Gosh, we miss bars. The low lighting, the music, the gentle chatter of fellow patrons, the rattle of the ice in the shaker, the easy conversation of the bartender... Not to mention the booze. Oh the booze!
We've been raiding our own cocktail recipe section for inspiration, but no matter how good our mixing skills we haven't quite been able to recreate the same vibe ourselves – but these home cocktail kits are raising the bar, bringing the drinks to our doors.
From how-to videos to paired snacks to playlists, these kits give you just about everything you need to recreate your favourite serves.
The only thing that's missing is the bartender… And we suppose you could train your significant other/child/pet, if you really wanted to.
And if you want to go the whole hog for a special night in, you could order one of these restaurant meal kits, too.
Home cocktail kits: 6 that deliver direct to your door
Nine Lives [pictured above]
Bermondsey's Nine Lives has long been one of our favourite haunts thanks to its tropical vibes and low/no waste approach to cocktailing. And even when it can't open its doors, it's managed to keep its status as totally brilliant, thanks to three cocktail kits: the Moby Dick, the Paloma, and the Nine Lives Ballers. These kits are about way more than the booze: you'll get bamboo straws emblazoned with the Nine Lives logo, the same incense that gets burned in the bar, a bag of popcorn and the bar's ultimate playlist. Just close your eyes and you could almost be there.
Remy 1738 Old Fashioned Kit
£39.99 for two people
The old fashioned is, in our humble opinion, one of the best cocktails out there. Drink it before dinner, after dinner, with dinner, in the morning – just ask Don Draper. And with Remy's kit, you can put your own twist on the classic, thanks to a variety of different syrups, bitters and garnishes. You even get two complimentary glasses so you'll look the part, and if you really want to take it to the next level, there'll be a virtual masterclass, so you can get your tekkers nailed.
Club Mexicana Taco and cocktail kit
Watch this space for a launch date...
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Margaritas! Tacos! Punch! This is a cocktail kit that truly has it all. First, booze: choose between vegan taco legends Club Mexicana's signature cocktails: Electric Margaritas, with tequila, orange liqueurs, lemon and lime; classic Tommy margaritas; or the Yucatan punch, with rum and tequila (careful now), bananas, pineapple, mango and lime. Then: tacos. And what tacos they are. They're vegan, but you wouldn't know it. Meriel Armitage and her team have got their vegan junk food down, whether you're after the vegan al pastor with seitan, adobado sauce, caramelised pineapple and salsa verde, or the loaded nachos with the vegan ground 'beef'.
Homeslice and Jameson JGL kit
£25 for two, plus cocktails
This cocktail kit comes with a full-blown pizza attached – which is definitely the kind of kit we can get on board with. Homeslice is now offering its pizzas for pickup and delivery for you to bake at home, complete with all the essential ingredients for a JGL cocktail (or a Jameson, ginger and lime to you and us). Worried about how you'll fit one of Homeslice's trademark 20-inch pizzas in your oven or your belly? It's downsized its pies to a slightly more manageable 12 inches. Choose from classic margherita; chorizo, corn and coriander; and 'nduja, tenderstem broccoli, fior di latte and chilli oil (you can also swap for vegan nduja if you're that way inclined); and three more of Homeslice's creative combos.
Available nationwide. homeslicepizza.co.uk
Swift At-Home Irish coffee kits
£55 for 16 serves
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Cocktails aren't just for the evening, you know. In fact, we say they're definitely for breakfast – especially when the cocktail involved is an Irish coffee. Go the whole hog and order yourself the bottle of Jameson – which makes 16 cocktails – sit down and buckle up for the ride. If you're after bottled cocktails, Swift is offering plenty of those, too – including their famous gin basil spritz and the pear collins.
Cointreau Margarita kit
The margarita is certainly one of the most iconic cocktails out there. That being said, we've spent many hours and sampled many recipes in our quest to achieve the perfect level of zingy lime acidity, and, to be honest, we usually get it wrong. So it's with a sigh of relief that we've found these Cointreau margarita kits that come with VIVIR Tequila, Cointreau, Maldon sea salt, plus all the gear you could possibly need. The only thing you need is limes, and loads of 'em. And possibly some tacos (and there are plenty of meal kits for that).