Things to Do at Home: Cocktail Kits, Classic Cocktail Recipes & More

Photo courtesy of Public Services Wine & Whisky

Sip on well-crafted cocktails from the comfort (and safety) of your home with cocktail kits, booze to-go, and classic cocktail recipes that pair well with practicing social distancing.

Given the instructions from the CDC, City of Houston, and health professionals, all official public gatherings have been effectively canceled or postponed, in order to hopefully slow the spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19.

And, with the City of Houston requirement that all bars and nightclubs be closed until further notice, we’ve all had to say farewell to our favorite watering hole’s world-class bartenders and familiar ambiance.

Just because we’re all staying home doesn’t mean we have to say goodbye to high-caliber cocktails. Heck, it doesn’t mean you can’t support beloved bars, either.

Read below to learn more about at-home cocktail kits and 10 easy classic cocktail recipes.

Cocktail Kits & Booze To-Go from Area Bars

With the recent city-wide closure of bars, local watering holes are in dire need of funds. Luckily, Texas bar/restaurants are able to sell beer, wine or mixed drinks for delivery as long as they are accompanied by a food purchase from the restaurant.

While most establishments cannot accommodate delivery, they will accept pick-up orders over the phone.

Read on to learn more about area bars offering everything-included, at-home cocktail kits that will turn you into an overnight bartender.

Again, readers should note, all orders must be accompanied by a food order.

  • Public Services Wine & Whisky | Downtown – Stop in for small bottles of liquor with garnishes available to make your own cocktails at home. Most importantly, there are plenty of Old Fashioned Kits, but the selection will be updated daily. Bring a small container and they’ll even fill it with cocktail ice for free. All wine bottles are available to go for half-off the original listed price, including cool, hard to find stuff. Availability is subject to change. Looking for beer? All brews are for sale at retail markups, including rare bottle-conditioned sour ales down to cheap six-packs. As for food, Public Services has individually wrapped cheeses from Houston Dairymaids as well as tinned seafood conservas from Jose Gourmet. Click the link above to view their menu. Call 713-516-8897 to place your order. Thursday to Saturday from 3pm to 8pm.
  • Penny Quarter | Montrose Enjoy half-off bottles of wine from this area favorite from Bobby Heugel and James Beard Award-winning chef Justin Yu. Their selection is incredible, the staff is beyond knowledgeable, and the food menu is nothing short of delicious. Call 281-888-6121 to place your order. To-go orders are available from 5pm to 10pm.
  • The Original Ninfa’s | The East End & Uptown – In addition to all of Mama Ninfa’s Classics being available for delivery or curbside pickup, if you have tequila already at home, take your to-go order to the next level by purchasing the Ninfarita Mix. Featuring an array of agave syrup, lime juice, and filtered water, the mix is available for $15. Click the link above to place your order online or call 713-228-1175. Call 346-335-2404 for their Uptown location.
  • Eight Row Flint | The Heights – Featuring three different cocktail kits that range in portion size by delivery only, folks can try an Old Fashioned Kit for $56, a Margarita kit ranging between $45 to $70, and a Ranchwater kit ranging between $45 to $80. Click the link above to place your order online or call 832-767-4002.
  • State Fare | The Energy Corridor – With cocktail kits, wine, and beer to go along with delectable Texas-sized food orders, if you’re in the area, State Fare is a great choice for curbside pickup or delivery. Try their Margarita Kit or their Bloody Mary Kit for $30 each. What’s more, they will even throw in a $10 gift card for the takeout order. Click here to view the menu. Call 832-831-0950 to place your order.
  • Rainbow Lodge | Shady Acres – With six different options, there’s something for everybody at this beloved and sophisticated restaurant. Try their Martini kit (serves 4) for $40, the Old Fashioned Kit (serves 6) for $40, the Manhattan Kit (serves 6) for $40, the Hibiscus Margarita Kit (serves 6) for $40, the Mimosa Kit (750mL) for $35, and the Bloody Mary Kit (serves 6) for $40. Click the link above to place your order online or call 713-861-8666. Also, if you pull through their valet entrance, they’ll bring your order out to your car with a $20 food gift card for your next dine-in visit.

10 Classic Cocktail Recipes & Favorites to Make at Home

Don’t feel like venturing out anywhere, but the grocery or liquor store?

Requiring only a few key ingredients, try these boozy, refreshing, and most importantly, easy-to-make recipes that are so good, you’ll forget that you’re the bartender.

