Without the ability to offer table service to diners, many restaurants are on life support, cobbling together curbside pick-up and takeout cuisine as a stop gap until eateries reopen.
Some have, in recent weeks, created cocktail kits that suddenly transform your take-out meal to a nearly full-on dining experience. This includes bars.
What’s a cocktail kit? Designed for even a novice, the kit includes everything needed to craft a drink at home, from the spirits to the garnish and often bitters. Because the spirits are in large-sized formats, the kit makes a round of drinks.
1. Lost Whale
Missing the happy-hour specials at Lost Whale in Bay View – or maybe the Tiki mugs and funky aqua-hued wallpaper? Between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., the bar’s curbside window sells cocktail kits for Manhattans, Mai Tais, Old Fashioneds, Harvey Wallbangers, Stir Crazy Boulevardiers and Vanilla Raspberry Margaritas. All that’s missing is a glass and – unless you drink it neat – ice.
2. The Stillery
Going whole hog with a menu of 11 different cocktail kits, The Stillery in Richfield embraces classics (like Wisconsin Old Fashioneds or Blackberry Mules) as well as signature spins (such as Raspberry Deliciousness), as part of its curbside to-go menu. Food can be added to the order, including fish fry on Wednesdays and Fridays and comfort-food orders like Spotted Cow beer cheese dip, clam chowder, burgers, pizzas or Ultimate Wisconsin Grilled Cheese (four different cheeses plus bacon on Texas toast).
Don’s Diner & Cocktails in Walker’s Point has been getting a lot of attention for its switch to a grocery-store model – while still serving food for pick-up or delivery – but behind all that toilet paper are cocktail kits now, too. From a Gin and Tonic Kit to wind out the work day to the Mimosa Kit to wake up to Saturday morning, each kit makes between five and eight drinks. Clever packaging goes into the “I Don’t Even Know What Day It Is” kit, with two breakfast burritos and a Mimosa Kit.
Wauwatiki, in Tosa, includes a Water of Life Cocktail Home Kit (coconut rum, almond syrup, lemon and coconut water) on its take-out menu so that orders of, say, Hawaiian Fried Rice or jerk chicken on a bun get the full aloha treatment. Choose from a single or “bowl size” (for the rest of your household).
Hawthorne Coffee Roasters continues to serve cold-brew coffee, espresso and pour-over coffee from its South Side location and just added another morning-time beverage option to its to-go menu. Its Bloody Kits include a bottle of vodka, 32-ounce Bloody Mary mix, two 12-ounce Montucky Cold Snacks chasers and, of course, garnish (sausage, cheese, olive, lemon, lime and pickle). Brunch is (almost) served!