As a drinking trend, bottled cocktails have been simmering away for a few years now. But with the pandemic, and all of the bars-closed, at-home drinking it encouraged, the genre has really been turbo-charged. Now, nearly every player in the drinks industry – from bars, to distilleries to the big booze companies – do a bottled cocktail. And as the quantity of bottled cocktails has risen over the years, so too has the quality. At their best, a good bottled cocktail is indistinguishable from a drink you'd order at a top bar.
Here's our edit of some of the best bottled cocktails around.
Born right out of internationally-renowned Melbourne cocktail bar The Everleigh in 2015, The Everleigh Bottling Co. knows a thing or two about cocktails. Bottled and handmade with the very same spirits and gusto as the fine establishment itself, the brand captures the Everleigh spirit in each of its single-serve bottles. Take your pick from a generous bottled menu of classic, sparkling and non-alcoholic cocktails such as the Negroni, Old Fashioned and Manhattan.
Sydney-based gin distillery Archie Rose is no stranger to the on-the-go cocktail game with its zingy line of canned cocktails, and now the team behind the brand are dipping their toes into another boozy pond with limited releases of bottled cocktails. Whether a Caperberry Martini, Eucalyptus Mule or Wattleseed and Peach Iced Tea takes your fancy, Archie Rose puts Australian ingredients and botanicals front and centre.
Republic of Fremantle's Negroni Classico is everything you want in a good Negroni. Made with the distillery's full-bodied gin, Campari and a house vermouth blend, the Negroni Classico has an even-handed interplay between bitter and sweet. The addition of cascara and wattleseed lend depth of flavour and a complex finish. Serve poured over a large block of ice, garnished with an orange slice.
According to legend, bartenders used to stir their drinks with a rooster feather. Hence: cocktails. That was the inspiration for London-founded cocktail brand Tails, which has a fun – and diverse – roster of bottled cocktails to try. Flavours include Rum Daiquiri, Whisky Sour, Gin Gimlet and the all-important Espresso Martini.
Melbourne-based Happy Hour Cocktails Co. offers a gluten-free and vegan range of bottled cocktails perfect for all you dietary-requirement people out there. With one of these bottles on your bar cart - like the Watermelon Margarita or Improved Cosmopolitan - there's no need to wait with bated breath for your local's happy hour.
Handmade and batched in Sydney with a focus on using ingredients native to Australia, the team behind The Rocks' bar Maybe Sammy also heads up a premium line of bottled cocktails fit for a fuss-free soirée. Among the eight bottles, the Jasmine Negroni, Chamomile Martini and Italian Dirty Martini are particular standouts.
New Zealand-founded Premium Liquor Co. keeps things simple and sweet (but not too sweet) with its signature line of bottled cocktails - including the Salted Grapefruit Margarita, Whisky Sour, Espresso Martini and Strawberry and Rhubarb Gin Sour.
Big Mood is a bottled cocktail range by Ed Loveday, ex-Acme owner and Solotel drinks specialist. Founded in Redfern, it debuted during Sydney's lockdown to soon establish itself as a picnic staple. Although, the dark days of yesteryear are over, why not pick up a bottle of the Smoked Maple Old Fashioned or Spicy Yuzu Margarita for your next shindig?