10 New Year’s Eve To-Go Drink Options in Austin

Keep your festivities well-watered and safe at home

By all means, watch the ball drop this New Year’s Eve, but please don’t drop the ball. Local coronavirus restrictions are in Stage 5, meaning no going out if you can help it. Life-saving partying is the coolest kind, right?

I’m a glass-half-full kinda guy, so here are a handful of ways to say sayonara to this nightmare year with glasses brimming, from the safety of home. The widespread introduction of to-go alcohol from some of our favorite establishments is one thing worth toasting to in 2020, so why not make it the standard for your spirited celebration? Whether you prefer craft cocktails, fine wines, or good ol’ fashioned bubbly, our food team has you covered with curbside suggestions for a well-watered NYE at home. As always, please plan to pick up your beverages before taking your first sip – drunk driving is as sinful as going to H-E-B without a mask.

Kinda Tropical (Photo by John Anderson)

Kinda Tropical

As a bar that has maintained one of the safest outdoor setups during the height of coronavirus woes, the east side’s Kinda Tropical deserves some extra support if you’re considering to-go beverages for NYE (and you can feel extra good knowing you’ll vicariously be supporting East Sixth music venue Hotel Vegas since it’s under the same ownership). Alongside your order of some seriously mouth-watering bar snacks (the yucca fries and chicken wings with spicy tamari glaze and pulled jackfruit sandwich are solid choices), you can grab a to-go Oaxacan hot chocolate or hot toddy, or keep it Texan with a spicy frozen margarita or draft mezcal paloma. New Year’s Eve hours are noon-1am. www.kindatropical.com

Scholz Garden

Rejoice, UT campus-adjacent home-partiers! Your favorite historic biergarten has created a “Bubbles & Bites” to-go party pack ($50), which includes a charcuterie spread of meats, cheeses, nuts, haus-pickled goods, pretzels and dips, fruits and chocolate, plus a 750ml bottle of Domaine Ste Michelle Brut champagne. The package also boasts unspecified “fun NYE-themed party favors'' (ooh, mysterious). For a little extra ($30), you can add the Hangover Helper pack: a 375-ml bottle of Deep Eddy Vodka and Scholz Garten's Mary Mix, Rambler Sparkling Water, and Willigan’s Island garlic-jalapeno pickled green beans! To-go packages must be pre-ordered before December 30 via email: [email protected]. www.scholzgarten.com

Drink Well

The North Loop hood’s upscale watering hole ain’t skimpin’ on special selections this NYE. In addition to their standard cocktails, there’s an assortment of holiday-themed humdingers to go (pre-mixed and bottled): Clyde Common’s Tequila Sherry Eggnog (available in 750-ml, 16-oz and 8-oz), Tuxedo No. 2 Martini (an annual NYE offering), Whiskey Chai Cider (cold or hot), the mulled-wine Bobby Burns, and one alcoholic-free option, Wrapped in Red (Seedlip Grove non-alcoholic spirit, blood orange cordial, winter citrus, Fever Tree aromatic tonic). Those really looking for some extra internal warmth might opt for the bourbon flight box ($65), replete with a 100-ml Noah’s Mill Bourbon Old Fashioned and a flight of three 1-oz pours of the rare Willett 6-Year single barrel bourbons, only available to-go through New Year’s Eve. Don’t forget: TABC regulations require at least one food item with any alcohol purchase. Curbside hours on Dec. 22-23, 28, 30- 31; 3-9pm. www.drinkwellaustin.com

The Little Darlin

In addition to its regular drink menu – which includes cold-weather whistle-wetters like spiked hot apple cider, hot chocolate with marshmallows (and your choice of peppermint schnapps, Fireball, Skrewball peanut butter whiskey, and Espolon tequila) hot toddies and Irish coffee – the South Austin mainstay is offering $15 bottles of champagne with any New Year’s Eve food order, 11am-2am. Check out the menu in advance online, but all to-go orders must be placed in-person at the bar. www.thelittledarlin.com

Aviary Wine & Kitchen (Photo by John Anderson)

