18 places to buy alcohol online – from general online liquor stores to monthly wine delivery services

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This content is intended for readers 21+. Please drink responsibly. If you or anyone you know is dealing with alcohol abuse, get help. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) provides a free, confidential, 24/7, treatment referral, and information service.

For something that’s supposed to make your night more fun or relaxing, shopping for alcohol isn’t exactly easy. 

Even if you go into a liquor store knowing what type of alcohol you’re looking for, there are countless brands to consider. And, after you make your purchase, you have to keep those glass bottles safe and secure through a bumpy car ride (or worse – a long walk home). 

 

Luckily, online delivery services are making the ordeal of buying alcohol much more convenient and enjoyable, as they do for most things (see: buying mattresses, gourmet foods, and even large house plants). You won’t have to figure out how to lug five bottles of wine home or make a mad dash to the store 15 minutes before your virtual happy hour starts. 

Companies that sell alcohol online also help you discover new varieties. With the help of personalization algorithms, their recommendations are often scarily accurate. You’ll waste less time and money by taking advantage of these online guides. 

If you want to buy your alcohol online, we’ve rounded up our favorite retailers below and divided them into these categories:

  1. General online shop: For when you know exactly what you’re looking for
  2. Discovery-based: For when you’re not sure what you like
  3. Kits and mixers: For cocktail cravings

Most places have implemented contactless delivery and ID scanning, and the elimination of customer signatures to minimize contact with its delivery people, so be sure to pay attention to delivery methods.

Here are the 18 best places to buy alcohol online: 

General online shop: For when you know exactly what you’re looking for

alcohol delivery buy online

1. NakedWines.com

Indie purveyors are brought to the forefront at NakedWines.com, where “Angel” customers act as investors to support small winemakers around the world. To become an Angel, you deposit $40 to your account every month to spend at any time on more wine. This membership gives you access to exclusive wines, discounts (40%-60% off), and tasting events. 

Shop wine at NakedWines.com | Read our review of NakedWines.com


2. ReserveBar

ReserveBar is the perfect place to shop for yourself and pick up gifts because it offers premium brands like Johnnie Walker and Ciroc. It’s also where you’ll find cool limited-edition products such as the Game of Thrones collection and rare beauties like a $3,650 Louis XIII cognac. To make it shine on your bar cart, add a custom engraving to a spirit of your choice. 

Shop premium, limited-edition spirits, wine, and beer at ReserveBar [Spend $100 and get $20 off your next order with the code “BUYANDSAVE”]| Read our review of ReserveBar


3. Thrive Market

Thrive Market is a marketplace focusing on natural, non-toxic, and healthy brands, so its wine selection is narrowed down to varieties that are pesticide-free, have no added sugar, and are even biodynamic. They come in variety bundles or 6-bottle cases. 

Shop wine at Thrive Market | Read our review of Thrive Market


4. Drizly

Drizly has your alcohol needs covered by delivering whatever you’re in the mood for in under an hour. Search the exact liquor, wine, or beer you need on Drizly. The prices aren’t marked up, and the delivery fee is only $5. 

Shop spirits, wine, and beer at Drizly [Use the code “INSIDER5” at checkout to receive $5 off a purchase of $20 or more] 


5. Saucey

Saucey isn’t available in as many cities as Drizly, but it promises even faster delivery (30 minutes) and it’s free, with no minimum purchase required. Get your Bud Light alongside your Ballast Point, then pick up some snacks to pair with those icy cold beverages.

Shop spirits, wine, and beer at Saucey [Use the code “INSIDER10” at checkout to receive $10 off your first order]


6. Minibar

Minibar is available in more markets than Saucey and is great for people who want the option of in-store pickup or exclusive wines. Delivery fees can depend on your local store, but you’ll still get your order within the hour. 

Shop spirits, wine, and beer at Minibar | Read our comparison of the best on-demand alcohol delivery services


7. FreshDirect

FreshDirect offers the full grocery-shopping experience, with none of the inconveniences. The New York-based delivery service carries both local and name-brand alcohol and runs deals every week, just like your local grocery store. It has a whole section of organic wine, plus a category called Select Sips, which features wine and spirits sourced from around the world. 

