Heartfelt announcements across TV and radio; the Queen’s speech lighting up Piccadilly Circus; religiously clapping every Thursday at 8pm until your hands hurt; the message to stay home couldn’t be any clearer - but lockdown doesn’t mean you have to miss out entirely.
Although bars and restaurants have shut their doors, their teams remain working behind the scenes so that you can get cocktails delivered right to your door. We got in touch with DesignMyNight for the best ones out there.
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Whisky cocktail fans are about to have their spirits lifted as MAP Maison - East London’s coolest bar - has started to bottle and deliver 13 of its most popular sips. There are plenty to choose from; think rum old fashioneds and manhattans, to more unique recipes like Into The Woods and a very special mezcal negroni. With 500ml bottles and 50ml bundles where you can mix and match as you like, stocking up is a no-brainer.
As far as launches go Tincture hasn’t had the best of luck, opening just one month before lockdown. That hasn’t stopped them though - if anything it’s made them peddle faster. Literally. This zero waste bar in the heart of East London is delivering cocktails via bicycle to those who live within a two-mile radius of the premises, and for your sake, we hope your postcode says you do. Otherwise, you’re missing out on lip-smacking and seasonal sips like rhubarbaritas and a moreish poddington martini.
Heads + Tails
Heads + Tails hasn’t been open that long but it’s already made a name for itself in West Hampstead thanks to its brunch menu and beautiful interiors. Although these guys are shut for lockdown, they have turned to delivering a handful of their favourite cocktails in pretty bottles. Anyone across the UK can place an order, and with negronis, old fashioneds and their Russeliana number (a mix of Wild Turkey 101, sage-infused Tio Pepe, agave syrup, sour cherry liqueur and mezcal mist) on the menu there’s no need to make mediocre cocktails at home ever again.
Constantly featured on the World’s 50 Best Bars list, it’s no secret that Callooh Callay is one of the top cocktails spots around. It has hidden rooms and menus disguised as TFL Oyster cards, and although we can’t experience any of that right now, you can order drinks to your front door. Coming in at 750ml each, there’s a staggering eight concoctions to make your way through, ranging between £39 and £44. Not bad for one of the world’s best bars, eh?
The Sun Tavern
It can be difficult to stand out in a place like Bethnal Green but The Sun Tavern has lots of quirks to ensure it’s never forgotten (shout out to the establishment’s Irish whiskey collection - the biggest in London - and poitín cocktails). During lockdown you can order several kinds of boozy kits from the bar, from highballs to diabolos, and if you’re a classic cocktail drinker the quarantini kit is the way to go, offering eight serves of two different drinks for £30.
Boxed up & Delivered by 1929 Agency
If you’re an imbiber who loves variety, Boxed Up & Delivered should be right up your street. The Nelson’s Pub in Shoreditch has teamed up with 1929 Agency to create a bespoke selection of bottled cocktails that can be delivered nationwide. 200ml in size, you’ll have a top time sampling the different mixes. Miracle, clear vegan punch, negroni and the lifted spirit are the four included in the £24.99 offer, with a mixed box of eight coming in at £47.50.
Cocktails By Lollipop
ABQ is more commonly known for its Breaking Bad and WWII-themed experiences but due to the current lockdown, it’s decided to close its doors and work on something else instead. Bottling up its best-selling drinks from its new playhouse in Chelsea, you can now order mixes to enjoy them at home. They come in boxes of six or 12 and there’s a litre option for the bar’s bellini-like drink, valentina.
Happiness Forgets is another one of the crowning jewels in London’s cocktail crown and for plenty of good reasons. While its doors are closed the team are delivering hand-crafted cocktails within a three-mile radius of their award-winning bar in Shoreditch. Cutting no corners, you can expect each delivery to come with ice and garnishes and they’ve even introduced two guest cocktails each week. Last week’s coming in from The Little Red Door, a Paris hangout which happens to be one of the best bars in the world.
Mac & Wild
Mac & Wild are the fathers of London’s best burger and, unless you live in Colchester, you won’t be able to benefit from its deliverable DIY burger kits. You can, however, look forward to trying some in-house cocktails at home as it delivers those across the nation during lockdown. With nine bottles to salivate over, each one is just as thirst-quenching as the last, especially the Dundee sour and black witch espresso martini.
The Four Sisters
The Four Sisters is an incredible date night spot in Islington with a mighty menu of signature cocktails you won’t find anywhere else. You’ll have to swap the velvet furnishings for your own sofa during lockdown, but that isn’t such a bad thing when you can still order cocktails to enjoy at home. Pick from fig palmetto, cafe au lait, chamomile gimlet and a bold tea old fashioned and have the ultimate night in... minus making a mess in the kitchen.
For more information on cocktail bars in London, visit DesignMyNight.com and follow them on Instagram and Facebook; @DesignMyNight.
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