Aviary Wine & Kitchen

On this sure-to-be bustling fete day, Aviary’s beverage director and certified wine specialist, Alex Bell, implores you to call their wine hotline (even heavy imbibers can remember the rhyme: 877-819-WINE) so he can walk you through precisely what’s available to-go from wine menus named after notable celebrities and musicians. The David Bowie list – “‘diamonds in a glass’ or “stars in liquid’ … the way David Bowie makes you feel” – is your go-to for sparkling options, including champagne. Pickup available on Dec. 31 until 4pm. www.aviarywinekitchen.com

TLC Austin

This one’s a meal-drinks package deal, but you’re gonna need something in your gut before moving into booze mode, right? The to-go surf and turf for two feast ($250) includes two 8-ounce tenderloin filets, two crab-stuffed lobster halves, tarragon lemon butter, rosemary fingerling potatoes, asparagus, a chocolate brownie with winter-spiced strawberry compote, and a bottle of Taittinger Brut Champagne. Wanna fancify your New Year’s Day, too? Snag a few add-ons like Texas Caviar (for those not from ‘round these parts: black-eyed peas, black beans, corn and peppers, etc.) hot black-eyed peas and cornbread paired with bloody mary or mimosa kits. Yeehaw! Pre-orders available through December 31. www.tlcaustin.com

The Cavalier

A curbside option is also recommended for the culinarily inclined. From 3-10pm, the Southern-inspired east side pub will offer to-go holiday cocktails – including boozy horchata and chai, hot toddies – as well as bottles of wine and mimosas (for your hair of the dog needs). Since you’ve gotta order eats by law, try pairing with 2-for-1 burgers (typically only available on Mondays) or more traditional New Year’s fare like black-eyed peas, gumbo and chicken & dumplings (pre-order by the quart, all fully cooked and ready for re-heating). www.thecavalieratx.com

Roosevelt Room (Photo by John Anderson)

Roosevelt Room

If you’re an ATX cocktail aficionado, you already know the Roosevelt Room is among the most stimulating of sit-down experiences – with an era-spanning menu and plenty of smoke and fire in some drink-making processes, it’s the veritable Cirque du Soleil of upscale bars. So, yeah, getting their drinks to-go won’t be as immersive, but quality won’t lack in the slightest among their dozen signature options. Those include favorites like the Cigar Box (starting at $40 for 250-ml, 3+ cocktails), Corpse Reviver #2 (starting at $36 for 250-ml, about 3 cocktails) and the non-alcoholic Castaway (starting at $20 for 250-ml, about 2 cocktails). Beer, wine, and sparkling selections are also up for grabs, and you won’t even be a little bit bothered that you’re required at least one food item with their preposterously delicious rosemary-parmesan popcorn as an option. New Year’s Eve orders can be placed between 4-6pm and require at least 30 minutes notice, and presentation of a valid photo ID when picking up is mandatory. www.therooseveltroomatx.com

Rebel Cheese

Calling all vegans (in particular, stay-at-home couples): This is the perfect option to please your non-dairy NYE palate. From 7-8pm on Dec. 31, Mueller’s Rebel Cheese is staging a virtual wine and cheese tasting, hosted by owners Kirsten Maitland and Fred Zwar via Zoom so participants can ask questions and talk amongst yerselves. The delectable deal ($60) includes a board-for-two of four house-made cheeses, bread, crackers, olives and fruit paired with a bottle of sparkling wine (more drink options for additional fees). Boards will be available for pickup day of between 11am-6:30pm or deliverable within a 5-mile radius. Space is extremely limited, so make sure to snag tickets well in advance! Ticket link; Facebook event. www.rebelcheese.com


Sushi for NYE? Um yes, please. Both Uchi and and Uchiko are offering their curbside “to-gomakase” – signature 8-course ($98), premium 10-course ($155) and vegetarian 7-course ($78) – until 10pm on Dec. 31. Each package, each curated for two people by executive chef/owner Tyson Cole and pastry chef Ariana Quant, include to-die-for desserts, bonus savory rice congee and your choice of Pali Wine Co. Pinot Noir 2017 Sonoma Coast or Justin Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Central Coast (champagne add-ons optional). And if you’re feelin’ extra thirsty, all curbside orders receive 25 percent off sake and additional bottles of wine. Kanpai, y’all! www.uchiaustin.com; www.uchikoaustin.com

[Editor's note: We corrected the cocktail pricing for Roosevelt Room.]

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