Say you're throwing a party this weekend. You've vacuumed the living room, made a kick-ass playlist, set up a nice spread of snacks and found a delicious punch recipe online – except, oh shit, you're all out of gin.
Well, there's no longer any need to panic – or even to leave the house. Just pull out your phone. In the past few weeks, an array of booze-delivery apps has launched in the LA area. Promising a wide selection of spirits, wine and beer at your door in an hour or less, they're perhaps the biggest development in convenient booze since the invention of the flask. Why didn't anybody think of this before?
To make sense of the trend, here's some info about three options, plus price comparisons. (Note that prices and delivery fees vary based on your location; the below are based on a randomly chosen address in Hollywood.) Happy drinking!
Officially launched in L.A. last week after starting out serving New York, Boston and Chicago, Drizly offers more than 2,000 different products and has some gee-whiz technological features: it'll take a photo of your credit card and read the numbers automatically so you don't have to type them in, and you can track your driver in real time via GPS.
Drizly's also available in a pretty wide swath of town, from Venice and Santa Monica northeast through Koreatown and Silver Lake, and the company says more neighborhoods are coming soon. And through the end of June, new users can get $10 off their first purchase with promo code WELCOMELA.
How much for a bottle of Absolut? $21.99, plus $5 delivery fee (tax and tip not included)
See also: Alcohol Delivery App Comes to L.A.
A home-grown app, Saucey was built by a team of LA developers and currently serves only the City of Angels (specifically Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and Hollywood, though expansion throughout the city and into the South Bay is coming soon). Unlike the other apps, which send your order to a local liquor store that has its own delivery drivers, Saucey actually employs its drivers directly, using an Über-esque system to route orders to the closest available person.
The prices are all-inclusive – tax and tip are built in. Another unique feature is that Saucey will set up special packages during holidays that include not only booze but also a bartender to make drinks for your party. At Memorial Day, the $400 El Matador package came with Mexican beers, Margarita fixins and an hour of bartender service. (Bartender packages will only be available on special occasions, but they should come back for the Fourth of July.) Saucey is iPhone-only right now; you can't get it for Android.
How much for a bottle of Absolut? $26.50 (tax and tip included)
Non-Westsiders, rejoice! Thirstie will serve you. Its coverage area is focused a bit more east than the others, including downtown, Silver Lake and Los Feliz. (It stretches through Hollywood and as far west as Beverly Hills, too.) Initially launched in New York in February, the app came to Chicago and LA in the spring. While inventory varies from place to place, Thirstie's selection for Hollywood is a bit thin: The whiskey section includes only three choices, two of them flavored spirits.
How much for a bottle of Absolut? $22.99, plus $2 delivery fee (tax and tip not included)
Now kids, lest you think these apps are a license to drink underage, keep dreaming. All three are adamant that drivers check IDs and will only hand over the booze to someone who's over 21.