Shop beer and wine and spirits at FreshDirect | Read our review of FreshDirect


8. Wine.com

It’s exactly what it sounds like. Wine.com is the world’s largest wine store, where you can shop wine from regions as different as Africa, China, and Greece. Though the options are vast, they become a little easier to navigate with a filtering system, professional ratings, and a recommendation engine. Become a member for $49 annually to receive free standard shipping with no minimum orders.  

Shop wine at Wine.com [Use the code “PSCASE10” to get 10% off 12 bottles or “DECNEW100” for $20 off orders $100+ for new customers] | Read our review of Wine.com

Discovery-based: For when you’re not sure what you like

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1. Winc

California-based winery Winc, which was co-founded by sommelier Brian Smith, uses an online Palate Profile, along with your own ratings, to recommend and ship wines tailored to your tastes. The wines, which come from winemakers all over the world as well as Winc’s own vineyard, start at $13 a bottle. There’s no fee or commitment to join, and you can skip a month’s shipment any time you want. 

Discover wine at Winc [New members receive $20 off their first box] | Read our review of Winc 


2. Firstleaf

Note: Firstleaf is providing contact-less delivery by eliminating customer signatures.  

The barriers of entry to Firstleaf are low: it has a great introductory offer where you get your first six bottles for just $39.95, plus free shipping. Afterward, you’ll receive six bottles at a time, at a frequency convenient for you. The company prides itself on its custom algorithm that predicts which one of its many award-winning wine options you’ll like, and if you don’t like a bottle, you’ll get a refund. 

Discover wine at Firstleaf | Read our review of Firstleaf


3. Vinebox

Every three months, Vinebox sends you a box of nine glasses of wine packaged in individual vials. Vinebox’s unique bottling technology ensures they maintain their full flavor and mouthfeel as they make their way to your doorstep. Each quarter’s box contains seasonal varieties, wines you should be drinking right now, and other fun picks. With each box, you’ll also receive up to $30 in credits to buy the full-size versions. Vinebox also has holiday boxes in festive packaging (currently unavailable), which are great as gifts or a treat to yourself.

Discover wine at Vinebox | Read our review of Vinebox


4. Bright Cellars

Two MIT grads are behind the monthly wine club Bright Cellars, which sends four new wines each month for $80. The company has a competitive curation process — it says it only picks one out of every 12 wines it tries for the monthly collections and promises to show you hidden gems from vineyards in Italy, Spain, Portugal, and South America. 

Discover wine at Bright Cellars [New members receive $50 off their first box]


5. Tavour

The only drawback of loving craft beers is that you can’t always buy all the ones you want to try. Every day, Tavour gives you access to two beers you can’t normally get in your area (say, Anchorage Brewing’s IPA) and you claim the ones you want. It delivers to your door, so you get an international craft brewery tour without ever leaving your house. The experience also connects you to a community of fellow beer lovers. 

Discover beer at Tavour


6. Flaviar

Flaviar is a club for those who love fine spirits and have a desire to explore beyond the usual names (e.g. Jack Daniels, Johnnie Walker). With a membership, you get a complimentary full-size bottle, plus a Tasting Box every quarter, free distillery tours, and access to detailed bottle profiles. It prides itself on sharing rare and previously unattainable whiskey, rum, cognac, and more. 

Discover spirits at Flaviar

Kits and mixers: For cocktail cravings

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1. SaloonBox

Recipe cards, top-shelf spirits, and all the ingredients you need for two different cocktails are included in each month’s SaloonBox. It sends you only what you need to make the drinks, which means nothing ever goes to waste and you don’t have to search high and low for obscure ingredients. Each box is meant for two people, so pick your favorite person to try delicious cocktails like Blueberry Bourbon Collins and Kentucky Rosaritas. 

