The best alcohol delivery services: London and beyond
Forget queuing at the shops, these independent breweries, wine merchants, distilleries and stockists are offering home deliveries
First, check to see if your favourite local brewery, bottle shop or distillery is delivering and use this opportunity to support them with your custom. For inspiration beyond your usual haunts, read on for our round-up of the best alcohol delivery services in London: from the online wine club connecting customers with specialist merchants from around the world, to the brewery employing out-of-work musicians to deliver pub essentials to your door.
WINE DELIVERY SERVICES...
Winebuyers is an exclusive online wine club (membership is free) that connects its customers with vineyards, specialist merchants and distilleries in over 40 countries around the world. It boasts choice aplenty – over 50,000 bottles – and you can filter by region, grape variety, vintage, speciality (such as vegan wine) and more. Prices are reasonable (Winebuyers insists there’s no mark-ups) and the 'offers' page is worth a browse – even if you think you know what you want. No clue what you want? Make use of the website’s chat function, which offers tips from sommeliers on what's available.
Drop Wine Delivery
Download the Drop Wine app, make your choice and you can look forward to receiving your bottles on the very same day. There are over 140 different bottles to choose from and shoppers can browse by colour, style, price or with a particular food pairing in mind. The best bits? Home delivery is free and if you order six or more bottles, you can enjoy 10% off, too. Chin-chin!
The Wine List
If you’re looking to learn more about grape varieties and taste notes as you sip, why not use this downtime to invest in a subscription with The Wine List? Each month, you’ll receive two rare bottles (worth roughly £16) plus tasting cards and a new wine principle, helping you learn about wines in bite-sized chunks. Subscriptions cost £32 per month (plus £7 for p&p).
Brixton restaurant and wine store Salon has launched a contactless delivery service of its low intervention, artisan wines. Choose from four carefully curated wine cases – each boasting intriguing names like ‘Fun’ and ‘Strictly bangers’ – priced between £70 – £210. The cases are then tailored to the tastes of the buyer, so state your preferences in colour, style, region or even producer when you buy.
Fortnum & Mason's six-course wine hamper
Fortnum & Mason
While best loved for its quintessentially English treats (biscuits, teas, chutneys and so on), Fortnum & Mason’s alcohol-based hampers are not to be overlooked. Among the range is the particularly eye-catching six-course wine hamper: first-class bottles specially selected to complement your dinner party needs, hour by hour.
Quality wine for date night? Forget scouring the shelves at your local supermarket for the right bottle to see you through these tough times and instead order from the vast collection at Hedonism Wines. The Mayfair-based boutique is offering deliveries free of charge in central London, and nationally for those who order six bottles or more.
The Finest Bubble
Do you have an urgent cause to celebrate? You could be popping the cork on a bottle of champagne in just two hours, if you order via The Finest Bubble. Hop onto the website and browse by brand, vintage, price, bottle size or style. Same-day delivery in London costs £8.50, but it’s free if you purchase six or more bottles. If you’re using this downtime to discover new labels, or want to turn the experience into an interactive tasting session, join one of The Finest Bubble’s champagne-tasting sessions on Instagram Live.
‘Wanderlust’ means a strong desire to travel – a passion at the core of Wanderlust Wines, a company committed to importing sustainably farmed wines (often organic and Biodynamic certified), into the UK. There are hundreds of bottles to choose from, but perhaps the site’s best purpose is helping you discover what’s new in terms of regions producing and styles being bottled.
The Good Wine Shop
London born, London bred, The Good Wine Shop is an independent wine merchant with four west London hubs that’s been in business for nearly 20 years. What sets its merchants apart is how personal their expertise is: only selling wines they’ve tasted themselves. Delivery time is a little longer – three to five working days – but the selection of bottles is impressive and if you’re a west Londoner, purchasing your bottles from The Good Wine Shop is a chance to support a local business at this tough time.
SPIRITS DELIVERY SERVICES...
Master of Malt whisky tasting set
Master of Malt
While specialising in whiskies first and foremost, Master of Malt also boasts a strong selection of gins, rums and cognacs ready to be delivered to your door. Check out its tasting sets, a chance to familiarise yourself with the delicate differences between different spirit brands, and have a browse of the special offers, a chance to shop much-loved brands like Bathtub Gin or full cocktail sets (such as the Negroni bundle) for less.
Hoping to make cocktails tomorrow but can’t squeeze in a trip to the shops beforehand? Look to 31Dover. The company boasts a wide range of spirits, from house-loved brands to unusual bottles such as Mis Amigos Chocolate Cream Tequila. Orders are delivered by DPD and you can track your bottles on their journey to your front door.
