'The Amazon Of Booze' Puts Tomorrow's Hangover Just A Click Away

"We want to promote the convenience of it. We don’t promote excessive drinking."
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Thirsty Americans want their booze, and they want it with as little effort as possible.

Now alcohol delivery services are bubbling up across the nation with the promise of choice libations in less time than it takes to order a pizza.

Drizly, a smartphone app that recently launched in Chicago and hits Los Angeles next week, is just one of the services angling to be the "Amazon of booze."

Along with other popular apps like Saucey and MiniBar, booze delivery services are filling a hole left open by both the U.S. Postal Service, which prohibits mailing any item with more than five percent or more alcoholic content by weight, and Amazon itself, as hard liquor is one of the few items you can't buy in its marketplace.

The new crop of drinks-to-your-door companies have cribbed a few pages from other app and web-based services like Uber and GrubHub with cashless payment options and ultra-quick response times. Customers in a designated delivery area first place orders via app or website and pay with a stored credit card, then a local distribution partner dispatches a delivery person who verifies the buyer's age. After ID verification -- and hopefully a tip for the delivery person -- the rest is easy:

The benefits of booze delivery services go beyond convenience, says Aniket Shah. Shah, whose delivery service Qwiker operates in cities like Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Boston, told DNAinfo Chicago in March such companies also give discerning drinkers more time to consider their purchase, which comes in handy when comparing nuanced (and often pricey) items like wine and scotch.

"All these questions could be answered online if you compare bottles," Shah said. "It's more difficult in the store. You're pressed for time."

Florida-based DrinkDrivers go so far as to tout their service as a safety alternative. Founded by University of Central Florida students and operating in Orlando and in the college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan, the creators say their booze delivery app is a smarter option for buzzed partiers who may otherwise get behind the wheel for a beer run.

“At the core of what we do, we think that this will help cut down on the number of DUIs and alcohol-related driving accidents," DrinkDrivers co-founder Jeff Nadel told MLive. "We believe that getting your drink should be as awesome as drinking your drink. And now it is."

While convenience has its perks, most of the services also have a policy about cutting off patrons who may be three sheets to the wind by the time they place their order. Customers found to be over-served or underage at the time of delivery are hit with a service fee -- usually around $20 -- and no booze changes hands.

"We want to promote the convenience of it," Shah said. "We don’t promote excessive drinking."

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Before You Go

A Martini
CWP via Getty Images
Martinis were a popular choice among the bartenders we asked. Here's one advocate:
Bartender: Sean Sullivan
Bar: Forthcoming Straight Law bar in Boston
Go-to drink: A dry martini
A Greenpoint
Bartender: Abraham Hawkins
Bar:Dutch Kills in Long Island City, NY
Go-to drinks: A Greenpoint (Manhattan variation) on the rocks, and daiquiris
Gin & Tonic
Jeremy Hudson via Getty Images
Bartender: Laura Lashley
Bar:The Breslin in NYC
Go-to drinks: Fifty-fifty gin martini with a twist or a nice tall Gin & Tonic
Michelada
Eric Futran - Chefshots via Getty Images
Bartender: Sam Anderson
Bar:Salvation Taco in NYC
Go-to drink: Michelada
Rosé
Annabelle Breakey via Getty Images
Bartender: Brett MacDonald
Bar:Dutch Kills in Long Island City, NY
Go-to drinks: Rosé
MacDonald also goes for rum and cokes, hard cider, or shots of Pama or Fernet.
Whiskey
ML Harris via Getty Images
Bartender: Ajax Kentish
Bar:Navy in NYC
Go-to drinks: Negroni or just straight whiskey
Lime Daiquiri
Brian Macdonald via Getty Images
Daiquiris were also a popular choice among the bartenders we asked.

Bartender: Thomas Waugh,Major Food Group (Torrisi, Parm, Carbone, ZZ's Clam Shack and the forthcoming Dirty French)
Go-to drink: A classic lime daiquiri
"Just a clean, young or white rum (Cana Brava has been my rum of choice for a daiquiri lately), fresh lime juice, and sugar. Very simple, light, tart, refreshing, and easy to drink about 8 of them." In light of the recent lime shortage, Waugh says "drinking drinks with heavy doses of lime juice makes me feel like I'm doing something bad. Like I'm really living on the edge. Not-so cheap thrills."

