This is part of the Good Food team's guide to eating at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Shopping and storing
- The list: Melbourne restaurants offering delivery and takeaway
- What Sydney restaurants and cafes are doing during the COVID-19 crisis
- Chef's fridge, freezer and pantry tips
Booze to your door
Like restaurants, small bars have been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis and are experiencing a huge drop in patronage. Due to federal and state laws, however, providing booze for takeaway and home delivery isn't possible without the relevant liquor licence. As more small bars are granted permits to provide off-premises wine, craft beer and pre-batched cocktails over the coming weeks, Good Food expects the home-delivered booze space to become somewhere everyone wants to party.
Plenty of options still exist for cellar and distillery-to-door delivery, however, with online booze shopping sites DRNKS, Good Pair Days, P&V, Different Drop, Handpicked Wines and Vinomofo delivering nationally. The Everleigh Bottling Co is a brilliant go-to for pre-batched negronis and old-fashioneds, and Cocktail Porter can sort you out with spirit-filled subscription bottles. Hops to Home and Slow Beer provide a great tinnie range ideal for housebound beer boffins looking to support independent brewers.
Brew your own
Autumn with its relatively stable weather is a good time to brew a batch of beer. Buy a brewing kit and enjoy all the yeasty, hoppy bubbling that leads up to 25 litres of ready-to-drink magnificence three weeks later. (During the 1990s recession, my then housemates and I made labels for homebrews we called Down and Out Stout and The Lager We Had to Have.) You can also save soda-water bottles and make a batch of ginger beer with the kids. The "plant" needs feeding with sugar and ginger daily, and then there's the anticipation and excitement as some of the bottles explode in the laundry where they are traditionally stored.
If you're really into fermenting alcohol, embrace your inner English West Country heritage and make cider. Slightly more specialist than buying a brew kit, but you can crush the bounty of autumn apples and ferment the juice at home to make a cider that will have you "arrring" like a Cornish pirate. The West Country folk also have a culture of fermenting anything they can forage, from elderberries to blackberries to dandelions.
The hardest part of brewing alcohol at home these days is finding bottles that can be securely resealed, so save the ones with a crown-seal top.
Virtual cocktail hour
Are you trapped in your house? You may well be very soon. And if you live solo, that causes a conundrum. Drinking alone is well known to be danger behaviour. But damn it, if these aren't times that call for a stiff one, I don't know what are. It's OK. The internet has solved the problem. Around the world, as lock-ins have become the norm, people have been teeing up virtual cocktail hours. Call it Quarantini hour. Get on Facetime, and shake one up with someone in another house, or another city. No more problem drinking.
Put down the instant, this instant
If you're craving cafe coffee at home, note that Melbourne-based Rumble Coffee Roasters delivers its specialty bean subscriptions nationally with an option to include all the fancy brew gear needed to make it, such as an Aeropress and hand-grinder. Put the instant stuff back in the camping supplies box. CB