With bars being the first to close and the last to reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us were forced to fend for ourselves if we wanted a luxurious libation at the end of the day. Luckily, regional restaurants, bars and distilleries have come to the rescue, offering creative cocktail kits that come with all the ingredients (and sometimes the tools) you need to make a round of drinks – and effortlessly up your home bartending game.
Everything about Whiskey Tango is a pleasant surprise, which is just how owners Karen and Stephen Williamson like it. Part steak and seafood restaurant, part speakeasy, Whiskey Tango is located in a shopping center in south Springfield, Missouri, but push through the doors and you’ll forget where you are. The sophisticated watering hole takes its drinks seriously, and during the pandemic, the team put together a few cocktail kits to keep customers happy. Each kit has all the ingredients you need to mix eight cocktails at home. We recommend the Quarantini, a Martini made with moonshine from Copper Run Distillery. Don’t have the right tools? Whiskey Tango also sells a bartending kit, which includes a shaker, jigger, strainer, bar spoon, cedar plank and torch.
Whiskey Tango, 1111 E. Republic Road, #180, Springfield, Missouri, 417.882.8882, whiskeytangomo.com
Lifted Spirits Distillery
Continuing a long history of collaborating with industry professionals in Kansas City, Lifted Spirits Distillery launched the Lifted Spirits Guest Bartender series during the pandemic. The series featured cocktail kits created by local mixologists, including Darrell Loo of Waldo Thai Place, Mari Matsumoto of Strang Hall and Eric Schmidt of Dodson’s Bar & Commons, using a variety of Lifted Spirits products. The Guest Bartender series wrapped up in June, but the Lifted Spirits team has continued to create its own cocktail kits, each based on a person pushing boundaries and redefining categories in the city. Chris Goode, owner of Ruby Jean’s Juicery, was up first. The kit he inspired, the Boozy Sweet Tart, boasts Lifted Spirits Barrel Reserve #2 gin and Ruby Jean’s Sweet Tart juice made with apple, lemon and ginger.
Lifted Spirits Distillery, 1734 Cherry St., Crossroads Arts District, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.866.1734, liftedspiritskc.com
As the name implies, Intoxicology is St. Louis’ one-stop shop for all your cocktail needs. With the necessary ingredients already on hand, co-owners Andy Foerstel and Melissa Pfeiffer decided to create cocktail kits with premium spirits and mixers, along with fresh ingredients and, of course, instructions, to meet customers’ needs during the pandemic. There are seven curated kits in total, but the Paper Plane is a must-try. The duo’s take on The Last Word – a gin-based, Prohibition-era cocktail – it features Four Roses bourbon, Aperol, Amaro Nonino and a fresh lemon. If you like your drink to pack a little heat, try Ancho Problem, which comes with tequila, chile liqueur, demerara syrup and a fresh lime. Foerstel and Pfeiffer will also compile a custom kit to teach you how to make any drink you like.
Intoxicology, 4321 Manchester Ave., The Grove, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.833.3088, intoxicologystl.com