The 7 Best Cocktail-to-Go Options in SF
Meeting us where we’re at, literally and emotionally
So it turns out the Puritans got a bad rap: according to Bruce Bustard, a curator with the National Archives, “One of the things we understand now is that the initial ship that came over from England to Massachusetts Bay actually carried more beer than water.”
Let’s do them proud this Thanksgiving: With large family gatherings a no-go and turkey-for-one/two/four not worth the effort, all that remains, clearly, is to drink. This year, it’s less likely to kill us (or our grandmothers) than dinner at Uncle Andy’s. (As long as you don’t drive.)
Here, our curated collection of the seven best cocktail-dispensing services in town, all of whom deserve our attention, patronage, and exceptionally sincere thanks.
Honestly we’ll be fine with a Thanksgiving week order of every shrimp dish on the menu (seriously, shrimp is great, especially the walnut shrimp but also the mango shrimp, as well as the Superstar Shrimp, which is wok-tossed with chili and garlic sauce) — and 32 ounces of the spicy ginger lime margaritas. Pick-up or delivery, and only from the Clement Street location.
Hawker Fare’s “Cabin Fever” menu is as expansive as those binders full of drinks you get when you take a bartending class in college, including but not limited to the PAINKILLER #COVID19 (with Cultwater Tiki Gold Rum, Overproof Float Coconut, lime, pineapple, orange and nutmeg), the Penicillin (a “ginger elixir” with your choice of spirit) and, most wonderfully, the classic Zombie. Sales from two drinks — Tropical Tradewinds and The Goddess — benefit SF Food Relief.
Truth: We have so much faith in the creative ambitions of our favorite IRL cocktail bar that at first we thought the Blistered Iacopi Brussels Sprouts with cauliflower cream was a drink, and not a side on the Thanksgiving menu. From the actual cocktail delivery menu, we’ll take the In the Pines, Under the Palms: toasted coconut rye, Terroir gin, vermouth, maraschino, absinthe and redwood tips. Look for 100-ounce versions in their as-yet still-available Turkey Day collab. All available via Tock.
Whitechapel’s so great that when we went to build out our own home gin library, we asked them for help first. They are selling to-go cocktails-in-a-can — including a Rogue Lime Gin Fizz — but the real appeal here might be for the DIY crowd, given the extensive number of gins (12), mixers (Chinotto Bitter Orange, East Imperial Grapefruit Tonic, etc.), and modifiers (Campari, Aperol, King’s Ginger Liqueur, etc.). Available for pick-up, payment via PayPal.
The “End of the World as We Know It” menu at Word. A Café has a long list of cocktails available in reusable Mason jars (available for a $5 deposit, and definitely something someone you’re dating might think is extremely adorable). These include: mimosas, margaritas, martinis, Bloody Marys, Old-Fashioneds, Bayview Bombers “and More!” “Call ahead,” they say: 415-500-2501.
Mago will set you up with a super-respectable family dinner (like organic whole-roasted pumpkin with pomegranate molasses and fig leaf zaatar, plus sides) as well as drinks for the adults — like the Apple Seed, which sounds like a medicinal tonic (apple cider, honey, lemon) until they add the best ingredient (gin). Order via Toast.
Sometimes simple is best: Send $80 to Butter (via PayPal, Venmo, etc.) and you’ll get a liter of 80-proof vodka and enough Red Bull to make “Butter’s own Red Bull Vodka Signature Cocktail — originally developed at BUTTER in 1999 and institutionalized world round.” Pick-up “at your convenience” or $10 delivery in SF, $20 elsewhere in the Bay.
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