By now everyone is tired of hearing the C-word. Many of us who are lucky enough to still be employed are working from home, because we know we shouldn’t be physically mingling with others. This may be the new norm, but the reality is isolation is boring.
So what do we do when we’re bored? In the 21st century we turn to the internet for help. The fitness buffs are keeping fit by tuning in to live stream workouts and yoga sessions; music lovers of all genres are watching virtual concerts that have been popping up all over social media; thousands are following DJ D-Nice’s Club Quarantine Instagram Live sets to be part of “the biggest party in the world.”; and the foodies are experimenting with online recipes.
That’s all great, but we’re still missing the social interaction that hanging out at your local bar offered. The clinking of glasses on a Friday night to celebrate the end of another great week and the beginning of an even better weekend. That c-word may have taken away our ability to physically clink glasses, but we can still hang out with friends because this is the 21st century and we all have the internet.
Virtual cocktail parties (aka the Zoom happy hour) are all the rage and believe it or not, it’s actually good for your health (I’m not a doctor….I don’t even play one on TV, but trust me). Social isolation is massively destructive to our mental health, so make plans to raise a glass with friends because we’re bringing you everything needed to throw the best virtual party of 2020.
CHOOSE YOUR PLATFORM
FaceTime (my favourite because it comes preinstalled on iPhones, Macs and iPads, so many people are familiar with it), Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts are all good choices.
CHOOSE A COCKTAIL
Share the recipe in advance with your group so you can all gather up the ingredients, and mix your drinks together.
SET THE MOOD
Lights: Make sure there is enough light for your guests to see you. That means that if you’re lucky enough to have a window, make sure you are facing it.
Music: Too many conflicting sounds can be chaotic, so having ambient music can be challenging. Assign a group member to be the DJ and have them pre-send the playlist to the guests. Once the party starts, they can listen to it through a single earbud.
Décor: Choose an area of the house that you don’t mind showing off, and don’t forget to clean up the clutter.
MAKE A SNACK
Be fancy…or not. Remember the internet is an aspiring chef’s best friend!
CHOOSE YOUR OUTFIT
Take off the sweats—yes they’re comfy, but you’re attending a party. Dust off that tux or put on that little black dress, wear a hat, pile on the jewelry, fix your hair and do your makeup—this is about feeling fabulous. If your group isn’t ready to give up daytime pyjamas, go glam and lounge like the old Hollywood scarlets.
Share a laugh, offer some encouragement, take some love, unwind and have a good time.
To help elevate your cocktail game, we met up with mixologists Voula Delinis and Kyle Wilkinson who shared the recipes for ten easy-to-make drinks. Naturally, alcohol isn’t mandatory at Happy Hour—mocktails are acceptable, as is coffee, tea, or anything you have available…I’d even guess that Happy Hour would work without drinks, but maybe I’m just talking crazy. Better mix me another Penicillin, quick. Till we clink again!
1.75 oz. Johnnie Walker Black scotch
1 oz.sweet vermouth
0.25 oz. benedictine
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a martini glass, garnish with a lemon zest.
1.25 oz. Bulleit Bourbon
0.75 oz. Sweet Vermouth
0.75 oz. Apertivo
Stir over ice in a rocks glass and garnish with orange slice/zest.
2 oz. Ketel One Vodka
1 oz. lime juice
0.5 oz.ginger syrup
Shake over ice, top with soda and garnish with a lime slice.
‘1.5 oz. Johnnie Walker Black scotch
0.5 oz. Fino sherry
0.5 oz. apertivo
0.5 oz. sweet vermouth
Stir over ice in a rocks glass and serve with an orange slice.
2 oz. Ketel One vodka
1.5 oz. brewed espresso
0.5 oz. simple syrup
Shake with ice and strain into coupe, garnish with 3 coffee beans.
1 oz. Bulleit bourbon
1 oz. apertivo
1 oz. amaro
1 oz. lemon juice
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into coupe glass.
2 oz. Bulleit bourbon
0.25 oz. simple syrup
4 dashes bitters
Stir over ice in a rocks glass and garnish with an orange zest.
1.5 oz. Tanqueray No.10 gin
1.5 oz. sweet vermouth
0.25 oz. Fernet Branca bitters
Stir all ingredients with ice, strain into martini glass, garnish with an orange zest.
10 PAST 10
1.75 oz. Tanqueray No.10 gin
0.25 oz. apertivo
0.75 oz. lemon juice
0.5 oz. grenadine
Shake all with ice and strain into coupe/martini glass, garnish with orange zest.
2 oz. Johnnie Walker Black scotch
1 oz. lemon juice
0.75 oz. honey and ginger syrup
float Lagavulin 8 year scotch
Shake all ingredients apart from lagavulin and strain over ice. float lagavulin over the top and garnish with a lemon wedge/candied ginger.
WORDS: DAVID GANHÃO
PHOTOS: NOAH GANHÃO
MIXOLOGISTS VOULA DELINIS and KYLE WILKINSON
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