The bars are closed, the parties have stopped and everyone is now stuck at home due to COVID-19. Instead of pouring yourself a glass of wine and sitting down to watch TV – again – a couple of Canberra businesses are encouraging people to bring happy hour home by hosting a virtual cocktail party.
The idea is to invite your friends to jump online on whatever group video chat platform you prefer, make a plate of nibbles, mix yourself a delicious cocktail and chat, just like you would on a normal Canberra evening, except in the comfort of your own home.
Matt Farrah, owner of Farrah’s Liquor Collective in Fyshwick, says now is a great time to learn how to make your own cocktails.
“So many people love to drink cocktails when they are out, but they don’t normally make them at home,” he says. “Cocktails don’t have to be complicated or expensive, and if you are having a group get together online, they are a fun way to make a catch-up with friends or family a bit more special.”
Beirut Bunker Bar owner Soumi Tannous says having to bunker down is not a new concept for him.
“I was born during the civil war in Lebanon and, unfortunately, this was part of daily life,” he says. “However, we always managed to find ways to lift our spirits and have fun. There’s a real cocktail culture in Canberra and I imagine many Canberrans may be missing afternoons in their favourite watering holes.”
Currently, Beirut Bunker Bar in Garema Place in the Canberra CBD, is trading as a takeaway and home delivery shop, with some interesting drops on offer including cannabis beer, lychee cider that is made in Murrumbateman, and their much-loved bubble tea concoctions. To order, visit Beirut Bunker Bar online.
Here are three cocktail classics to try at home (all are single serve portions). Ingredients can be purchased online or in store at Farrah’s Liquor Collective.
From the Beirut Bunker Bar:
Margarita Your Way
30ml orange liqueur (such as Cointreau)
30ml fresh fruit juice of your choice (lime, lemon, strawberry, etc)
A handful of ice
Whiz up in a blender and pour into a chilled martini glass with a salted rim
Negroni at Home
30ml sweet red vermouth
Stir gently 10 times
From Farrah’s Liquor Collective:
Pretty Parrot Gimlet
30ml Pretty Parrot Bathtub Gin No. 2 Lemon Myrtle
30ml sugar syrup
30ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake for five to 10 seconds
Pour into martini glass