The drinks report: pre-mixed cocktails

Published 10 September 2020

by Dominic Rowntree

Bloody Drinks

Casa Calavera  

The Berkeley

Empirical Spirits



Lockdown Liquor

Senda negroni

Sometimes the effort of making your own drink can seem like too much, especially when you’re used to the crystal-clear ice and high-grade elements of a pro bar. Luckily during lockdown the tireless Dominic Rowntree, before he started his new job as restaurant manager of The Windmill pub in Mayfair, tried a variety of mixes for CODE.

Bloody Drinks 

If you can’t be arsed to spend hours blending the perfect Bloody Mary, then you’re going to love this canned version from Bloody Drinks. Simply pour over a load of ice and add a stick of celery (for health benefits). It’s the perfect blend of vodka, Amontillado sherry, tomato juice, pickle juice, Worcestershire sauce, soy and Tabasco – the real stuff, too. It’s a fiery little number which is crying out to perk you up after a heavy night.  

£13 for four; https://bloodydrinks.co.uk/ 

Casa Calavera  

During London’s lockdown, the Hakkasan Group launched a ‘culinary popup’, Casa Calavera, offering Mexican tacos and other tasty bits via Deliveroo. To celebrate this year’s National Tequila Day, they teamed up with Casamigos Tequila to serve bottled cocktails like Cala-vera, made with green jalapenoinfused Casamigos Blanco, aloe vera, supasawa, agave, cactus leaf and the Mariachi with Casamigos Reposado, homemade hibiscus, raspberry kombucha and agave bitters. While holidays to Mexico might have to wait a while, this is the next best thing. 

From £32 to £40 for five servings; https://hakkasangroup.com/casacalavera/ 

Cocktail Rescue 

Here’s another restaurant adding to their brand for Lockdown, this time, everyone’s favourite bao bun-servers, BAO London. Owners, Erchen Chang, Shing Tat and Wai Ting Chung setup Rice Error for Deliveroo or takeaway serving high quality rice dishes inspired by the Taiwanese Bian Dan Rice Bo (which are delicious, by the way). If you want something to drink with that, Cocktail Rescue is serving pouches of booze like Milk-tea Old Fashioned, Umeshi Negroni and Bao-Hi – a heady blend of Toki whisky, salted citrus cordial and peach bitters. 

£22 for five servings; https://www.riceerror.com/ 

Blue Bar at The Berkeley 

Get your nice glasses out for this one. The Berkeley’s much adored Blue Bar is serving bottled cocktails for the first time in its history for takeaway or free delivery to SW1X postcodes and they’re rather splendid. Available in 200ml or 500ml, which serve six, you’ll find classics like Negroni, Old Fashioned and Pimm’s Cup alongside a sprucedup G&T with Bombay Sapphire, peach, cherry and Chinotto.  

£43 for 5-6 servings; https://www.the-berkeley.co.uk/the-berkeley-take-away-menu/ 

Empirical  Spirits 

This selfproclaimed ‘flavour company’ and distillery was set up in 2017 by ex-Noma development chef Lars Williams and his business partner Mark Emil Hermansen. Based in Copenhagen, but available for free home delivery worldwide, the canned cocktails are on the whacky end of the spectrum. Like Can 01, a gluten-free and vegan blend of milk oolong tea, toasted birch, green gooseberry and pomelo zest. At 10% it certainly packs an exciting punch and will be unlike anything you’ve tasted before.  

€30 for four cans; https://www.empirical.co/collections/cans 


Hands down the best thing I ate during lockdown was Hawksmoor at Home. One of the highlights in the DIY box, along with the whopping 35-day dry-aged Porterhouse steak and Pierre Koffmann potatoes with beef dripping, was the Hawksmoor Ultimate Dry Martini. And they’re not kidding when they say ‘ultimate’. Inside the glass bottle you’ll find Hepple gin, a blend of vermouths and a dash of Sicilian lemon oil. Pop in the freezer an hour before serving and you’re in for a boozy treat.  

£120 for feast that serves two;  https://thehawksmoor.com/product/hawksmoorathome/ 


Chef and restaurateur, Pip Lacey and Gordy McIntrye have opened a produce market on the ground floor of Wolf & Badger, the lifestyle store that houses their restaurant, Hicce. Alongside fancy sarnies and cured meats you’ll find an interesting selection of organic wines and own brand, pre-mixed cocktails. The Lingroni featuring Tanqueray, Campari, Belsazar red and lingonberry syrup is a sweet and bitter delight while Rum to Me – Pampero blanco, Duppy Share rum, ginger, lime and lemon – is perfect for the warmer weather.  

£18; from Hicce at Coal Drops Yard; https://www.hicce.co.uk 

Lockdown Liquor Co 

Made famous by Soho House revellers, the Picante (which means hot and spicy in Spanish) is a cocktail made with Reposado tequila, lime, sugar and chili. This one from Lockdown Liquor Co is not only totally delicious (that’ll the agave nectar) but it’s for a good cause, too. Setup by Tash and Jack Durlin during the pandemic, a monthly percentage of their profits is donated to NHS Charities Together. Pour into a decent looking tumbler with ice and stick a chilli pepper stem out the top for added chic-ness.  

£25 for four servings; https://lockdown-liquor.com/collections/picante 

Senda Negroni

From the people at Porter’s Gin, this one is pretty straightforward. You pay a tenner to send a pouch of Negroni to someone you like and it arrives in the post in a little cardboard envelope with a personalised message. Supercute and superstrong, this is a perfectly balanced Negroni that blends sweet and bitter in the way that only a Negroni knows how. The best cocktail there is? I think so. Just add ice and a wedge of orange and you’re set. 

From £10; https://www.sendanegroni.com/ 

Tommy Banks 

There’s a high-end feel to everything about these bottled cocktails from the packaging to their depth of flavour. You’d expect no less from Tommy Banks, owner of Roots and Michelin-starred Black Swan at Oldstead. Working with his brother, James, the drinks use ingredients grown in the garden and foraged around Oldstead like damson plum, fennel pollen, woodruff, rosemary and juniper in the Damson Sazerac or tangerine marigold, nasturtium flower and lemon verbena in the Marigold Martini.

£38; https://tommybanks.co.uk/product-category/drinks/ 

Tommy Banks

To read more CODE Quarterly articles, click here

Search results
Weekly bulletin. Eyes and ear of the industry