Shake it up: Tips for hosting the perfect virtual cocktail party during isolation

Karyn Starmer 4 May 2020 2
Close up of yellow cocktail, with three cocktails in background.

Missing catching up with friends in these times of social isolation? Host a virtual happy hour! Photo: Supplied.

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.”

Soumi Tannous behind bar pouring cocktails at Beirut Bunker Bar.

Soumi Tannous, from Beirut Bunker Bar, says while bars are closed, Canberrans can enjoy cocktail hour at home. Photo: Supplied.

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

50ml tequila
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

Ice
30ml gin
30ml Campari
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

Whisky Sour

50ml Cody Road bourbon
35ml lemon juice (fresh)
12.5ml sugar syrup
2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
Half an egg white (optional)
5-cent sized piece of lemon zest
Shake all the ingredients (except for the lemon zest) hard with ice and strain into an ice-filled glass. Squeeze the lemon zest, shiny side down, over the drink so the scented oils spray across the surface. Discard the zest, add garnish and serve.
Matt Farrah from Farrah's Liquor Collective pouring alcoholic beverage for customer.

Matt Farrah, from Farrah’s Liquor Collective, says now is the perfect time to learn how to make cocktails. Photo: Supplied.


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2 Responses to Shake it up: Tips for hosting the perfect virtual cocktail party during isolation
Helen Evans-Turner Helen Evans-Turner 9:41 pm 13 Apr 20

Zac Hansen business idea?

Liz Anderson Liz Anderson 9:36 pm 13 Apr 20

Jimmy D McPhail cocktail class for our catchup

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