Creative Ideas For To-go Cocktails

Thyme Bar NYC bottled cocktails

With the coronavirus pandemic putting on-premise drinking and dining on ice, many cities and states have temporarily relaxed rules to allow restaurants, bars, wineries and distilleries to sell their alcoholic products to go.

There are restrictions: In most cases patrons have to order take-out food with their drinks and beverage must placed in a closed container. But it includes mixed drinks, which has some bars batching and bottling their signature cocktails.

It might not be a sustainable business model for most restaurants, but the ability to sell alcoholic beverages has enabled some operators to boost take-out orders and make a little money during the social distancing period. Here’s a few of the cocktails-to-go promotions that we like.

Each to-go cocktail order from Thyme Bar in New York comes with a bag of white truffle flavored potato chips.

At Thyme Bar in New York, which opened in February, head bartender Colin Steven created Thyme 2 Go bottled cocktails (shown atop). The to-go libations are pre-chilled and pre-diluted and include a Manhattan, Negroni, a “Two Step Margarita” made with tequila and a reverse production cordial and two different “Quarantinis.”

Signature cocktails include Thyme Is A Circle, made with gin, Rockey’s milk punch, pineau des charentes, thyme and grapefruit; and Masquerade, with El Silencio mezcal, Cazadores Blanco tequila, Bael syrup, lime and orange juices and Topo Chico. Each cocktail to-go order comes with a bag of white truffle flavored potato chips.

Ball & Chain in Miami has created cocktail kits for delivery and to-go orders, including the Calle Ocho Old Fashioned; Mojito; Miami Mule; Margarita and Michelada kits. The kits, priced at $75 ($60 for prebatched) come with authentic coasters, stirrers and garnishes.

A nice touch: Ball & Chain is offering a 50% percent buyback on takeout and delivery orders. Guests must save their receipts but they’ll get 50% back in food and beverage credit when Ball & Chain reopens.

Patent Pending, a speakeasy in New York, offers to-go menu of four signature cocktails, espresso drinks and snacks such as a cheese plate and cookies and some large-format cocktails to share depending on the night. Bonus: Patent Pending will reportedly throw in a roll of toilet paper for take-out or delivery orders of more than $50.

Rustic House Oyster Bar & Grill in San Carlos, CA, is on the Mule Train; it’s offering a Jameson Mule Pack, including 1 liter of Jameson Irish whiskey, 4-pack of Fentimans ginger beer and four fresh limes for $58; and a New Amsterdam Vodka Mule Pack including 1 liter of New Amsterdam vodka, 4-pack Fentimans ginger beer, and four fresh limes for $55. The available to-go beverages also include several hard seltzers and splits of sparklers.

All locations of Hula’s Modern Tiki in the Phoenix area offer six cocktail options to go, including the restaurant brand’s signature Mai Tais, Painkillers, Pink Bikini Martinis and other tropical sips.

Hula's Modern Tiki cocktails-to-go menu
Hula’s Modern Tiki offer six cocktails to go—plus the option to purchase branded glassware.

The take-out cocktails come in 16- and 32-oz. plastic containers that the restaurants usually use for storing soup, which is all Hula’s had available when it began offering the cocktails to go. To make up for the lackluster beverage presentation, the menu includes an option to order four Hula’s Mai Tai glasses for $25.

And Tiger Fork, a Hong Kong street-food-inspired eatery in Washington DC, is offering its most popular cocktails as adult juice boxes. Priced from $10 to $12, to-go cocktails include the 8 O’Clock Light Show, made with rum, yuzu, and mandarin; Nathan Road, with bourbon, plum wine, hibiscus, bitters; and Bird Market, with gin, alpine liqueur, citrus and “stuff that’s good for you.”