More than 95% of surveyed readers want takeout cocktails to stay

Plus, here's where readers have been ordering cocktails to go during the pandemic.

Takeout cocktails from Trina's Starlight Lounge
To-go cocktails from Trina's Starlight Lounge. Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

As the vaccination rollout continues and life slowly starts to return to pre-pandemic normalcy, some people are hoping certain remnants of pandemic life might stick around — including takeout cocktails.

When we asked readers whether takeout cocktails should remain after the Massachusetts state of emergency ends on June 15, more than 770 readers responded. The results? A resounding 95 percent of readers said that takeout drinks should stay, while only 5 percent wanted them gone.

Many proponents of keeping to-go drinks shared that it was a great way for diners to support restaurants.

“Definitely should stay!” wrote Jess from Raynham. “I hope it helps restaurants to make up for lost revenue. I have enjoyed the option of a to-go Mai Tai or margarita from our favorite local spots.”


Chris from North Andover wrote, “I see no reason why we should prevent takeout drinks. It’s not like we have seen an increase in DWIs.”

Sean from Hudson shared how takeout cocktails made drinking at home easier.

“Sometimes you feel like a margarita or Mai Tai while sitting on your couch enjoying dinner with family or friends, but don’t keep all the ingredients,” he wrote. “Being able to pick it up for takeout at your favorite restaurant is perfect!”

“Businesses should be allowed to make money however they can,” one reader wrote, while another shared, “Absolutely should maintain this — restaurants still need our support and this, along with expanded outdoor dining, have been wonderful.”

In fact, expanded outdoor dining might be extended long after the state of emergency ends. Gov. Charlie Baker said on Tuesday that he will file legislation to extend a handful of emergency orders, including permits for expanded outdoor dining. The bill could allow restaurants to offer outdoor dining through November 29, 2021. While takeout cocktails are not part of Baker’s new legislation (yet!), Mass. Senator Diana DiZoglio is fighting to extend takeout drinks for two more years.

Still, some readers weren’t too keen on keeping the bottled margaritas and Mai Tais flowing.


“The only reason to purchase a to-go cocktail is to support a restaurant,” one reader shared. “By the time you get home, the ice is already melting and the drink isn’t great. Good possibility you drove by a liquor store on the way home and would have been better off buying a bottle there and making your drink at home.”

“What message does cocktails to go give our children?” asked another reader. “Sorry, this is so wrong on so many levels. Outrageous!”

“Drinks to go promotes drinking and driving,” wrote a concerned reader. “Restaurants won’t suffer; they can still sell food.”

Despite a handful of responses that were against keeping takeout cocktails, an overwhelming majority of surveyed readers were in favor, and were excited to share where they’d been purchasing to-go drinks during the pandemic. Here is a sampling of responses — many involving scorpion bowls and margaritas.

  • “Margaritas from El Patron in Worcester and scorpion bowls from Wong’s Restaurant in Grafton NEED to stay!” — Brian, Grafton
  • “The Rocking Chair from Parlor Sports!”
  • “Margaritas from La Paloma in Quincy. Pomegranate blueberry is the best.”
  • “Bottled spicy margarita from Bartaco.”
  • “The espresso martini from City Streets in Waltham is amazing!” — Kyle B., Waltham
  • “Sangria from West On Centre…but also found myself making many excuses to head up to Kowloon for to-go beverages.” — Jay, West Roxbury
  • “I am obsessed with Asian Imperial‘s Scorpion Bowl for two. We have a one-year-old so it’s been a treat to enjoy a cocktail with dinner while staying at home.” — Bianca, Leominster
  • “Mai Tai from Gourmet Garden in Hingham.”
  • “My favorite to-go cocktail has been the Bourbon Blizzard from the Raven’s Nest in Walpole.” — Lynne O’Neil, Walpole
  • “Premium margaritas from Machaca in Gloucester!” — Steve, Gloucester
  • “Keg-Huay Gin & Tonic at Mahaniyom in Brookline.” — Meg, Roslindale
  • “Paloma’s Demise from The Rail Trail in Hudson!” — Kate Forrestall
  • “Spicy margaritas from Burro Bar!” — Wendy Connors, Boston
  • “Tropical lemonade from 7B’s.” — Rose, Southampton
  • “Growler fills at Lulu’s. Margaritas from Loco [Taqueria & Oyster Bar]. Grabbing a bottle of wine from Washington Square Tavern while picking up dinner too. All have been welcome additions to our household. It should be optional for restaurants to continue as they figure out what their new normal is, too.”

Time will tell if takeaway cocktails will get an extension after June 15. In the meantime, one reader wants to know what many of us are thinking:

“If to-go cocktails are done away with, can we at least allow for happy hour!?”


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