El Rayo Tequila
El Rayo Tequila
Chic tequila brand El Rayo Tequila is running a nation-wide home-delivery service of its 100% agave tipples. While recommended as a highball drink with tonic and a garnish of sliced grapefruit, you can also mix El Rayo Tequila into margaritas or sip it on the rocks, depending on what you fancy. The brand’s gorgeous, pastel-coloured aesthetic makes its bottles appealing eye candy for your shelves – and, if you like what you see, you can order a series of limited edition prints designed in partnership with Mexican creatives and printed on sustainable, recycled agave paper.
Rather than focusing on producing specific spirits, the team behind Copenhagen-based distillery Empirical Spirits put the emphasis on the flavours and taste notes of the drinks they create. The innovative company has caught the attention of the mixologists behind several of London’s hottest bars, and is currently collaborating with Ryan Chetiyawardana, aka Mr Lyan of Cub and Lyaness acclaim. You can try its tipples for yourself, because Empirical Spirits is offering free home-delivery worldwide of its pre-batched cocktail series, including the Pony Negroni and intriguing sounding Bonita Applebum.
The tasting room at Milroy's of Soho
Milroy’s of Soho (and Spitalfields)
For a more interactive experience, look to London-born whisky specialist Milroy's of Soho, which has launched a ‘Drams-to-your-Door’ delivery service and ‘Tastings at Home’ experience, through which six different tasting options are available. Whether you fancy sipping on exclusively Scotch whiskies or variations from around the world, your preferences – and experience level – can be catered for. Each comes coupled with a live virtual tasting session (delivered by a Milroy’s expert) plus a virtual consultation to add a personal touch to the experience.
The Whisky Exchange
With the daily influx of terrible news on the Covid-19 pandemic, you won’t be alone in craving a stiff dram on the rocks. The Whisky Exchange can supply a wide selection of whiskies from around the world, plus pre-mixed cocktails and even chocolate to sweeten it all up. There’s also a range of gift sets and eGift Cards for those looking to send a special bottle to someone else.
Keep things local to London by ordering from Sacred Spirits, a family-run distillery based in Highgate, north London. The team uses vacuum distillation and organically sourced botanicals to produce a range of gins, vodkas, whiskies, vermouths and aperitifs, all of which are available to buy online.
The Drop Store
Holborn-based bottle shop The Drop Store not only boasts an extensive collection of quality spirits, but its website offers inspiration for artisan spring cocktails, too. Select your spirit of choice, then filter the selection by the taste notes that appeal – from floral and fruity to spicy and smoky. You can also bulk out your order with craft beers and not-on-the-high-street wine brands. And orders over £30 qualify for free delivery.
Whether you’re using this downtime to take a break from alcohol intake or you were teetotal all along, you can still celebrate with a tipple in hand when you order from Dry Drinker. As the name suggests, the company specialises in non-alcoholic drinks, and boasts a vast range of low ABV beers (including household names like Adnams and Mikkeller), plus alcohol-free spirits and pre-mixed cocktails (hello, highball mojito). There are also gluten-free and vegan-friendly options, plus six different kombucha brands for those looking for gut-friendly alternatives. Sign up to the Dry Drinker newsletter for 10% off your first order.
BEER DELIVERY SERVICES...
Beer52 gives you two options: you can either join the beer club for £24 a month and enjoy a pot-luck selection of eight beers delivered to your door each month (along with a magazine and a snack), or shop independently for the bottles and cans that take your fancy. Either way, you’ll find the best names in craft beer; among the stocked brands are Northern Monk, Mikkeller, Gipsy Hill and Tiny Rebel. You can also apply fun filters to your search, such as ‘Top beers for lockdown’: a list which includes punchy sours and full-bodied IPAs to help you turn lockdown to lock-in.
If you're craving a pint of your favourite on-tap brew, chances are you’ll find it on Beer Hawk, an online beer supplier delivering not just bottles and cans but kegs, too, to your door. From Leffe and Stella to Brew Dog and Beavertown, you’ll find most mainstream brands here. There are also gift sets for those looking to pass on a round (or three), and a beer club for those looking for regular deliveries.
Signature Brew's Pub in a Box
Missing hanging out at your local? Walthamstow-based brewery Signature Brew has launched a new scheme, Pub in a Box, which brings the entire pub experience to your door. Boxes not only contain a selection of the brewery's house beers (starting at eight cans for £25), each order also comes with glassware, beer mats, snacks and even a music quiz and curated playlist for added entertainment. Pub in a Box is also a good scheme to support right now: the brewery has employed out-of-work musicians to deliver its boxes across the city.
AND IF YOU REALLY CAN’T AVOID A TRIP TO THE SHOPS…
If a trip to the supermarket can’t be helped, make it a quick one by using new, free app Pingza to help you find your perfect bottle before you set foot in the shop. First, take Pingza’s eight-point palate test to suss out exactly what kind of wine drinker you are, then search the app for bottles with a palate badge that matches your tastes. Filters will allow you to shop by occasion, meal, dietary requirements and budget. Once you’ve shortlisted your bottles, Pinza will show you the supermarket with the best deal – so you can shop your soon-to-be-favourite bottles at the best price.