Quarantinis, Anyone? Here’s How to Throw a Virtual Happy Hour

by Caroline Harris

Quarantinis, Anyone? Here’s How to Throw a Virtual Happy Hour
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Americans are increasingly staying at home amid the “shelter in place” orders and business closures as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. City streets are emptying, stores are shuttering, and Americans are embracing new ways of socializing. In a time of social distancing, it’s still possible to have a social life — it just requires a little ingenuity. Catching up with friends over cocktails has gone digital as “virtual happy hours” are on the rise.


During virtual happy hours, farflung friends and family log onto their video chatting platform of choice, whether that’s FaceTime, Zoom, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, or Skype. They virtually cheers, assembling food and drinks in front of them to mimic the feel of being in a restaurant or bar.


Virtual happy hours range in levels of formality, from sipping spiked seltzer to popping bottles of champagne. Some groups like to make a production out of it, mixing cocktails like Moscow mules, margaritas, mojitos, and cosmopolitans at home. Wine and cheese pairings are also popular, and there are many online wine stores so you can shop from the comfort of your couch.


Some even create “quarantinis” — a miscellaneous blend of alcohol enjoyed in quarantine. You can go all out with your quarantini, rimming your glass with vitamin C powder and fortifying your drink with immunity boosters like honey and lemon. Check out this recipe for a honey lemon quarantini to enjoy Friday night (or any night of the week, we won’t tell!).


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Stay inside, wash your hands, make a QUARANTINI and stop stock piling all the dang toilet paper, people!!! Meet the Quarantini! The most delicious way to boost your immunity and survive being quarantined in your home for weeks because of the corona virus! NGREDIENTS: 3 oz vodka (or gin) 2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice 1 tablespoon honey optional 1 packet powdered vitamin c INSTRUCTIONS: Add 2 cups ice to a cocktail shaker. Add vodka, lemon juice and honey to shaker. Shake, and then strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist if desired. ADDING VITAMIN C: If you want to add vitamin c, you can add it directly to the shaker when you add the rest of the ingredients or you can rim the chilled martini glass with vitamin c. RECIPE: https://thenovicechefblog.com/quarantini/ #quarantini #quarantine #corona #coronamemes #covid #covid_19 #covıd19 #washyourhands #stayhealthy #toiletpaper #thenovicechefrecipes

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If you don’t drink, you can create a refreshing mocktail, like a Blueberry Ginger Cooler or an Hibiscus Iced Tea Sparkler. These 17 summer mocktails will get you inspired as you blend and brew delicious refreshments. To impress your family and friends, garnish your drink with mint, strawberries, lime slices, or decorative straws. These special touches will make it seem like you’re a mixology pro even if you’re a beginner bartender.


We recommend keeping your virtual happy hour small by capping the digital gathering at eight people so things don’t become too chaotic as people speak over each other. Smaller groups tend to work best because everyone gets a chance to talk. Find an area of your home that’s cozy, with flattering lighting and a nice backdrop. Make sure there’s minimal background sound from noisy neighbors or meowing cats.


Finally, a word from the wise: Find a steady surface to rest your laptop on (or pick up a portable laptop desk) . I’ve destroyed multiple laptops by spilling beverages on them, and it’s such a frustrating feeling. Avoid getting your cocktail all over your keyboard to keep the mood light.


Trying to impress someone on the other end of the line? There’s a filter for that. Zoom has a box marked “Touch Up My Appearance” that smoothes your skin and gives you a natural-looking glow. If your apartment is in shambles, you can also use Zoom to add a virtual background, like the Golden Gate Bridge or the Austin skyline. (Shoutout to Zoom for letting us pretend our lives are more together than they actually are.) With virtual dating also on the rise, these features can come in handy.


If you love entertaining, you can still keep the fun rolling by hosting your very own virtual happy hour. Here’s everything you need to take the party digital, including drinks you can get delivered right to your door.


RELATED: Long Distance Date Ideas That Will Keep Your LDR Thriving


1 of 15 Image Credits: Usual Wines

Usual Wines Santa Barbara Rosé


This set contains six glasses of crisp rosé with notes of strawberry, rhubarb, and rose petal. The beverage originates from beautiful Santa Barbara and contains no added sugar or sulfites. This rosé earns near-perfect reviews, with happy shoppers calling it “a true treat” that is “light and refreshing.”

