Alcohol Delivery: How To Legally Send Booze to Friends
Updated September 20, 2017
The World is a Booziful Place
Send Someone a Drink Anywhere, from Anywhere
Sending a small, thoughtful gesture like a good drink doesn’t have to be a Starbucks card or a Coke. The world of technology (and in some cases the law) has opened the floodgates for ways to send someone a beverage from afar to show you care when you’re not there. Don’t succumb to a generic gift card in the grocery store checkout aisle that will just get posted on Raise - you can send cash easily with Venmo. Here are ways to send a liquid gesture to friends, colleagues and loved ones that can be executed in a sweatsuit, on the couch, the day of your friend’s birthday/promotion/bachelor party/celebration from anywhere in the world.
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Send a Boozy Gift Card by Mail or Digitally
Hypothetical situation: Your parents are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. In days of yore, you might call the restaurant to try and pay for their champagne. The restaurant's response would be something like, ‘let me check with the manager....okay we’ll need you to fax a credit card authorization form and a copy of your driver’s license.’ Jumping through hoops to execute such a gesture wins brownie points, but doesn’t have to be so hard!
Giftbar is a gift card site that curates the best local gifts and experiences around so you can send a unique gift digitally (or physically if you’re into that kind of thing). Browse by recipient personality, price, gift type, and more. Giftbar is different from a standard online gift card shop in that it only has a focused group of vetted gifts available based on the city of the recipient. We’re partial to the Cocktail Courier option, which is available in multiple cities: Top local bartenders present award-winning cocktail recipes, you choose your favorite and a magical box of ingredients arrives with enough to make 4-12 cocktails. Both physical and digital Giftbar cards can be ordered online and then emailed, texted, mailed or sent via Facebook to the recipient.
- Available in: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Baltimore, Chicago, Charleston, Connecticut, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New Jersey, New York, Seattle, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Twin Cities, San Diego, Indianapolis, Portland, New Orleans, Louisville
Photo: The Bristol Chicago
Yiftee is an online and mobile gifting service. You can send anything from an oil change to a psychic reading to your friends anywhere in the US via email, text, or even Twitter, instantly or scheduled for later delivery. Your friend will then redeem the gift in person or online right from their mobile device or print out. Monthly eReminders of the gift (and who sent it) ensure the gift is never lost or forgotten. If he or she doesn’t use the gift in one year, Yiftee will return the remaining value of the gift to the gift sender. While Yiftee features several national chains, they also have many local businesses such as The Bristol, Hopleaf, Ping Pong, and Clark Street Ale House in Chicago. Check out what's available near you.
- Available in: the US and Puerto Rico
Option B: Send a Toast Card instead!
BarEye is an app that lets you buy drinks for yourself, any Facebook friend, or anyone checked-in to a BarEye bar. With private messaging, you can also send a quick note with that Negroni. See a hottie at the bar? You can buy him/her a drink too, you stealthy fox. When you’re not buying drinks for others you can also receive free drinks and specials at your favorite bars for checking in.
- Available in: Tallahassee, Tampa, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta and Austin
Send Curated Local Food and Drink
Foxtrot is a curated store + delivery service in Chicago. While Foxtrot has a great range of stand-alone products, a key feature is their ability to put together packages and experiences to improve your day (such as the holiday package above). For example, earlier this summer Foxtrot delivered Bowtruss Cold Brew packaged with Oberweis ice cream - the perfect affogato treat on a hot day. The imagination and thoughtfulness behind Foxtrot’s store makes it a great gift idea or way to prepare for having company over. Send a friend with the flu an ‘under the weather’ package with OJ and tea, have beers delivered for game day, or send someone apple cider whiskey or bottle of wine as a Thanksgiving treat. Orders are delivered in an hour or less for $5 (tip included). Use code f8b8e3to get $10 off your first order on us!
- Available in: Chicago’s Lincoln Park, Old Town, Gold Coast, River North, Streeterville, Lakeview, Logan Square, Loop, Bucktown, Wicker Park and West Loop neighborhoods. Shop in-person: West Loop (1019 W Lake St) & Lincoln Park (2229 N Clybourn Ave)
Goldbely is on a mission to discover all things delicious, and offers a collection of well crafted and tasty regional products. When you send someone Goldbely you’re sending them an inspirational discovery. For example, if you haven’t heard of drinking chocolate it’s exactly what you want it to be: a tin filled with delicious dark chocolate or peppermint stick goo. Mmmm...gooooo. Whiskey or bourbon-lovers might like a boozy dessert in the form of marshmallows, cakes, candies, caramels, brittle, balls, popcorns, and pies OH MY!
- Available in: The US
Send Bottles with On Demand Alcohol Delivery Services
Some local liquor stores such as BevMo and Binny’s will deliver online alcohol orders same day, and there are several alcohol delivery apps popping up across the nation. The recipe for these services tends to = Your corner liquor store + a website that manages the user interface to buy said liquor online + a courier service. Some apps/sites have order minimums, delivery fees, and varying hours, and all of them will require proof of identity/legal age before handing over the goods.
Drizly is an online marketplace of soda, wine, garnishes, water, health drinks, juice, energy drinks, glassware, and inspiration for your beverage needs. Browse their calendar of celebratory occasions and inventive recipes to take your party to the next level. Drizly has thousands of items, including fun things like lavender bitters, cherry or apple pie ole smoky moonshine, and hangover aid. Delivery is free in New York, $2 in NOLA, and $5 in all other cities, typically takes 20-40 minutes, and can be scheduled up to 48 hours in advance. When sending a gift you can include a message and allow the recipient to schedule delivery if desired.
