A continuing series about awesome social distance activities in DC to keep you entertained during the outbreak and inspired to keep daydreaming about your next adventure in the Nation's capital.
The new quarantine life we're currently living means we've had to get create to find ways to socialize. Just because you're self-isolating doesn't mean you have to give up happy hour with your friends.
My sister and a mutual friend powered up Zoom and gathered online from DC, Pennsylvania and New York for a virtual happy hour and it was a blast! No fighting for room at the bar, paying for overpriced drinks or having to leave early to get home. And unlike conference calls at work, this is one time you'll actually *want* to be seen on camera. We're planning on doing it again and go all out to really replicate the bar experience
Simply follow our 7 simple steps and you'll be the virtual hostess with the mostest! Plus we've included some cocktail suggestions from famous mixologist and owner of the Columbia Room, Derek Brown to take your gathering to the next level.
Read on and share your virtual hosting tips in the comments. Cheers!
1. Pick a platform
There are lots of free video chat apps that work on phones, laptops, or desktops, including Zoom, Skype and Google Hangout. Choose one to host your virtual happy hour, ideally one that everyone already has and where you can see more than three-quarters of someone’s face. When your friends start arriving, encourage them to choose the “grid” option on their software, so you all can see each other at the same time.
2. Treat it like a party
Rather than treating a virtual happy hour like any other video conference call, step up your hosting game. Create a simple invitation and send out a link that your virtual guests click at the appointed time, and everyone shows up on your screen. You might want to keep the happy hour under a dozen people, so everyone can participate in the conversation.
3. Make a playlist
If you were all together at your favorite bar, you'd all be listening to the same soundtrack. To replicate the experience of being out for happy hour, make a Spotify playlist that you can stream during your virtual hangout.
4. Choose your drinks
Order your drink of choose from one of the many bars in DC now delivering drinks; make sure to still tip your pretend bartender using this list of service industry workers’ venmo accounts.
Or send along a recipe to your favorite signature cocktail to the event feel a little more special. Just make sure to choose something relatively easy that requires few ingredients to keep it accessible. If you’re looking for some inspiration, celebrity bartender (and owner of the Columbia Room and the late-great pop-up bar) Derek Brown is here to help.
5. Use your fancy drinkware
You've probably got a collection of beautiful drinkware that you hardly ever use. Now's the perfect time to dip into your stash and serve your own drink out of something a little nicer than your everyday wine glass (without the fear that your guests will break it).
6. Get dressed up
If you’re like us, you’ve spent the last several days working from home in your comfiest executive lounge wear, but the best way to make a virtual happy hour feel like a real event is to get at least a little dressed up. You don't need to go as far as jewels and a ballgown, but brushing your hair and putting on a clean top will make your get together feel more like a special occasion. Changing out of pajama bottoms is optional.
7. Add some ambiance
Yes, your friends will really only be able to see your face and immediate background from their screens, but you can still create a nice vignette for yourself. Light your favorite candle and set out some nibbles to make your home feel a little more bar-like. You can even dress up your background with some chic Zoom or Canva virtual backgrounds. So fancy!
Look up, down, and all around. Adventures can be found everywhere -- if you're curious enough to look. k for it