Shop cocktail kits at SaloonBox 


2. Shaker & Spoon

Shaker & Spoon doesn’t send you the liquor, but it will send you everything else — syrups, bitters, mixers, garnishes — to make 12 drinks. The three recipes in each box are designed and recommended by actual bartenders, who will be sad to miss you at the bar but understand the desire to simply stay in tonight. 

Shop cocktail kits at Shaker & Spoon [Use the code “FIRST5” to get $5 off your first order] 


3. Cocktail Courier

You don’t have to wait each month to shop for a variety of delicious cocktails at Cocktail Courier. They usually come in multiple serving sizes, so you can serve up drinks to your entire friend group, and come with the alcohol. The site also sells barware and party supplies.

Shop cocktail kits at Cocktail Courier


4. Mouth

For gourmet gifts like fancy chocolate, creatively flavored popcorn, and picnic-worthy charcuterie boards, we love shopping at Mouth. It’s also where you can shop the drinks to go along with these delicious snacks. The mixed drink kits, unfortunately, don’t contain the liquor. However, you’ll be more than happy with the artisanal mixers, seasonal specials, and quality barware offered by the site.  

Shop cocktail kits at Mouth

Read the original article on Business Insider

This AmazonBasics patio heater lets me enjoy socially distanced outdoor hangouts even when it’s below freezing outside

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AmazonBasics patio heater

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

As the weather cools and the novel coronavirus sticks around, I’ve been spending time with loved ones primarily outdoors. No family has set foot in my house for nearly a year except to make a quick bathroom pit stop (with a mask on) after enjoying several caffeinated beverages on the deck.

As we round the corner into winter, many patio heaters are still on backorder. I managed to snag one after an aggressive bout of browser refreshing in early September. The days were getting shorter and I was nervous about the prospect of cutting off social ties completely. I knew that if I wanted to see my mom before next summer, I had to find a way to keep us both warm while enjoying distanced breakfasts. 

I chose the AmazonBasics Commercial Patio Heater partly because it was the only one available and, at about $150, it happens to be fairly affordable. It also meets all the marks of what to look for in a patio heater from our guide to the best patio heaters: it’s from a brand I was familiar with, available on a site I shop at regularly, and had a good return policy should it not work.

In researching our guide to the best patio heaters, I also discovered that the higher the Btu, the better – 40,000 Btu is a good baseline, especially for cold-weather entertaining. At 46,000 Btu, the AmazonBasics heater is mighty powerful and meets that mark. I hoped it would extend outdoor socializing well into the winter. 

Editor’s note: we’ve seen this patio heater go in and out of stock many times over the last several months. If it’s not in stock at the moment, you can sign up for e-mail alerts for when it becomes available on its Amazon page.

Assembly and ease of use

AmazonBasics patio heater

The sleek, stainless steel, dome-top patio heater arrives in pieces, so some assembly is required. As the not-so-handy one in my household, I enlisted the help of my husband – who regularly, eagerly volunteers to assemble other people’s IKEA furniture. Setup took about 40 minutes, thanks to the clear and easy-to-follow instructions. None of the pieces were warped or difficult to put together, either. 

Once assembled, getting the patio heater ready to heat is easy. Simply twist and lift the cover to load up a 20-pound propane tank using the included hose and regulator, which attach in the same way you’d hook up a propane tank to your grill. A single propane tank should last you around 10 hours in a heater running on high, and a bit longer if run on lower settings. We popped in a propane tank (we always keep one on hand just in case) and started it up. I was immediately impressed with the device’s heat output. I instantly felt warm on an evening where my exposed arms were dotted with goosebumps. 

Adjusting the temperature is easy, too. Although, I do have to stand on my tippy toes to reach the ignition knob and adjust the output from low to high. Bonus being that if you have kids, they definitely won’t be able to reach the knob and the taller height keeps the hottest part of the heater well out of reach.

