (serve over ice) and 125-millilitre “two step” cocktails (shake and serve), pre-batched and bottled for $18. Each one comes with a recipe card outlining some history behind the drink, plus a Dulcie’s coaster. You can also join the cocktail club and get a themed pack of four 100-millilitre cocktails each week for $75. For a luxe option, try a survival kit. These come with a half-litre of hooch (rated at five serves) plus your choice of cheese or charcuterie plate. Might we add, these folks are selling cocktail glassware at very reasonable prices, including a pack inspired by the great bars of the world. There’s free delivery to 2010 and 2011 postcodes, and you can visit the venue to pick-up. Available Tuesday to Friday from 4pm to 10pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 3pm to 10pm.
The E-Shop by Maybe Sammy, The Rocks
Stay classy at home with these reinvented classics by the swish Rocks bar. There’s the Sammy (vodka, dry vermouth, Aperol, peach tea), the Dean (gin, maraschino, sweet vermouth, orange bitters) and the Frank (tequila blanco, mezcal, sweet and dry vermouth, Montenegro, Campari). You can get a 90-millilitre serve for $15 or a half-litre for $60 – all with cute illustrations of the crooner they’re named after. You can also catch the whole rat pack of three in those sizes for $40 or $160 respectively. Delivery fees depend on your location, and you can also pick up from sister Surry Hills venue Maybe Frank. Available seven days.
Continental Deli Bar and Bistro, Newtown, CBD
The only Sydney venue to have pandemic-proof cocktails pre-lockdown. Now you can peel open a can of Mar-tinny, Can-hattan or Cosmopoli-tin on your couch for just $12 (the Ameri’can’o has sold out, sadly). Don’t forget, the deli’s wine cellar is also on sale and there are bargains to be had. Available for pick and delivery.
Bottle Rocket by Golden Age Cinema & Bar, Surry Hills
Deep dive into the French new wave at home with pre-batched cocktails, wine and craft beer from Golden Age’s new delivery service, launching Friday May 1. Being a cinema, you can also order popcorn and Gelato Messina choc tops for a full home-theatre experience. Get delivery within 10 kilometres of the CBD for a $5 flat fee, and there’s free delivery when you spend $100 or more. Order before midday for same-day delivery. More info here.
The Bondi Bootlegger by The Corner House, Bondi
For now, it’s a not-so-clandestine bottle shop selling high-end hooch at bootleg prices, but it’ll soon deliver cocktails to the eastern suburbs and beyond. Watch this space.