Happy hour continues as businesses diversify amid the ongoing coronavirus restrictions.
As we edge closer to finding out what life after lockdown may look like, more and more of us are looking for a small taste of life’s luxuries again.
Take cocktails for example.
With a range of bars now offering the chance to get our favourite drinks delivered to our doorsteps, there’s never been a better time to bring the bar to our homes with many launching their own independent delivery services.
Not utilising the talents of delivery firms or apps, many of these businesses are having to think on their feet and find innovative ways to ensure your drink is delivered to the highest of standards.
And with it being World Cocktail Day today, there’s no better excuse to order yourself a drink to toast the annual celebration.
Aberdeen cocktail bar Orchid on Langstane Place was one of the first in the city to offer a cocktail delivery service called Orchid at Home.
With a choice of 11 individual cocktails as well as four batch bottles, customers can enjoy sipping on everything from a Zombie to a Negroni by ordering online before 3pm that day.
Servicing a 10-mile radius from the bar, the delivery slots are open from 5-7pm every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and prices range from £7 to £45.
Prepared on the day of delivery, each cocktail boasts fresh produce and has been carefully created by the talented team.
Martin Farmer director of operations at Monkey Bars Limited, the firm behind cocktail bars Orchid and 99 Bar & Kitchen, and spirits brands Porter’s Gin and Glasshouse Whisky, said: “For quite some time we have been toying with the idea of creating a cocktail delivery service but with all of the bars and spirits brands we never had the time to push ahead and get the idea off the ground.
“With both bars being closed for the foreseeable future there was no time like the present.
“The cocktail offering has been developed with bartenders from both bars. Each of the team had a spirit to use and create a cocktail with. The cocktails can be twists on classics or an adaptation of a past or present cocktail menu drink.”
But is it possible to transport cocktails easily without having any spillages? Of course it is.
He added: “The cocktails are vacuum-sealed to keep them fresher for longer. We are awaiting a delivery of biodegradable vacuum pack bags, too. They will be manufactured from a range of natural products, including corn starch, cassava and eucalyptus fibre and the Eco Pouches will be 100% compostable in domestic and commercial environments. They are also ocean-friendly too, as Eco Pouches dissolve in marine environments within 26 weeks.
“Everything is done in-house, which means we have full control of the product from start to finish. We are also able to create work for some of our team.
“We wanted to be able to bring cocktails to as many guests as we could without stretching ourselves too much. The hope is that we can grow this side of the business and extend the radius of 10 miles.
“The first weekend was so busy. I believe we managed to dispense over 150 cocktails on the first Saturday with the popular cocktails being Coco Mango and Hurricane. The aim is to offer new cocktails, spirits and beers every week.
“Once we are able to get the local deliveries running as smooth as possible we will look at postal options, click and collect plus increasing the local radius to more than 10 miles.”
Coming this weekend.
Posted by Orchid Aberdeen on Wednesday, 22 April 2020
Dundee-based bar and restaurant The Giddy Goose is also running a similar service, giving the venue’s customers the chance to enjoy their favourite drinks at home.
Taking orders directly via Facebook Messenger and on the phone, the bar decided to postpone using delivery and takeaway apps and services (which take commission) to ensure they have full control of all deliveries.
Delivering to the Dundee and surrounding areas including Carnoustie, Monifieth and Longforgan, The Giddy Goose’s deliveries have been proving popular.
Lauren Clegg, owner of the venue, said: “We have our own drivers who deliver for us. We did consider using a third party service however it just wasn’t something that was working out for us. We found that during our busiest times it was difficult to get drivers and so our wait times were high, however now we have our own so our wait times at even our busiest times are never more than one hour.
“All of our drinks are transported in insulated takeaway cups and cup holders. Obviously it’s not the way we would ideally like to serve our drinks as we usually serve our cocktails in pots and glasses, however it is the best way to ensure that the customers receive the highest quality drinks given the situation. All they need to do is pour it into their chosen glass at home and voila Giddy Goose cocktails served at home.”
Serving up a range of drinks, Lauren says the venue’s trendy Pot-tails are proving to be the biggest hit with customers.
