We're not here to talk about the silver lining of a global pandemic (rolls eyes) – but if there's one not-completely-terribly-catastrophic thing to come out of this, it's the announcement from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) that any licensed bar or restaurant can now start selling alcohol with takeout food and delivery orders.
Sure, it didn't give venues total free reign to sell booze to their homebound punters. However, with a little ingenuity, and some seriously speedy website construction, our favourite cocktail bars, distillers, wine and beer brands have been able to bring the party to us – at a socially responsible distance, of course.
The result is a stop-gap speakeasy delivered to your doorstep with (legally) some food to go with that booze – and who doesn't want a bag of chips to line their stomach before happy hour anyway?
Mahjong Bar and Bar Mordecai
One of our favourite cocktail bars – plus their new Wes Anderson-themed spot – just made our quarantine a whole lot sweeter. Mahjong Bar and Bar Mordecai have created a menu of cocktail and meal kits so we can dim our lights and pretend we're drinking at a speakeasy. Order dumplings or baked-brie and wash it down with a Japanese Highball kit, including glasses from Suntory; or the Tame Impala set (Mahjong's top-selling cocktail) which can be thrown in a blender, no bar tools required. Order by emailing email@example.com.
Salty Paloma cocktail kits
Salty Paloma – maker of cocktail rimmers and teacher of mixologist masterclasses – is here for all your quarantini needs. The Stay at Home Cocktail Kit contains quality ingredients like Empress 1908 Gin, Bittered Sling Arabica Coffee bitters and Salty Paloma syrups and sugars – and that's not all. Every set includes recipe cards, baked goods from the Kitchen Mouse and an open invitation to their live cocktail demonstration on April 26. Prices start at $64.99.
This craft brewery makes beer as diverse as the artwork on its stunning cans – and luckily for us, we can still get a hold of Collective Arts during quarantine. Doorstep delivery is now available for orders over $50 ($4.99 shipping) and hopheads can choose from SKUs like Wheat Ale with Earl Grey, Raspberry Dry-Hopped Sour and their flagship beer, Ransack the Universe.
Pour yourself a cup of ambition and order sustainable sippers made with local, organic produce. The bartenders behind Supernova Ballroom – Toronto's anti-waste cocktail bar – have masterminded Dolly Trolley Drinks, a cocktail delivery service that does all the hard work for you. Choose your cocktail set (Cosmo of Many Colours, Island Stream Dreams, Teardrop Penny), select your alcohol of choice and await your delivery (Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.) which comes with free bar snacks like popcorn.
Not content with making hand sanitizer for frontline workers, the good folk at Reid's Distillery are continuing to earn their wings with cocktail delivery kits. From martinis and elderflower vesper sets to a build-your-own G&T including Reid's Gin, Fevertree Tonic and citrus garnish, there's a kit with your name on it. Contactless pickup and free delivery is available, plus there's no minimum order and they'll throw ice in for free.
Not only is Noble Estates offering free delivery within the GTA, including new releases and some bottles that can't be found at the LCBO, the Ontario wine agency is doing something that will make that first sip even sweeter. To show their appreciation for the hospitality sector, Noble Estates will donate $10 per 6 pack of wine ordered from them during the month of April to @savehospitality.ca.
Dundas West's finest will be delivering cocktails on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Project Gigglewater has been announcing which cheeky concoctions are available for delivery – Breakfast of Self Isolating Heroes or Toilet Paper, anyone? – on their Instagram page. Minimum order $50, free delivery within their zone, order through Instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mercatto del Vino.
The holy trinity of La Palma, Constantine and the Mercatto restaurants have gathered together to bring us the gift of Mercatto del Vino. The trio has partnered with Nicholas Pearce Wines to create a virtual wine shop, bringing you sommelier selections and contactless delivery on a robust line up of bottles. Bonus: 10 per cent of all proceeds from each case purchased will go towards their staff support fund.
You can't beat physically visiting this popular Bloor-Ossington spot, but when the going gets tough, the tough offer cheese, charcuterie and booze delivered. Don't miss their very tongue-in-cheek CLBO sign outdoor as the cocktail bar quickly pivoted to an online store. Choose from cocktail sets like King Delicious Gimlet or Espresso Quarantini, as well as liqueurs, sherry and wine from the cellar. Vit Beo meal kits (banh mi, beef pho) are also available.