- Available in: Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Boulder, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York City, Providence, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, Washington DC, Worcester
Minibar users shop online and the selected store gathers and delivers the goods. It’s important to note that there is a $20 fee if someone of legal age isn’t available to accept the delivery. Delivery minimums and fees vary, and a 10-20% tip is recommended. In New York, wine and liquor are sold and delivered separately from beer and groceries because of local laws.
- Available in: New York City, Chicago, Miami, Brooklyn, Hoboken, The Hamptons, San Francisco, Washington DC, Jersey City, Silicon Valley, Palm Beach, Austin, Houston, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Los Angeles, San Antonio, & Dallas
The Bro Basket originally began as an alternative way ‘to send a man flowers’ for special occasions. However, with the variety of Bro Baskets available you’ll likely find gifts that any friend would enjoy. Gifts range from $9.99 - $99.99 and include fun things like a Moscow Mule kit, Craft Beer Tasting Kit, or you can customize your own. There are also boozeless kits and options for coffee lovers. Same day and next day hand delivery are available in the greater LA area, otherwise both standard and expedited shipping are available in the rest of the lower 48 states and Alaska.
- Available in: The US
Thirstie is like a beverage butler - as you shop, the app recommends cocktails with ingredient lists, instructions, and images to help you shop and your purchases are delivered within the hour. There are no additional delivery fees for most of New York, but other cities have varying delivery fees, and tipping the driver is recommended. Stores have varying hours of operation, and most have order minimums. Bevver readers receive $10 off their first order with promo code BEV10!
- Available in: New York, Jersey City, Hoboken, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Washington, D.C., New Haven, Austin, Dallas, Ft Worth, Houston, Toronto, Ottawa
Klink celebrated its Dallas launch last month with a promotion that allowed Dallas residents to order six-packs of Revolver Blood & Honey, a local craft beer, for six cents. For Halloween, the first 50 orders came with a free s’mores burrito. Klink’s website has an array of drinking games to get the party started. One convenient feature is you can take a picture of your credit card when using the app and the data will autofill for payment. Online or iOS/Android app orders arrive within the hour, but after Klink stocks your request, you can stalk the delivery driver with its live-tracking feature. All orders have a $15 order minimum and no delivery fee.
- Available in: Washington, D.C., Orlando, UCF area, Ann Arbor, area surrounding University of Michigan, Miami, Dallas
Saucey's beer, wine, and spirits prices include taxes and delivery fee (but not tip) to keep things simple. While the app has set hours, they accept after hours requests (aka the late night beer run). Hours are Monday through Thursday 12pm - 11pm, Friday and Saturday 12pm - 1am, and Sunday 12pm - 10pm. Deliveries typically arrive in about 20-40 minutes.
- Available in: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago & San Diego (Dallas next)
Ultra provides home and office delivery of bottles, cases and mixers from your local stores. Orders can be scheduled for the next 30 minutes or up to 30 days in advance. Ultra also has a rewards program - for every dollar spent, you earn 25 points and can turn your points into charitable donations or awesome rewards.
- Available in: Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Hamptons, Hoboken, Jersey City, LIC, Manhattan, Hartford, Washington DC, Los Angeles
Use a Grocery or Retail Delivery Service
Many national grocery and food delivery services carry beverages, though many of them are your standard Coke/Pepsi products and water and require minimum order values of $20 or more. Amazon and Google now have delivery services, and your local grocery store may even offer delivery services through Instacart. If your favorite spot doesn’t deliver, you can pay a personal concierge to bring you just about anything via services like TaskRabbit and Postmates.
Delivery.com is a collection of local restaurants, laundry services, wine, spirits and grocery stores who deliver their products and services to your doorstep. You can search for a specific item or browse to see what you feel like. Merchants post their delivery fees and minimum orders, and you can schedule for immediate delivery, pickup, or delivery up to one week in advance. All purchases earn 25 Delivery Points per dollar which can be redeemed for rewards.
- Available in: Alexandria, Arlington, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Bethesda, Boston, Bronx, Brookline, Brooklyn, Cambridge, Dallas, Denver, Falls Church, Folsom, Fresno, Herndon, Hoboken, Houston, Jersey City, Miami, Orlando, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Queens, Reno, Rockville, Roseville, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, San Ramon, Silver Spring, Somerville, Stamford, and Staten Island
Fresh Direct is a grocery delivery service with a nice feature - use the shop local button to find locally produced beverages such as Red Jacket Orchards spiced apple cider, craft beers from Brooklyn Brewery, Adirondack lemon lime seltzer water, or Boylon’s sodas.
- Available in: New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas
Caviar is a restaurant delivery service that allows same day service and the ability to schedule delivery up to seven days in advance. Because it is a restaurant service, most items are food. However, here are some delicious beverages to brighten your day in Chicago: Pierrot Gourmet sodas, including Blueberry Lemon, Blackberry, Cucumber Mojito, Mint Soda, and Cherry Lime Soda ($6ea); 96oz of coffee (serves 10) from Glazed and Infused ($20), Xoco Bistro Agua del Dia or Mexico City thick hot chocolate. In San Francisco, Honeydew Green Tea from Asha Tea House ($4.15), Baan sake, wine, soda, or Lychee Iced Tea, beer from Craftsman & Wolves, Honey Lavender Ice Cream or Snickerdoodle Ice Cream shakes from Over the Moon Creamery, pressed juices from Project Juice, or a healthy shake from Plant Cafe are all great choices.
- Available in: Brooklyn, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Manhattan, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Queens, Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area (including the East Bay & Marin), Seattle, Portland and Washington D.C.
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