Old Fashioned


  • 2 ounces of ​bourbon (or rye whiskey)
  • 1 sugar cube (or 1 small spoonful of simple syrup)
  • 2 dashes ​of Angostura bitters
  • Orange twist


  • Muddle your sugar cube and bitters with one small spoonful of water at the bottom of a chilled rocks glass. If you are using simple syrup, add the bitters and a small spoonful of syrup.
  • Add the rye or bourbon.
  • Stir.
  • Add one big ice cube or about three small ice cubes.
  • Stir for about 30 seconds until chilled.
  • Slip orange twist on the side of the cube.



  • 2 and 1/4 ounces of dry gin
  • 3/4 ounce of dry vermouth
  • 1 dash of orange bitters
  • Lemon twist or olives, for garnish


  • Stir all of the ingredients together for about 30 seconds over ice until chilled.
  • Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
  • Depending on your particular taste, garnish the cocktail with either a refreshing lemon twist or olives to get the beloved dirty martini flavor profile.



  • 2 ounces of tequila
  • Fresh juice from 1 whole lime
  • 1/2 ounce of triple sec, preferably Cointreau
  • Salt for rim (optional)
  • 1 Lime wedge, for garnish


  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add tequila, lime juice, and triple sec.
  • Shake well for about 30 seconds.
  • Salt the rim of the glass (if you’re a fan of the salty kick).
  • Pour, with the ice, into your highball or footed glass.
  • Garnish with the wedge of lime.

Moscow Mule


  • 2 ounces of vodka
  • 1/2 ounce of fresh lime juice
  • 3 ounces of ginger beer
  • Lime wedge for garnish


  • Fill a cocktail shaker about 3/4-filled with ice.
  • Mix vodka and lime juice and shake until chilled for about 20 seconds or so.
  • Strain into an ice-filled mug, preferably copper (most commonly used with Moscow Mules).
  • Top with your ginger beer.
  • Garnish with the lime wedge.



  • 2 ounces of whiskey
  • 2 tablespoons of sweet vermouth
  • Luxardo cherry for garnish


  • Add 2 tablespoons of sweet vermouth to the ice and whiskey
  • Gently stir.
  • Strain into a glass.
  • Garnish with your Luxardo cherry.



  • 1 1/2 ounces of white rum
  • 1 ounce of mint leaves, torn in half
  • 2 ounces of fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon of extra-fine granulated sugar
  • Ice (crushed)
  • 4 ounces of club soda


  • Muddle your mint with the lime juice at the bottom of a tall cocktail glass.
  • Add the rum, sugar, crushed ice, and soda.
  • Cover and shake.
  • Serve and garnish with your lime wedge.



  • 1 and 1/4 ounces of gin
  • 1 and 1/4 ounces of Campari
  • 1 and 1/4 ounces of sweet vermouth
  • Orange twist, for garnish


  • Stir all of the liquid ingredients with ice.
  • Strain into a preferably chilled rocks glass filled with ice.
  • Garnish with a peeled orange twist.



  • 2 1/2 ounces of tequila
  • Salt for rim (optional)
  • 2 Lime wedges (for squeezing and for garnishing)
  • Grapefruit soda for topping off


  • Dip the rim of a highball glass in salt (if you enjoy this salty taste).
  • Fill your glass with ice.
  • Add your tequila and lime juice before topping with grapefruit soda.
  • Gently stir the ingredients together.
  • Garnish with your remaining wedge of lime.

Mint Julep


  • 2 1/2 ounces of bourbon
  • A dozen fresh mint leaves, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 ounce of simple syrup
  • Superfine sugar (optional)


  • Place mint and 1/4 ounce of simple syrup in a julep cup or in an 8- to 10-ounce glass.
  • Softly crush leaves with a preferably wooden muddler. You should do your best to, as you crush the leaves, to move them up the sides of the glass.
  • Fill your glass with finely crushed ice, but not too much.
  • Add your bourbon.
  • Drizzle remaining simple syrup on top of the cocktail.
  • Sprinkle your remaining mint sprig with sugar and garnish.

French 75


  • 2 ounces of gin
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of simple syrup
  •  Brut Champagne
  •  Lemon twist for garnish


  • Add ice, gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a mixing glass.
  • Shake.
  • Strain into an empty glass.
  • Top with champagne.
  • Garnish with your lemon twist.

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