Stocking Your Quarantine Bar Cart

A handful of local restaurants, bars, and distilleries have adjusted their business models to keep everyone’s bar carts and wine racks fully stocked.

Tony Valainis

For what it’s worth, you’ve made it to Friday. You remember Friday, don’t you? TGIF? Happy hour might not feel quite the same these days, with our favorite watering holes under COVID-19 quarantine, forced to get creative as they comply with last month’s executive order restricting alcohol sales to carryout sealed containers—but boy do we all deserve a drink.

Luckily, a handful of local restaurants, bars, and distilleries have adjusted their business models to keep everyone’s bar carts and wine racks fully stocked (while keeping their own doors open) during these long days and nights of social distancing. Places like Anthony’s Chophouse (201 W. Main St., Carmel, 317-740-0900) and Goose the Market (2503 N. Delaware St., 317-924-4944) offer curbside delivery and no-contact pickup of both top- and middle-shelf wines by the bottle. Family-owned Daniel’s Vineyard’s (9061 N. 700 W, McCordsville, 317-248-5222), known for its sangrias, semi-sweet Chambourcin, and fruity wine slushies, will come to the rescue with same-day delivery of any of those front-porch sippers if you order by 3 p.m., plus on-site pickup between noon and 3 p.m.

Some restaurants have turned their back bars into makeshift bottle shops, which means a fine-dining favorite like Bluebeard (653 Virginia Ave., 317-686-1580) can enhance your carryout order of chop salad and jowl-bacon shrimp and grits with a nice bottle of pinot gris. Order from the online market set up next door at Amelia’s. King Dough (452 N. Highland Ave., 317-602-7960) has tagged its vino inventory for sale alongside its takeout pizzas. What goes better with red sauce and fresh mozzarella than a bottle of 2019 Tuff Nutt Bianco d’Alessano poured by the flickering light of Netflix?

Maybe you need something a little stronger than that. That’s understandable, and Sun King can fill in the empty spots in your liquor cabinet with to-your-trunk delivery of its agave, rum, and white whiskey at select call-ahead Sun King locations. Meanwhile, West Fork Whiskey (1660 Bellefontaine St., 317-672-7468) is bottling flasks of Quarantine Elixirs to be shaken with its whiskeys and bourbons as stand-ins for some of the tasting room’s favorite cocktails. It just released a batch of $10 spring elixirs, including the Vaccinium (with pure cranberry juice and demerara) and the Blue Haired Girl (blueberry puree and ginger juice). Online orders are ready for pickup in 15 minutes at West Fork’s Kennedy-King location. If you can’t swing a Monroe County road trip to pick up one of the take-home cocktail kits from Cardinal Spirits (922 S. Morton St., Bloomington, 812-202-6789), which offers four to five varieties of fresh mixers and bottled spirits every day from noon to 8 p.m., stay tuned for its spirited Zoomed-in demos like the one led by the bartenders who originated Cardinal Spirit’s Tiki Tuesday. 8th Day Distillery (1125 E. Brookside Ave., 317-600-3791) remains stocked up on the rum, bourbon, rye whiskey, gin (regular and oak-barreled Navy Strength), and Chat Maison absinthe vert ordered online and picked up just inside its Circle City Industrial Complex tasting room. Add a bottle of fresh-pressed mixer, like the gin-ready Hot Mama (composed of lemon juice, turmeric, cayenne, ginger tea, and honey) or The Duchess, which intensifies a pour of rum with lemon and rose.

There was a time not long ago when no visit to Delicia (5215 N College Ave., 317-925-0677) was complete without one of the new-Latin restaurant’s Fire ’n Ice signature drinks. It’s a small solace that the restaurant can still send you home with a $30 kit that includes the Fire ’n Ice mix, chili rim salt, a jalapeno for DIY tequila infusion, and a bag of the essential chili ice balls. If you’re out of tequila at home, tack on a $25 bottle from the Delicia’s arsenal. Field Brewing’s (303 E. Main St., Westfield, 317-804-9780) elaborate cocktail kits range from a do-it-yourself Lavender Bee’s Knees that supplies the gin, honey sugar, fresh lemon juice with lavender bitters, and four grams of lavender flower to a $47 Bloody Mary spread that includes a bottle of Big Gun Vodka, two bottles of mix, olive brine with celery shrub bitters, lemon juice, and the makings of a lovely charcuterie pick. Anyone experiencing separation anxiety from Baby’s (2147 N. Talbott St., 317-931-1343) can channel the pink neon with a family-size order of broasted chicken ordered online and picked up at the dine-thru window along with one of Baby’s $60 cocktail kits. You get all of the required garnishes and booze by the full bottle. Just be sure to save some for the celebration when this is all over.