10 steps to throwing a fantastic virtual cocktail party
With video conferencing quickly becoming the new norm, virtual cocktail parties were bound to happen sooner or later.
Although it may not be practical for the whole team to meet in a stylish cocktail bar, you can still turn a virtual cocktail party into a memorable night.
But how do you take a virtual cocktail party to the next level?
In this article, we’ll cover some tips and tricks to help you host an unforgettable virtual cocktail party.
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How to throw a virtual cocktail party
1. Select a technology platform
Begin planning your happy hour by deciding which video conferencing tool you’d like to use. There are several great platforms you can use, including Zoom, Facebook Live, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Skype.
It’s important to point out that the free version of Zoom limits meetings of more than three people to 40 minutes. So it might be worth paying for the pro version for the extended time.
For larger teams, you may even want a platform that allows for a breakout room so the team has a place for after-work drinks. Microsoft Teams is one such platform offering this feature.
2. Curate — and outsource — the guest list
Choosing the right guest list is an essential ingredient in organizing a great party. Begin by reaching out to your team members a week or two in advance. Additionally, it might be good to include a plus one on the invitation.
Eitherway, this is a great way to create an atmosphere that’s perfect for team bonding as it’s very removed from typical workplace settings!
3. Choose cocktails for your virtual cocktail party
It’s essential to pick a delicious cocktail recipe or two that tastes great but isn’t time-consuming or requires lots of bar tools. Sharing the cocktail recipe ahead of time is a good idea so your team members can buy each ingredient before the happy hour.
Looking for a few great cocktail recipes?
- Old fashioned – This great cocktail first captured the hearts of Bourbon lovers 200 years ago yet remains as popular today as it was then. To make a delicious old fashioned, mix 1/2 teaspoon sugar with 3 dashes of Angostura bitters into a glass with 1 teaspoon of water. Stir until the sugar is almost dissolved. Then, add ice, 2 ounces of good Bourbon, and stir. Express an orange around the glass rim, add it to the drink, and enjoy.
- Mai Tai – Rumor has it the cocktail got its name from the first person to try it, who exclaimed: “Mai Tai!” meaning “the best – out of this world” in Tahitian. True or not, a Mai Tai is a delicious cocktail. Add 11/2 ounces white rum, 3/4 ounces orange curaçao, 3/4 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice, and 1/2 ounce orgeat to a cocktail shaker with crushed ice and shake for 3 seconds. Pour into a double rocks glass and use a spoon to float some rum over the top. Garnish with a lime wheel and fresh mint.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to worry about different cocktail ideas and ingredients, YumTum offers epic virtual happy hour cocktail masterclasses. Whatever your guests’ preferences, YumTum’s expert mixologist will show your team how to make killer cocktails (or mocktails) and deliver a beautifully packaged box with all the ingredients to each participant.
4. Create special touches
A theme and dress code can help create a more enjoyable virtual mixology experience. You can create an immersive experience by sharing a folder with some fun virtual backgrounds that participants can use during the experience.. Having matching backgrounds can help set the mood while your team members craft cocktails. Perhaps a Tiki evening? Or maybe speakeasies are more your thing? It’s up to you.
You may also want to send the playlist a few days before the virtual happy hour. There are apps like Vertigo that let everyone listen to the same playlist simultaneously. Note that many of these services require your guests to have Spotify Premium.
5. Suggest Hor d’oeuvres
Whether hosting a dinner party or a virtual cocktail making class, every good party requires snacks. You could even coordinate with a local restaurant and create a unique tasting menu that you could organize to have delivered. Alternatively, your team members could order for themselves.
If your team is spread across more than one city, you could send them some delicious snack suggestions. They don’t have to be overly complicated; your team members can easily buy things like pigs in a blanket, a cheese spread, and cookies.
6. Plan entertainment for your virtual cocktail party
A great setup, food, drinks, and guest list are essential elements in throwing fantastic virtual cocktail parties. But no virtual event would be complete without entertainment. Don’t stress if there’s no international DJ on the team; you could host a virtual karaoke party using screen share and YouTube.
If that’s not your favorite virtual happy idea, consider trivia games or a how-to demonstration.
7. Organizing the essentials
Between curating the guest list, sending out invites, deciding on different cocktails, setting the theme, and organizing snacks, hosting a successful virtual cocktail party is hard work.
If you want to host a memorable virtual event but can’t find the time to plan everything, why not let YumTum handle the entire end-to-end experience for you?
YumTum’s Sip n Shake Cocktails experience is a guided virtual cocktail class. You’ll learn to craft fancy and delicious cocktails with perfectly portioned simple syrup, bitters, garnish, and spirits.
YumTum handles all the necessary elements. You get a complete virtual cocktail making class while YumTum deals with all the logistics. They send out the invites, supply a professional bartender, and send a cocktail kit containing everything your guests need to make killer cocktails.
8. Encourage interaction
Whether you’re throwing a virtual event or a real-life one, you need a plan. Having an idea for how you want your virtual party to go will ensure your guests remain entertained. It might be good to start with a few icebreakers.
Games like two truths and a lie or a ranking poll are good ways of getting the conversation started and can be effective at team building. Starting the conversation from the get-go encourages interaction, resulting in better conversations and a great virtual party.
9. Guide the conversation
Once everyone is more comfortable, the conversation should start flowing naturally. Like you would if you hosted an in-person cocktail party, you’ll need to float between your guests. As the host, it’s your responsibility to introduce everyone and encourage conversation should your virtual cocktail hour start slowing down.
10. Make a toast at your virtual cocktail party
A cocktail party wouldn’t be complete without a good toast. Find the right time during the party to call for a toast. Perhaps you think it’s best to toast at the start of the evening, or maybe it’s best left between entertainment.
Whatever you decide, make sure to thank your guests for participating. Recognize the uniqueness of your mixology party but stress how grateful you are that they made some time for your event. Keep it short and sincere.
An Easier Way To Host A Virtual Cocktail Party: YumTum
Although virtual cocktail parties may involve more planning, they can be just as fun as they are in person. Utilize these tips and tricks and you’ll be well on your way to creating a memorable night for your attendees.
If you’d like to minimize the hassle while still creating an outstanding cocktail making class for your team, consider booking YumTum’s Sip N Shake virtual cocktail masterclass. It’s a perfect team building exercise or an excuse to get together and enjoy a virtual cocktail hour.
YumTum will handle everything, from distributing the invites to sending everyone the right ingredients. They’ll even organize the right kind of snacks to pair with your cocktails!
This way, you and your team can just sit back and enjoy your drinks!