2 of 15 Image Credits: Wine of the Month Club

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2018 Col Del Mondo Sunnae


I am a montepulciano enthusiast, in part because the word “montepulciano” is so fun to say. This Italian wine features bright notes of cranberry and pomegranate with a rich, chocolatey finish.

3 of 15 Image Credits: Walmart

Oneida 16 Ounce Cocktail Shaker


Whether you like your martinis shaken or stirred, this product will get you the desired consistency every time. There’s a built-in strainer to separate ice from your drink, plus the stainless steel keeps your cocktail chilled.

4 of 15 Image Credits: Terrain

Terrain Sangria Cocktail Kit


This sangria cocktail kit makes mixology easy. The adorable jar includes dried cherry, orange, lemon, and vegan citrus sugar so all you have to do is add alcohol. You can make eight cocktails from the kit, which lasts for 30 days from the time you open it.

5 of 15 Image Credits: Wine of the Month Club

Saint-Emilion Grand Chu, 2014 Château Coutet


This flavorful wine has a rich, earthy taste reminiscent of the French countryside. The wine originates from the fine grapes of the Château Coutet and comes in a rich ruby red.

6 of 15 Image Credits: Wine of the Month Club

Stephen Ross Wine Cellars 2016 Chardonnay


For a light, fruity taste, reach for this Chardonnay. The wine smells like jasmine and has a soft kiwi finish.

7 of 15 Image Credits: Terrain

Terrain Fleur de Lys Glass Tumbler


For a more sophisticated soirée, make sure you have beautiful tumblers to show off on video chat. This tumbler has pretty floral detailing that will add some elegance to your mocktail or cocktail.

8 of 15 Image Credits: Walmart

Uarter Stainless Steel Reusable Drinking Straws


These eye-catching straws add a dash of fun to your drink — and ensure your lipstick won’t come off on your glass. The set includes two cleaning brushes and eight straws, which are durable and rustless.

9 of 15 Image Credits: Wine of the Month Club

Salcheto 2017 Chianti


For post dinner drinks, opt for a Chianti. The wine contains cherry notes that pair perfectly with dark chocolate for dessert.

10 of 15 Image Credits: Wine of the Month Club

Dona Silvina 2016 Malbec


Malbec is a popular choice because of its delicious taste of cherry and chocolate and its signature violet-themed scent. Pair this Malbec with a cheese board for sophisticated fun.

11 of 15 Image Credits: Nordstrom

Nordstrom 5-Piece Stainless Steel Bar Tool Set


Craft the perfect cocktail using this bar set, which boasts a bar spoon, bottle opener, cocktail strainer, and measurer. The stainless-steel set looks gorgeous, making it a worthy addition to your kitchen counter or bar cart.

12 of 15 Image Credits: Nordstrom

Sunnylife Travel Cocktail Kit


It’s piña colada time! This adorable set contains a cocktail shaker, two cocktail umbrellas, two paper straws, two linen coasters, cocktail syrup, and sprinkles. Make beautiful beverages for you and your bestie using the set. Or, if you’re feeling free-spirited, you can double-fist two piña coladas.

13 of 15 Image Credits: Terrain

Terrain Rosemary Flaxseed Crackers


These crackers make a great happy hour snack. They’re a healthful option containing a blend of organic sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, quinoa flakes, spices, and sea salt. You can eat the crackers with cheese or jam as you catch up with your friends online.

14 of 15 Image Credits: Walmart

Nutrichef Bamboo Cheese Cutting Board Set


Prepare a cheese board for your virtual happy hour that includes all your favorite snacks, like nuts, fresh fruit, and charcuterie. This cheese board is the perfect platter for your snacking. It’s made of 100 percent bamboo with a durable, aesthetically pleasing construction.

15 of 15 Image Credits: ProFlowers

Pink Mini Orchid


We could all use a little more sunshine in our lives, so order some flowers fresh from the farm. This pretty pink orchid will brighten your day whenever you look at it and add to the ambiance of your virtual happy hour. Orchids are easy to take care of, so you don’t need a green thumb to keep this flower thriving. Water your orchid once a week, keep it in moderate temperatures of 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and pot the plant in fast-draining soil.