I love to create my own cocktails.  I like to experiment with interesting ingredients and with the bottles friends find at the back of their liquor cabinets, and I forget that it can be intimidating (and expensive!) to step beyond the good old, reliable gin and tonic.

Enter the genius that is Bar from Afar.  Founded by Greg and Sarah O’Brien, Bar from Afar started as a way to connect with friends and family during the pandemic and grew into a small business that brings speakeasy style cocktails to your door.  Available in the GTA and in Ottawa, there is a wonderful selection of drinks to choose from, from old classics to new creations.  Kits start at $65 +HST, and include a minimum of four cocktails.  The kits come in three sizes: Date Night (4 cocktails), BFA (8 cocktails) and Social (16 cocktails).  This is an idea that I am sure will outlive the lockdown that was its genesis because the creativity and the convenience of these kits is stellar.

I recently had a chance to meet Greg and to chat about all things craft cocktail.  Greg spent 15 years in the hospitality industry before starting this business, and he understands the challenge of preserving the freshness and fun of a speakeasy-style cocktail and translating that into something we can make at home. Greg’s expertise in craft cocktails shows in the details of his kits.  There is no way you can mess this up.

The kit arrives beautifully packaged in a box, and you turn this:

Gin Cocktail Kit

Bar from Afar’s Gin Cocktail Kit (before)

into this:

Bar from Afar Gin Cocktails

Bar from Afar’s Gin Cocktail Kit (after)

There are instructions on how to build and mix the cocktail, what stemware to use, and how to present it.  The kits include locally-produced spirits, house-made mixers, garnishes and even a mason jar to shake and strain the drinks.  (Genius!)  You don’t need to own your own bar equipment, and you can even order vintage stemware right from their site.

There are multiple kit options to choose from, and the menu changes seasonally, so you can match your beverage to the mood.

Vodka Cocktail Bar from Afar

Bar from Afar’s Love Jill Rose Gold Vodka Cocktail

If you admire creativity in all of its forms, and you’re willing to put yourself in the hands of someone whose canvas is cocktails, I highly recommend the Speakeasy kits which combine classic and new creations.  The butter-washed whisky in the Buttered Up (Speakeasy Volume 3) was a revelation.   As a gin lover, the fall/winter gin kit had me at Big Fig Energy.

I enjoyed this kit so much (in Toronto), I sent a kit to friends in Ottawa.  If I can’t make cocktails for them in person, this is a really excellent alternative.

Cheers to all of the creative and delicious silver linings of the pandemic!  Long may craft cocktail delivery last!

Learn more about them here: BarFromAfar.com