Review of the AmazonBasics Commercial Patio Heater

Patio heater in the fall

Since the day we assembled it, I’ve used the AmazonBasics heater consistently for more than three months – on chilly evenings, during socially distanced outdoor dinners, and to keep warm while letting the dogs out to pee. More recently, I’ve tested its limitations in more uncomfortable, freezing conditions. Through it all, it’s allowed me and my pod of outdoor guests to keep warm when we’d otherwise much prefer to be inside. I’ve used the heater a lot. Mostly on days where it’s cold enough to need a sweater. A few times, I fired it up to enjoy breakfast with my parents on days with no sun and temperatures dipping below 50 degrees Fahrenheit – cold enough to need a jacket. Overall, I’ve spent way more time outside during the fall months than I have in any other year and it’s largely in part to having the heater on hand to keep me warm. 

To really test the boundaries of the heater, I took to my patio table on a day where snow was still on the ground and it was almost 32 degrees outside. I grabbed my trusty digital thermometer, fired up my laptop, and turned on the patio heater hoping that it would warm the air and prevent me from freezing while I tried to get work done. 

The 46,000 Btu managed to raise the surrounding ambient temperature of my 300-square foot deck to about 51 Fahrenheit. It’s a significant temperature difference when the air is that cold. It should be noted that it took a while for that temperature increase to occur – about two hours. 

Here’s the deal: In the deep cold of winter, a single patio heater won’t get you very far – especially if you’re sitting around a table. During this chilly test, the coldest part of my body was my lower half, which was tucked under my patio table. I could definitely see myself sitting out there longer with a jacket and a warm meal or coffee, but I’d be most comfortable with an additional compact heater, like the Mr. Buddy Patio Heater, on the ground heating up my legs. Of course, sitting directly under the heater makes for a toastier experience than sitting across the table from it. 

That said, the AmazonBasics patio heater is an excellent option for keeping your outdoor spot comfortable during chilly summer nights and cold fall evenings, so long as the temperature doesn’t dip too close to freezing. It’s also apparent that any kind of breeze – even a slight one – has a significant impact on heating performance, especially in cold weather. Over the many months I used the heater, I noticed I always felt more comfortable on a still day, rather than a breezy day, even if the temperatures outside were the same. Additionally, you’ll also feel warmer on a sunny day versus one that’s overcast. 

Durability and storage

The bottom line patio heater

The heater has so far survived multiple rainstorms, one snowfall, a freeze, and windy weather. You can add sandbags to the bottom for added sturdiness, but we didn’t bother and it never once wobbled on stormy evenings. 

There’s no need to disassemble it to store it for the winter. You can keep it on your deck or patio. I did buy a cover for it, but I haven’t yet managed to put it on because, well, I am too short to reach on my own. I also love that it has wheels and you can roll it around. It’s easy to move it out of the way when not in use. 

Safety features

The AmazonBasics heater has a tip-over shutoff feature, which automatically turns the heater off if it falls over – I tested this by tipping it over while lit, and it works (I don’t recommend trying this at home, however). Despite its safety features, it’s always important to be vigilant around any heating appliances. These flaming patio accessories can warm you up nicely, but they can also do some damage if not used correctly. 

Matthew Griffith, Prevention Section Chief with the Montreal Fire Department, cautions people to keep patio heaters away from flammable materials, paying attention to low-hanging tree branches, umbrellas, wooden fences, and other obstacles. He also warns people to never use propane-powered appliances like patio heaters indoors, because they emit carbon monoxide, which can be deadly in confined spaces. 

The bottom line 

The AmazonBasics patio heater is now a permanent fixture on my deck. I’m not sure how much use I’ll get out of it when it’s regularly freezing outside, but it has helped me extend my outdoor social time during the pandemic. At a time when gathering indoors feels fraught, I’ve managed to occasionally see the people I love and maintain safe social distancing – even just for an hour.

But it’s not a perfect solution. Ideally, I’d outfit my patio with multiple heaters, but availability and cost limit my options. The heater isn’t capable of melting layers of snow, so there’s bound to be a moment in time when we’re stuck indoors and outdoor meetups are impossible. There’s also some trial and error involved in figuring out what feels acceptable and comfortable for you. Still, the heater makes me feel like I’ve won in some small way. I imagine that even when the pandemic is over, I’ll feel as if I’ve conquered the change of seasons with the help of my fiery, warming device. 

Read the original article on Business Insider