Perfect for Thanksgiving (or not): Order your liquor by text

Technically Incorrect: Drinkeasy claims to be the first text-based liquor store. Is this too much convenience?

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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Perfect for the mobile world? Or too perfect?

screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It's approaching that time when you tell your family just how much you can tolerate them.

As the food bloats you and the drink floats through you, words emerge from your mouth, some that might surprise even you.

How can you be sure that you have the perfect lubricant for the perfect words? How can you ensure that you can easily order the perfect liquor for the perfect conversation?

Enter Drinkeasy.

The name might incite suspicion in some minds. How does this service make drinking easy? Why, it claims to be the first text-based liquor store.

Might I quote some words from the company as an aperitif? The idea is that you can order craft spirits from micro-distilleries. This is how Drinkeasy describes itself: "Once a week, Drinkeasy's experts send you a personalized text with the story of a craft whiskey, gin, rum or tequila. The service is completely free. If something looks tasty and you want to buy, just reply 'HELL YES' and it is delivered to your door."

Hell yes. Or, for some, yes hell.

Can one really imagine pantless millennials (for they are surely the target of all this) staggering to the door just to pick up their bottle of fancy tequila? I can, even though Drinkeasy says that shipping usually takes 3-5 days in most states.

I asked the company's founder Harry Raymond what the legal side to all this might be. After all, America tends to be more uptight about drinking than other pursuits like voting and war.

"We ask every member if they are legal drinking age and ask them to confirm it again before checking out," Raymond said. "Our delivery partners also check IDs and request that someone of legal drinking age signs for the package. There is a restocking fee if our delivery partner finds someone under 21 placed the order."

Drinkeasy currently claims to ship to 35 states, with 7 more expected soon.

Raymond told me the idea struck him when he had problems in liquor stores. "We all know the feeling of walking into a liquor store and having no idea what fits our tastes," he said. "We were sick of settling for the bottle with the prettiest label or asking the guy behind the counter what he knows about a new and obscure whiskey."

You should never settle for the prettiest label. A cardinal error in life, this.

In any case, it isn't as if alcohol delivery is anything new. Merely Googling "alcohol delivery" brings up any number of services that claim to make it easy. Yes, there really is one called Saucey. Drinkeasy seems to be relying on texting and its alleged crafty-ness to create a niche.

Raymond has a certain history with alcohol. Last year, he co-founded Swig, an app that thinks of itself as the Facebook for drinkers. Drinkeasy isn't entirely unrelated to this.

"We've built a highly engaged community of drink enthusiasts [with Swig] and professional bartenders in over 50 countries," Raymond explained. "Community members have even organized meetups or 'SwigUps' to meet fellow Swig app users in person. We're looking forward to integrating delivery options into Swig to create even more value for our community."

Please be careful when you're swigging this holiday season. Whether you're swigging up or down, you might first feel a swagger, but then might come a stagger. Then you might wish you hadn't drunk so easily after all.

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