Bartender: Natalie Czech
Bar:Huertas in NYC
Go-to drink: While Czech loves a shot and a beer (see below) a daiquiri is her go-to cocktail: "I love that its a simple drink, three ingredients, but takes on its own personality from bar to bar. Its always over-proof and garnished with a disco ball when I drop in on the boys at Golden Cadillac, Jess at Cienfuegos always makes me one with an aged rum, and its always fun to judge a "Daiquiri Off" at Pouring Ribbons."
A shot and a beer
Jeff Kauck via Getty Images
Bartneder: Natalie Czech
Bar:Huertas in NYC
Go-to drink: A shot and a beer
"I'm sure most bartenders agree, after a long shift slinging cocktails nothing is more satisfying than a shot and a beer. I can roll into any dive bar and get a pilsner and an neat pour of Old Overholt to take the edge off. However, if I plan on visiting friend's establishments around the neighborhood and I want to grab a cocktail my go-to is a Daiquiri."
A sidecar
Eising via Getty Images
Bartender: Chad Walsh
Bar:The Dutch in NYC (Beverage Manager)
Go-to drinks: A Sidecar or a Wet Martini
An old fashioned
Alexandra Grablewski via Getty Images
Bartender: Josh NadelBeverage Director for NoHo Hospitality Group
Go-to drinks: Old Fashioned: "real brandy-soaked cherry, no maraschino BS," or a Sazerac: "6yr / Whistle Pig 10yr / Van Winkle 13yr Rye all preferred."
Manzanilla
Fareham Wine/Flickr
Bartender: Will Thompson
Bar:Drink in Boston and the forthcoming NYC bar The Roof At Park South
Go-to drink: A bottle of manzanilla -- a type of sherry made exclusively from a coastal Spanish town called Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
Iced water with lemon & a touch of maple syrup
Jonathan Kantor via Getty Images
Bartender: Jan Warren
Bar:Dutch Kills in Long Island City, NY
Go-to drinks: Iced lemon water with a touch of maple syrup. "I'm a teetotaler in my private life..."
Lambrusco
Kelly Cline via Getty Images
Bartender:John McCarthy
Bar:Bathtub Gin in NYC
Go-to drink: Lambrusco
"Honestly, I'm Southern, so I like everything cold, and I like to unwind with some red wine at dinner. And who doesn't like bubbles? Put 'em all together, and you have Lambrusco, which I drink on the regular. If I happen to have a shot of aged Dominican rum (like Brugal 1888) to go with it, that's all good too."
An aviation
quinn.anya/Flickr
Bartender: Amy Trioano
Bar:Locanda Verde in NYC (Beverage Manager)
Go-to drinks: Aviation, Negroni or a Mezcal
A Manhattan
Bill Boch via Getty Images
Bartender: Tiffany Short
Bar:The Library & Joe's Pub at The Public in NYC (Head Bartender)
Go-to drinks: A Rye Manhattan or a 50/50 Gin Martini
Guinness
Chris Mellor via Getty Images
Bartender: Jack McGarry
Bar:The Dead Rabbit in NYC (Partner, The Best Bar In The World)
Go-to: Guinness and also Redbreast 12yo
A Negroni
Brian Leatart via Getty Images
The negroni was by far the most popular cocktail from the bartenders we polled. Here are three strong advocates for this slightly bitter, very refreshing cocktail.

Bartender: Adam Fortuna
Bar:Artusi/Spinasse in Seattle, WA
Go-to drink: Negroni
"Nothing beats a Negroni on the rocks."

Bartender: Roland Meyer
Bar:Cookshop
Go-to drinks: Negroni
"If I'm going out to dinner to a restaurant with a well stocked bar I almost always start out with a Negroni. I tend to judge a place based on their Negroni (right after I check out the bathrooms)... Besides the drink tasting fantastic, not being a complicated order, and a great aperitif, it's strong enough to end a rough day and start a great night. Otherwise when I'm stumbling from place to place I need my Jameson-rocks."

Bartender: Laura Maniec
Bar:Corkbuzz (Master Sommelier)
Go-to drinks: A Negroni -- or a slight variation
"After a long night at work, I like drinking a Negroni because it wakes my palate up. It's somewhat sweet/bitter balance makes it easy to sip on and you can make variations on it depending on your mood. Substitute rum for gin, leave off the gin and just use the sweet vermouth and Campari, use different types of vermouth like carpano Antica or white vermouth for a totally different drink"
And if you can't decide... have two!
/CWP via Getty Images
Bartender: Nathan O'neill
Bar:Milk & Honey in London
Go-to drinks: Gin Martini or a Negroni
O'neill loves the simultaneous simplicity and complexity of the gin martini -- a two ingredient drink -- and the garnish, be it an olive or lemon twist, that "offers a simple yet very subtle change to the balance of the overall drink." He like a negroni "using gin, Campari and changing sweet vermouth for Punt E Mes. With its bold flavors, I find the beautiful aroma set from spraying grapefruit oils just lifts the drink and balances the bitterness perfectly. This is one for after a long day."

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