For me, drinks are just as important as the meal. Some evenings, ice cold water is enough, but on other evenings, I want something more. More than what’s in my fridge. More than just opening a bottle of wine. I want a cocktail, and gosh darnit, I want someone else to make it for me.

In March, I shared with you some options for places that were offering alcohol with pickup and delivery orders. Now, there’s more options for booze and food pairings to go since the executive order allowing carryout and delivery of cocktails, so I want to share with you five delicious options of booze and food you can enjoy at home.


A peachy slushie sits on a green and white woven tabletop. Photo from Art Mart's Facebook page.Photo from Art Mart's Facebook page.

Aperol Spritz | Art Mart

Art Mart is serving up these summer boozy slushies for $5, and I am here for it. Todd Fusco, Art Mart's wine buyer, says, “We rotate to keep it interesting.” This week, you can find this Aperol spritz and a strawberry margarita slush. Pair a boozy slushie with one of their croissants; my favorite is the ham and Swiss. If you're not down for carbs, you can pair it with some of the artisan cheeses Art Mart offers near the wine section. There is also a daily menu of prepared foods including sandwiches, salads, soups, and entrees like meatloaf, truffle macaroni and cheese, spinach quiche, and honey mustard salmon available for pickup.

Follow them on facebook for updated menu options.

Art Mart
1705 S Prospect Ave
Champaign
7 a.m. to 6 p.m., daily

A glass growler sits next to a large glass of a light yellow margarita on a wooden bar. The growler is labeled: Esquire Lounge, shake well and pour over ice. Photo from Esquire's Facebook page.Photo from Esquire Lounge's Facebook page.

Pineapple Margaritas | Esquire

Famous for their pineapple margaritas, Esquire is now offering growlers. You can choose from two sizes: 32 ounces (five margaritas) for $30 and 64 ounce (ten margaritas) for $60. Before restaurants were allowed to serve house-made drinks, they offered a slushie called "Not our pineapple margarita." Thankfully, restaurants are able to sell to-go pre-mixed cocktails now, and the return of Esquire's amazingly refreshing pineapple margarita with house-made pineapple tequila is back. 

Esquire infuses Sauza tequila with pineapple, sugar, and vanilla bean to make a pineapple-infused tequila. The infusion results in a strong liqueur Esquire calls "the Contusion Shot," and they use this infusion as the base for their pineapple margarita. Now, you can purchase a growler to go and imbibe at home. Make sure you order some of Esquire's delicious food to go with it. I recommend a grilled cheese sandwich and fries.

Esquire Lounge
106 N Walnut St
Champaign
11 a.m. to 2 a.m., daily

Three frosty slushies sit on a bar. One is dark pink with a lime, one is light yellow with a cherry, and the third on the right is a light pink. Photo from Farren's Facebook page.Photo from Farren's Facebook page.

Rum Twister Slushie | Farren's

Three delicious slushie options await Farren's customers: very berry margarita, coconut pineapple daiquiri, and rum twister. I was able to try two slushies in February before the COVID-19 closures, and I loved the the rum twister slushie best. Diplomatico white rum, Giffard pineapple (a liqueur made from fresh pineapples), fresh lime, and cranberry juice make up this light pink slushie (far right slushie in the photo). The lime and cranberry combination is the strongest flavor, but it does not taste alcoholic. About halfway through, I started to feel the booze even though I couldn’t taste it. It is everything I want in a grown-up slushie.

Pair it with a burger or not a burger, but make sure you grab a slushie on your next Farren’s order. 

Editor's Note: Updated 9:20 p.m.: This was mistaken as a to go option. Farren's slushies must be consumed onsite. 

Farren's
117 N Walnut
Champaign
Su-Th 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
F+Sa 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Island Margarita | Fiesta Cafe

A pitcher of margaritas to go? Yes, please. Order your favorite dinner from Fiesta Cafe (mine is al pastor tacos with rice and beans) and add on a pitcher of Island margarita for $22. It serves four small margaritas, and between me and my husband, it was perfect.

This margarita is better than any I could make at home. It was both sour and sweet with no strong tequila taste which made it refreshing and addicting. Made to order and stirred by hand, you will not be disappointed at the freshness of this margarita, and you’ll be ready to pour your second in no time.

Fiesta Cafe
216 S First St
Champaign
11 a.m. to 11 p.m., daily
 

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Protect Your Nectar | Watson’s Shack and Rail 

A delicious, peachy adult beverage, the Protect Your Nectar ($7) is a treat. It is served in a small plastic cup with a thick, colorful straw. Protect Your Nectar is a rum slushie with guava and strawberry banana nectars, triple sec, and lime juice. They've been offering boozy slushies to-go since early May, but now they're about to mix up the alcohol in with the slushie, and I love it even more. This slushie is more drink than slush. It goes down easy; there’s no chunks of ice clumping at the bottom of the straw. There's other options for slushies; follow on Facebook for slushie updates.

Order it with a fried chicken sandwich (my absolute favorite) or Chelsea's Shamless Plea, a chicken and waffles dish. Check out their menu here. You can also read an interview I had with the owners here

Watson's Shack and Rail
211 N Neil St
Champaign
T-Sa 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

 

Top image from Farren's Facebook page.