how do i send booze in the mail
November 23, 2009 2:41 PM   Subscribe

looking to deck the halls with homemade liquor (infused vodkas, lemoncello, something like that) - but now how to get it through the mail.

i'm in oklahoma and i'm sending it to new york. this would be smallish bottles without professional labels.

(anon since these are gifts)
posted by anonymous to Food & Drink (9 answers total)
Use 375 mL bottles, corked, and wax-sealed.

Pack tightly in small boxes with lots and lots of shredded paper. Don't use peanuts. They compress too much.

Mail via UPS.
posted by kaseijin at 2:49 PM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

It is illegal in some places to send booze thru the mail. It is totally legal to send a box full of bottles of "perfume". Just sayin'.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:53 PM on November 23, 2009

It is totally legal to send a box full of bottles of "perfume"

Been there, done that. Worked like a charm.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:21 PM on November 23, 2009

UPS, Fedex, DHL, and USPS have all told me that they will not ship alcohol. I forget which carrier told me I could ship it if I were sending it to certain states and I was registered to sell booze in the state I was sending from.

Most people just ignore the rules and say it's wine. Technically, the safe way to ship bottles with possibly dangerous liquids in them would be packed in an appropriate amount of Vermiculite. This is more relevant for bottles with booze than for wine as alcohol bottles are regularly not as thick and more often have thinner necks.
posted by fief at 3:37 PM on November 23, 2009

fief, pretty sure you can't mail beer or wine either. (This question comes up a lot on homebrew/homeferment forums.) The average citizen can't ship it legally, generally, at least not without going to special extremes. Some people have been known to mail wine and call it "marinade." Not worth the risk, IMHO.
posted by smcameron at 4:17 PM on November 23, 2009

If I were you, I would ship it using a non-usps carrier, pack it really well, and call it perfume or vinegar.

(I'm not sure if lying to the usps is considered a federal offense, but I wouldn't want to find out, either.)
posted by mattybonez at 8:17 PM on November 23, 2009

This explains how, with pictures:

It's probably overkill to pack bottles this much, but you can be sure they won't break!
posted by wondercow at 8:24 PM on November 23, 2009

A friend of mine [in Oregon] has sent me [in Pennsylvania] several bottles of well-packed craft beer via FedEx, though I can't say whether or not he informed FedEx of the contents of the package.
posted by alynnk at 8:02 AM on November 24, 2009

Let's say one didn't realize that one couldn't ship alcohol. And then one did just that thing, twice, cross country and back. It might have gone like this:

Bottles individually wrapped in bubble wrap, then individually placed in Ziplocs. Layers of peanuts on the bottom, and those air-packs (or ziplocs filled with air and sealed) around the bottles, and then more peanuts on top.
posted by pineapple at 8:21 AM on November 24, 2009

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