One silver lining of the COVID-19 crisis we are all facing is the sudden virtuosity of being lazy. Suddenly, it is cool to stay at home; it is imperative we don't socialise; shopping online is preferred. These food and drink subscriptions offer bespoke, handpicked artisan produce delivered straight to your door weekly or monthly, all you have to do is get up to sign the package for the postie.
Now that everyone is on board with the Quarantini, ensure your gin collection is up to scratch with this bi-monthly subscription that showcases a new, often rare, gin from around the world. Gin Society's offering this month is particularly exciting, the London to Lima Arctic Adventure gin has never been sold in Australia before; a London dry gin with a base of Peruvian quebranta grapes. Past gins have included Le Tribute from just outside Barcelona, Juno Gin from Mt Taranaki in New Zealand and Rivo Gin from Lake Como in Italy. Next month's is still a secret, but hails from California. Cheers to that.
Upgrade the hot sauce in your hand bag with Condimental's offerings. Photo: Supplied
You may be subsisting on chickpeas and rice, but #quarantinecooking doesn't have to equal #sadcooking. Sydney pickle fanatic Cameron Stephens is making it a point for us to all be a bit more experimental with our serving sidekicks – his seasonal condiment subscription boxes are filled with handpicked artisanal sauces, pickles, pastes and ferments made here in Australia. Past boxes have included an organic feijoa chutney from Hinterland Feijoas on the Sunshine Coast; a "Field Blend" vinegar by Hugh Piper from Dear Sainte Eloise that uses a fermented mix of the chef's favourite wines; and the recent release of Stephens' own-label products, a pineapple chilli chutney and a myrtled fennel pickle. Subscribe now to receive next season's box, which includes, among others, Melbourne barbecue king's Fancy Hank's Original BBQ sauce and Green Anchor's "Pickle Me Silly" broccoli stem pickles with thyme, which is made in Sydney entirely from food waste.
Try a new locally roasted coffee every month with Three Thousand Thieves. Photo: Supplied
You're self-isolating. Your barista is self-isolating. But your need for caffeine is still very real. Save yourself from the retch of a McDonald's drive-through coffee and subscribe to Melbourne company Three Thousand Thieves coffee subscription – every month, you'll get a new bag delivered of artisanal coffee beans roasted in either Sydney or Melbourne (with a new region in the works). Past bags have included Melbourne's Wood & Co., Malmsbury's Moto Bean Roasters and Sydney's Edition Roasters. You can specify if you prefer espresso or filter beans, and if you don't have all the gadgets to make it at home, their special gift box includes a hand-grinder and percolator.
Level up your working from home caffeine situation with sustainable coffee pods. Photo: Supplied
We get it, these are tough times. Making coffee can be hard. Scalding your coffee in this climate can just about throw you over the edge. If you prefer the consistent ease of coffee pods, this eco-focused Melbourne company aims to make them both taste good and be sustainable. Pod & Parcel's coffee pods and their packaging are biodegradable and compostable (they break down in just 90 days), and their coffee is premium arabica beans roasted in their Brunswick roastery. Their latest release uses single-origin beans from The Hartmann Estate, a family-run coffee estate in Panama, and offers fruit-driven flavour that's juicy with slight acidity. You can buy the pods on their own, but if you join their coffee club you'll get a box at a discount, and delivered to your door as frequently as you need them.
Say cheese with Harper & Blohm's monthly cheese delivery. Photo: Supplied
Just because your daily uniform is now pyjamas and bedhead, doesn't mean you can't have a fancy cheese-platter on a Friday night. Brunswick's Harper & Blohm cheese shop has got your wedges covered. For now their Sydney Road fromagerie remains open, but their monthly cheese subscriptions make it easier for those of us stuck at home, and offer a chance to try some of their more unique or seasonal cheeses. April's box is "raw" themed, and features a Le Roi ewe's milk roquefort from Aveyron in France, Sunsrise Section 28 hard cow's milk cheese from the Adelaide Hills, a Swiss FirstKonig semi-hard cheese made with whole unpasteurised milk, and El Esparto manchego from La Mancha, Spain. Delivery is available in Victoria only, and owner Olivia Sutton has announced free delivery within the Brunswick area for these new crazy times.
Organic, biodynamic and natural wines to impress your Facetime friends during social-distancing parties. Photo: Supplied
And what is a cheese platter without good wine to match? Southbank wine shop Act of Wine offers bottles to buy online, but their monthly wine subscription sends out a selection of organic, biodynamic and natural bottles to try, all from winemakers who take pride in a minimal-intervention approach. Depending on how much wine your household needs to get you through social-distancing, subscriptions can come as a three-, six- or 12-pack and you can choose red, white or a surprise mix. Some new bottles to look out for include the 2018 vintage Persephone range from the Adelaide Hills, and the 2018 Momento Mori "The Incline" syrah blend from Heathcote, Vic.
Liquid gold in a box with Whisky Loot's trio of tasting bottles. Photo: Supplied
If you prefer your quarantine happy hour to be a little more neat, Whisky Loot offers a trio of 60-millilitre whisky tasting bottles in every monthly box, with hard-to-find Scotches, single malts, and new world whiskies. This month you'll get a taste of three of the best Japanese whiskies: Nikka straight from the barrel, Akashi white oak and Kensei Japanese whisky. Each box comes with tasting notes and distillery history, plus the first box of your subscription comes with your own tasting journal so you can record your whisky appreciation journey.
Some farmers' markets may be shut, but that's no excuse not to eat your greens. If you're in Sydney, Shane Roberts' fortnightly box of fruit and vegetables is a treasure trove of fresh in-season produce from around Australia for those in the know (including cafes like Mecca and Two Chaps). Though he has limited capacity at the moment, it's worth getting in touch as the coronavirus crisis continues to change the way we all live. You can also try Kurrawong Organics, and, in Melbourne, Ceres Fine Food for their set fruit and vegetable boxes.
Bean Bar You chocolate subscription box for goodfood.com.au food subscription story March 2020 Photo: Supplied
While we were all panic-buying toilet paper and packets of penne, we forgot to stock up on the most important quarantine necessity: chocolate. Australia's first chocolate subscription service has you covered, Chris and Alison Brown source only the best ethically made, bean-to-bar chocolates from around the world to put in their monthly boxes. Each pack has four to try, with past packs including Vietnam's revered Marou chocolates, Hogarth Chocolates from Nelson in New Zealand and Duffy's stone-ground chocolate made in Lincolnshire, England. Look out for an exciting Easter and Anzac Day range in next month's batch. That's something to look forward to.