Booze Delivery Apps at Your Fingertips
Get lit without changing out of your pajamas
It's an agonizing decision. You want to get lit, but that would require getting out of your footie pajamas and, besides, you are about to find out what happened to Barb on Stranger Things. You tried a vermouth and soda, but you aren't sophisticated enough to drink like a Fort Lauderdale retiree. And the less you think about that half-drunk bottle of apple Pucker, the better.
But, hark, a new dawn has come. Just as you can now make someone else suffer the embarrassment of buying Totino's Party Pizzas while you hunt for wild Pidgeys, so can you now order booze by the comforting light of your own phone. But how do you choose from such a heavenly host? We are here to help.
Cost: $4.99 delivery fee; 15% preset tip that can be changed manually.
Pros: Food options; favorites system; no order minimum.
Cons: I could not schedule a delivery on a Sunday, even for delivery later in the week.
You might like this app if: you were really into 2010 as an app design year.
Overview: Lash could improve on its design and layout – too much negative space is not being utilized, and a bottle's profile and description occupy only about half the screen. Weirdly, some items offered in the app may not be available for delivery (such as a six-pack of Blue Moon), and those looking for a good selection of ciders should look elsewhere. However, Lash gets some points for having a favorites section and the ability to schedule a future drop-off time. The app's selection of Tex-Mex and burgers make sure you won't pass out before Fallon (JK, we know you're watching Jersey Shore on Hulu.)
Cost: $5 delivery fee; 10-20% tip recommended; $25 minimum purchase.
Pros: Can schedule a drop-off up to two weeks in advance; unique ability to hire a bartender; gives details such as ABV %, country, varietal appellation, etc.
Cons: $25 minimum.
You might like this app if: you are unable to make a passable gin and tonic.
Overview: Minibar's interface is streamlined and intuitive to use, but some of the menu buttons like "filters," "cart," and "search" are bunched close together and better accessed by Donald Trump-style small hands. Details like country, region, and gluten content are listed on most of Minibar's drink profiles, making the app stand out from its competitors and make drinking on dietary restrictions easy. For around $100 extra, you can book a bartender. That will really impress your cats, who – truth be known – never knew you had it in you.
Cost: $5 delivery fee; 10% preset tip that can be changed manually; $19 minimum purchase.
Pros: Favorites section; Amazon-like option to add related items at checkout; specials (like free delivery or discounts for certain drinks); ability to schedule a drop-off up to 48 hours in advance; "popular" section for everyday go-tos.
Cons: Descriptions can trail off with an ellipsis after a character limit; symbol errors in FAQ; $19 minimum.
You might like this app if: you impulse buy the king-size Hershey's and Us Weekly in the checkout line.
Overview: Drizly is an attractive app that is good for people who are trying to expand their cocktail vocabulary, recommending other drinks (with full recipes) that might take your fancy, and suggesting featured and popular items. Many of Drizly's selections have special offers such as free delivery, but unfortunately there is no clearance/special-offer tab at the moment, so users must come across the discounts while scrolling. Drizly also has a favoriting system to keep your Cupcake Pinot Grigio on speed dial.
Cost: $5 delivery fee; $2 preset tip that can be changed manually.
Pros: Can swipe through bottles for fast browsing; easy-to-use cocktail menu; ability to schedule a drop-off up to five days in advance.
Cons: Mistakenly displays many bottles as 0% ABV and 0 proof; will not let you order when their supplying store is closed.
You might like this app if: you like to use the word "lifehack."
Overview: Thirstie Now allows you to see the app's available alcohol in a list form or swipe through the items in a larger viewer for a more Tinder-like experience. The description page for each bottle links to cocktail recipes, so you don't put vodka in your Bahama Mama (how embarrassing). The companion website, Thirstie.com, caters to the common computer nicely, adding a "stories" tab that's worth checking out if you're interested in a nicely curated booze blog. It is annoying, however, to only be able to order for seven hours a day, six days a week, even though the app has a feature for scheduling drop-offs. Just because you can't go to a liquor store at 3am shouldn't prevent you from dreaming of better times to come.
Sourced Craft Cocktails
Cost: Delivery fee factored into per-drink cost (averaging around $8).
Pros: Everything (glassware, equipment, and mixers) included in cost; no cleanup.
Cons: Cocktail options are restricted to what's on the daily menu.
You might like this app if: you are trying to relive prom night on a staycation.
Overview: OK, this isn't an app, but we would be remiss if we didn't include them in the roundup. Sourced lets you select from a dozen or so bartender-crafted cocktails, then delivers everything you need to make it at the door in a barrel. The interface is like everything else in e-commerce, with a shopping cart and simple checkout. Your order must be scheduled in advance during a delivery window, so make sure you have something to distract yourself (we suggest a mancala tournament). If you are ordering for a specific event, like an intervention, be sure to have delivery scheduled earlier in the day.
Cost: $5 delivery fee; 10% preset tip that can be changed manually.
Pros: Displays details like ABV % and product origin.
Cons: Can only use the app when the store that delivers to you is open (that means no using the app on Sundays or after 9pm – not even to browse); no ability to filter like other apps.
You might like this app if: you've always had a fondness for typography.
Overview: TopShelf is simple – maybe a little too simple. From the home menu, you have to choose your type of liquor, then (depending on the type of spirit) a subtype from that. You can't just browse all liquor, or all rum for that matter. Additionally, the shopping cart doesn't have an icon showing how many items are in your cart, which is a small gripe, but an icon is always helpful should you forget you've already selected seven or eight cases of boxed wine in a vain attempt to be Olivia Pope (face it, you're a Teresa Giudice). Perhaps the biggest nuisance is the app's refusal to operate at all when the store is closed, making it the opposite of user-friendly. Quotes by George Carlin, Coco Chanel, and Chelsea Handler make the app feel like a boozy Pinterest.
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