If you're not planning to pull up a stool at your favorite Austin restaurant bar anytime soon, you can still enjoy some quality mixology from the pros. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in June waived laws that prohibited businesses with mixed beverage permits from selling cocktails for carryout and delivery.
What does this mean for the consumer? You can now get a Mai Thai or a Manhattan from some of your favorite restaurants. There are stipulations, including: drinks must be mixed on site by the permit holder; cocktails must be accompanied by a food order; drinks must be sealed, labeled and placed in a plastic bag with a zip tie; and you can’t drive around with cocktails in your passenger seat (or in your lap).
Many restaurants, which had already been allowed to sell mixes and sealed 375-milliliter bottles of booze, have gotten into the cocktail takeout and delivery game. Below is a list of some solid options around town. Check out their websites or call them for details on ordering, pickup or delivery.
I didn’t include margaritas, as the number of people making those to go is too great to count, and you can probably make a pretty good one at home, anyhow. I recommend one part fresh lime juice, two parts Cointreau and three parts tequila, shaken vigorously with ice and strained over ice.
Buenos Aires Cafe
The Argentinian restaurant sells a variety of prebatched cocktails, like the Milonguero, made with rye and Meletti Amaro ($60, serves five), and the Clarito, made with Argentine mate gin and dry vermouth ($60, serves five). 1201 E. Sixth S. 512-382-1189, buenosairescafe.com.
The East Austin restaurant and bar sells frozen cocktails like the Red Headed Stranger, made with mezcal, strawberries and lemonade (12 ounces, $8, and 32 ounces, $20); and 16-ounce grab-and-go pouches like the tropical Painkiller ($12). 2400 Webberville Road. 512-696-4318, thecavalieratx.com.
One of the city’s best cocktail lounges sells several classic and creative cocktails that serve two, like a daiquiri and a Half Moon Bay, made with Japanese whisky, rhubarb, coconut and amaro ($16-$20); large-format Tiki drinks ($40, serves four); and more. 207 E. 53rd St. 512-614-6683, drinkwellaustin.com.
The Italian restaurant sells classics like a negroni ($12) and a mojito ($10), along with a variety of wine. 1500 Barton Springs Road. 512-479-1800, juliet-austin.com.
The Asian smokehouse is serving curbside cocktails to go from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily. Options include a mango sake slushy ($11 for 1.5 drinks), a gin-based typhoon ($14 for two drinks), and pitchers for six like the Peach Palmet ($39). 2115 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-916-4858, loroaustin.com.
Sure, you can get biscuits at the newly branded pop-up Little Ola’s Biscuits, but you can also buy great cocktails from one of the city’s best programs, including a summer shandy ($10), Old Fashioned ($12), whiskey punch ($9) and more. 1610 San Antonio St. 512-474-2796, olamaieaustin.com.
The modern Mexican restaurant sells its popular cocktails, like the Don Dario, made with tequila, tamarind, sarsaparilla and lime, individually ($10) and by the bottle ($24, serves three), as well as cocktail mixes sans booze ($14). 1800 E. Sixth St. 512-953-0092, suerteatx.com.
The Japanese restaurant downtown sells cocktail kits for one ($12) or six ($48), with guests choosing their spirit. Options include the Perspective, made with shiso and lime; the Godzilla, made with kiwi, lime and mint; and the Yuzu Picane, made with yuzu, grilled pineapple and Thai chilies. 501 W. Sixth St. 737-243-9147, tentenaustin.com.
The Goan-inspired restaurant in East Austin sells a roster of cocktails that includes a frozen mango lassi with rum and vodka ($12), chai Old Fashioned ($12) and more. 1813 E. Sixth St. 737-242-7555, vixensweddingatx.com.