She added: “We offer most of the cocktails that we have on our current menu. Our most popular is definitely our Pot-tail, which is still only £5. Each week we come up with a different one. All of our cocktails were created by our superb staff before lockdown commenced. Offering staple classics like the Mojito, to our own unique drinks like our Ophelia, we have tried our best to have something on offer for everyone. If there isn’t anything on our menu that customers like we can always try and make them something up, providing we have the ingredients to make it.
“We’ve always offered takeaway for food but never thought about our drinks. With all the bars and pubs closed I don’t think many pubs or bars have thought to offer takeaway just for drinks and cocktails, however as we already offer food it has been easy to just add.”
In Edinburgh, Panda and Sons owner, Ian McPherson, has also launched a drinks delivery service, Edinburgh Booze Delivery, which gives locals the chance to get cocktails from bars including Hoot The Redeemer, Nauticus Bar, The Pop Up Geeks Bar and Panda and Sons.
There is also be a range of Edinburgh-based drinks firms including brewers, spirits, liqueur and soft drink products available to purchase, too.
And it’s not just bars jumping on the trend. Aberdeen gin and bitters firm The House of Botanicals is also producing its own pre-made cocktails in a bottle.
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We already had plans to launch a series of Ready to Drink [RTD] bottled cocktails 🍸 at the end of 2020, however due to the COVID-19 outbreak and a number of requests we’ve received we have now pulled that forward with a view to having them ready in early May. Harking back to our bartending roots, we will shortly have available four or five drinks which have been designed to have multiple applications. Each cocktail will simply be named after the main flavouring, with the drink simply requiring chilling before pouring over ice, however a simple adaptation by lengthening with soda or adding another ingredient will give you additional beverage styles as follows. In this video we feature the Melon 🍉 which is a ready to drink Gimlet (calling for Maple Old Tom Gin 🍁 | Melon Liqueur 🍉 | Citrus 🍋 | Salt 🧂), however this can be turned into a Melon Highball by adding soda water, or a Melon G&T with the addition of tonic. We’ll be revealing the rest of the range over the next few days so keep an eye out for details…
Adam Elan-Elmegirab, founder of the brand, said: “We’re offering four bottled cocktails from The House of Botanicals, primarily focused on our Old Tom Gin’s and cocktail bitters, as well as one from the Pietro Nicola range of Aperitivi and Digestivo which uses our new Caffe Margaux – a barrel-aged coffee bean spirit.
“We had planned to launch a series of seasonal bottled cocktails nearer the festive period, however, recent events and demand for a bottled cocktail offering has seen us bring it forward. As one of Aberdeen’s oldest and most diverse spirit brands we are in the unique position where we have a range of ingredients created in-house that we can produce an array of mixed drinks from.
“The cocktails will come in 100ml bottles, are named after their primary flavouring, and have been designed to have multiple serves. For example, our melon cocktail is a ready-to-serve Melon Gimlet (a classic cocktail with gin and citrus, but in this case with the addition of melon liqueur) however if you mix it with tonic or soda water you can create a Melon gin and tonic or a Melon Highball. Our Caffe Cocktail it is a ready-to-serve Manhattan but this can be easily adapted to and turned into a Caffe Americano by mixing with soda water, or a Caffe Negroni by adding a bitters like Campari.
“Alongside the core range we will also have a 500ml Pietro Nicola Shakerato, which is inspired by the classic Espresso Martini and the Italian tradition of shaking fresh espresso with ice and sugar. This is sensational and calls for our Caffe Margaux, Old Tom Gin, salted cacao and cold brew coffee.”
Also taking into consideration the environment, Adam has ensured the bottled cocktail range falls in line with his brand’s ethos and zero-waste attitude.
“Two of the most important elements in the creation of our bottled cocktail range was the ability to control the quality of each ingredient, while also reducing waste and recycling,” said Adam.
“As a business that has almost entirely nullified the usage of plastic and that operates as close to zero-waste as is humanly possible, it’s important to us that any new product or initiative doesn’t jeopardise the way we work. And of course this is paid forward to the end user whereby they will be able to recycle and/or reuse the packaging it’s presented and delivered in.
“We envisage some of our retail partners taking them on down the line, but in the first instance they’ll be a House of Botanicals exclusive available via our website. They’ll be available for UK and EU-wide shipping with most orders in the city limits handled by ourselves, alongside our existing non-contact delivery service though Royal Mail and Parcelforce will also be involved with postage handling.”