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A Guide to Drinking in the UK – At Home

I haven’t done a proper pub crawl in London yet, but I do love the cozy dive down the common. Although a few cocktails have impressed be at some swanky lounges, I also have kept my liquors limited while ‘out on the lash’. I certainly have taken advantage of all those beautiful happy hours deals though. However, when it’s damp and gross out during this long English winter, I like to simply wrap my hands around a pint or a stemmy wine glass right at home. Fortunately, the alcohol in the UK is very accessible, very affordable and comes with loads of variety. Here’s a few ways I’ve taken advantage of my new boozy situation.

arm with mug that says 'hungover'

Duty-free spirits

When I’m jetsetting, I stock up. Those beautiful, shiny bottles that stack high along the walls at Duty Free in Heathrow call to me. They say, Eileen, bring me home. You know you want me. I’m as cheap as it’s gets in bloody London. You’ll regret it if you don’t. So I do occasionally when I can’t resist a 2-for-one special on vodka.

overhead view of cocktail with mint and gooseberry

As it seems, most people do beer, wine and cider because it’s often a fraction of the cost of spirits. But old habits are hard to break, especially as I married someone who was a bartender for eight years and spoils me rotten.

The “I’m a bit worried about you” one-hour delivery

There is this horrible and wonderful thing in London I discovered in a holiday panic one day. Amazon will literally deliver thousands of household goods, food, booze and even diamonds to your door in one hour. ONE HOUR. If you’re a prime member, the service is also totally free.

 

two pints of cornish cider in england

I certainly do love the options for having a few drinks in my home by indulging a regular subscription service too. This is a fairly new concept in the states (at least in Massachusetts) because of the strict alcohol laws when it comes to residential addresses. However, in the UK, as long as someone is there to sign for it and you’re over 18-years-old you’re good to go.

Unpretentious and accessible brands in store

With all these wonderful options though, it can also pose a problem. How the heck do I choose the great brands and weed out the rest? Choices are great but sometimes I just need to put my trust in the experts to help me out so I’m not stuck with something awful.

square photo of most wanted wines bottle of malbec

This brought me to a lovely new wine brand called Most Wanted Wines. Now I love my wine and have even gone to some classes, workshops and tastings to wrap my head around varietals. Sadly, I still can’t tell my Malbec from my Merlot. I will say though I still can tell good from bad, and in my seasoned years of drinking lots of wine, I don’t have time for crap anymore.

Luckily, Most Wanted Wines has stepped up to the plate. They choose the grapes, the vineyards and do all the heavy lifting for you, offering just a couple of highly selected options for discerning tastes. Even if you might not know exactly what they’re tasting. Not to worry though, Most Wanted Wines will walk you through it.

Not to mention, I can pick up a bottle at Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s or a variety of other local stores literally down the street from me. If I could have grabbed quality wines in seconds from my local grocery stores in the states, I would have been in big trouble.

What do you drink at home? Is it different than how you drink when out on the town? Do you like to switch it up, or do you stick to the same thing every time?

EileenCotterWright

Author EileenCotterWright

Eileen Cotter Wright is a Boston, MA expat living in London, UK. She is a freelance writer and owner of group travel site PureWander.com. Despite losing her passport the first day she left her home country, she's continued to roam the earth with gusto for about a decade. You can keep up with her hot mess adventures on Twitter @Crooked_Flight.

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