Coronavirus has curbside cocktail sales surging nationwide

Published: Apr. 9, 2020 at 3:00 PM EDT
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The coronavirus pandemic has led to Americans buying more booze. Market research company Nielsen said U.S. alcohol sales were up 22% during the last week of March compared to the same time in 2019.

What are people buying? Within the spirits category, Nielsen says premixed, ready-to-drink cocktails and tequila are seeing the largest sales growth compared to this time last year.

Restaurants are looking to capitalize on the higher demand for alcohol. California is one of several states allowing restaurants to sell cocktails if a customer orders food to go.

Black Market in Los Angeles is mixing martinis in a bucket and then bottling them to go.

"The way we are creating the cocktails is it's bottled and sealed, and it's designed to be shaken and poured over ice," general manager James Bobby said.

Black Market had to lay off 45 people because of the coronavirus shutdowns. Now, they use just five employees for take-out orders, and Bobby is back to his roots as a bartender.

"We're just doing our best to make sure the people we had to let go, all of our friends, have jobs to come back to," he said.

Around the corner, trendy burger spot Tuning Fork is boarded up on the outside, but bagging up orders inside. They're pouring pints of local craft beers in paper cups and sending them out the door.

"People like to get that nice big burger and enjoy it at home with their beer," owner Joseph Kuras said.

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