How To Make Virtual Experiences More Realistic With Cocktails

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14th March 2024
This post was written in collaboration with BazoomMedia

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These days, many of our social interactions and experiences take place online. While virtual hangouts and events can be convenient, they often lack the tangible sensations that make in-person gatherings special. Serving cocktails is an easy way to enhance virtual experiences by engaging more of the senses. The act of sipping a delicious drink can make online interactions feel more real and help people forge meaningful connections, even from afar.

In recent years, companies have begun experimenting with ways to incorporate cocktails into virtual events. Some restaurants have rolled out immersive "vocktails" that use lights, aromas, and electrical stimulation to alter the flavor profile of drinks. Brands like Patrón and Dos Equis have created VR experiences where people can tour facilities and sip branded beverages. Now, everyday folks are finding creative ways to toast together through computer screens for everything from virtual happy hours to online game nights.

Adding cocktails to your next online gathering can transform it from yet another Zoom call into a lively social occasion. Here are some tips for using cocktails to craft a more realistic virtual experience.

Crafting Cocktails for Online Casino Nights

Hosting an online casino night with friends is a way for people to get quality time. However, staring at cards on a screen may feel different compared to sitting around a table together. Serving festive drinks can make the event more lively and social.

Online casino players already experience immersive gameplay on different gaming platforms but they can also share virtual party packs containing cocktail ingredients, game props, and instructions for making themed drinks. For instance, a Las Vegas-themed night could include tiny bottles of gin and vermouth to shake up martinis.

Having everyone sip the same cocktail creates a shared experience and conversational icebreaker. Provide recipes for simple, classic drinks that guests can whip up easily. Assigning bartending duties to different people also gives everyone a role to play.

Enhancing Social Connections Virtually with Cocktails

Virtual meetings and parties often lack genuine social connection. However, using cocktails to facilitate social bonding during virtual gatherings makes them feel warmer.

Happy hours, dinner parties, and celebrations just aren't the same without raising glasses together. One way to foster connectedness is having a virtual toast. As the host, kick off the event by holding up your drink to the camera and offering kind words, well wishes, or a toast to absent friends. Clinking glasses and drinking together generates a sense of togetherness even when physically apart.

Another idea is sending guests a special bottle so you're all sipping the same spirit. Coordinate by enjoying a glass of wine, beer, or cocktail over dinner or throughout the evening. Openly discussing the drink's aromas and flavors gives people an experiential touchpoint to bond over.

Setting the Mood for a Virtual Experience with Cocktails

What you sip can help create an immersive ambiance for all sorts of online gatherings. Serving drinks suited to the occasion makes it more atmospheric and memorable.

For festive occasions like birthdays or New Year's Eve, bubbly cocktails set a celebratory tone. You can craft a French 75 with gin, Champagne, lemon juice, and simple syrup. The pop of fizzy drinks adds excitement.

Pardon the interruption

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For more serious events like work meetings or lectures, you can serve classy whiskey highballs. The mellow, sophisticated drink promotes focus. Or make cafe corretto by adding a splash of brandy or sambuca to coffee. The touch of liquor helps ground discussions.

For laid-back game or movie nights, go tropical. Blend up pina coladas or mai tais and garnish with umbrellas and pineapple wedges, then chat about the flavors as you sip. The island vibe gets people relaxed and chatting.

Personalizing the Virtual Experience with Cocktails

One way to make virtual encounters feel special is by having guests customize their drinks to their tastes. Everybody in the virtual meeting can get mini bottles of liquors, wines, mixers, and garnishes they can blend into personalized drinks.

One idea is to get a martini bar kit with bottles of gin, vermouth, bitters, and condiments like olives, lemon twists, cocktail onions, etc. Guests can craft a martini that suits them and then explain what they created and why. It's an interactive way to share your tastes and backstory.

For wine nights, get mini bottles of reds, whites, and sparkling along with tasting notes. Everyone can sample different options, chat about their favorites, and pair wines with the food they've cooked at home. Comparing notes makes the event interactive.

 

While virtual interactions have benefits like saving time and travel costs, they often lack the sensory stimulation that makes in-person gatherings impactful. Thoughtfully incorporating cocktails into online get-togethers makes them more dynamic and social. Serving drinks suited to the occasion sets the mood. Custom cocktails let people inject individual flair.

Most importantly, raising a glass together forges real connections, even from remote locations. With some creativity and planning, garnishing your next virtual hangout with libations can make it feel almost as good as the real thing.

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Bartender's top tip

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