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If you’ve found yourself reaching for booze to get you through the last year, you’re not alone. Research has shown a huge spike in online alcohol sales in 2021, as people tap into subscription sites and delivery services to have beer, wine, and liquor shipped directly to their doors.
If you’re hosting in-person parties and gatherings again, consider getting your favorite celebrity tequila, spirit or bottle of wine delivered in a safe and convenient way.
Drizly, an alcohol delivery service that touts drop-offs in 60 minutes or less, reports that sales were up a whopping 437% since last summer, compared to what they would have expected to see during this time. The site, which lets people order alcohol from more than 2,500 independent liquor stores and retailers across North America, says new users accounted for 27% of orders, compared to 15% normally.
The alcohol delivery app, Saucey, saw similar numbers, reporting a 400% uptick in sales since most States since late last March. Saucey, which offers under 30-minute delivery in select cities, says its average order size has increased too, with 32% jump in the dollar amount people are adding to their carts.
It isn’t just one-time deliveries that are gaining popularity; the online wine club, Winc reported a 111% increase in orders month-over-month from February to March last year. The site also reported almost 100,000 new members in March and April of 2020 alone — about 2,100 new signups a day.
The reasoning behind the numbers is simple: even as people continue to go out to bars and restaurants more frequently, delivery services have become a convenient alternative to shopping in-store. Meal delivery services, like Blue Apron, have seen a flurry of activity, and Drizly says the beverage alcohol industry is experiencing similar “unprecedented demand in e-commerce beverage alcohol sales” (i.e. ordering booze online).
For Drizly, that has translated to higher sales across its offerings, which include beer, wine, liquor and mixers, along with a selection of specialty beverages (think gluten-free beer, ciders and hard seltzers).
Over at Saucey, the app has seen “gift orders” rise by 15x since last year, too. “Wine is the most-sent gift followed by spirits,” says Adam Mead, Growth Marketing Manager at Saucey. “Beers and other drinks are far down the list.” Because Saucey’s alcohol delivery service offers 30 minute drop-offs in select cities, it’s become an ideal way to deliver last minute gifts too, whether it’s for for a recent graduate or as a pick-me-up sent to a friend.
For some alcohol delivery sites, the changing social climate forced them to find new ways to attract customers too. ReserveBar, known for its selection of premium spirits, luxury champagnes and fine wines, is touting special limited-edition releases, as well as its custom engraving service, which lets you personalize a label on everything from champagne to scotch to tequila (see all custom engraving options here). Note: Items can be shipped directly to a recipient, for an easy and thoughtful gift, though you won’t be able to get same-day delivery like some of the other sites above.
Among their limited-edition offerings: ReserveBar is the only place online to find “The Bootleg Series by Heaven’s Door.” Named after Bob Dylan’s famous “Bootleg Series,” each edition features one of Dylan’s paintings on a hand-made ceramic bottle, all packaged inside a leather case. The current series offers a 26-Year-Aged Whisky finished in Japanese Mizunara Oak barrels, one of the rarest and most expensive types of oak in the world.
ReserveBar also offers an impressive selection of unique and hard-to-find spirits, like Metallica’s BLACKENED Whiskey, which uses the rock band’s music to “sonically enhance” the flavor of an American whiskey, along with favorites like TINCUP Rye, a straight rye whiskey cut to proof with Rocky Mountain water and named after the Tin Cup – a mining town founded in 1879 on the western edge of Colorado.
And then there’s Wine.com, a site that’s a favorite among oenophiles thanks to their extensive selection of rare and award-winning wines from around the world. They had tapped into their celebrity following during quarantine, offering live-stream wine tastings with everyone from Jon Bon Jovi to John Legend. Customers can purchase a bottle (or two) of wine online and sign up for a free wine tasting led by their favorite celeb and a wine expert from the site.
One last thing: whether you’re going to be enjoying your booze at home or the bar again, make sure you enjoy a hangover-free morning-after. We like The Plug, a great-tasting plant-based “shot” that you chug before bed, to help ease your liver (and body) after a night of drinking. The company says its formula is made from 13 all-natural plants, fruits, and flowers, which is then combined with the “purest form of bedrock water” for an easy-sipping drink. There’s no caffeine or added sugar, so it won’t keep you up at night, and unlike some pills or similar “hangover drinks,” it won’t give you the jitters either.
The Plug has been our secret weapon for waking up clear-headed and hangover-free, and is always stocked in our pantry (we like it chilled as well). Try a six-pack for $30 here. The company says they’ve sold almost a million bottles to date, with customers reporting a 99% success rate.