A lot of friends and family enjoy sharing drinks and good times together. Whether imbibing in a traditional happy hour or non-alcoholic mixed drinks, this is a favorite pastime that lets the good times roll.
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While in-person drinks at a family member’s home or a local bar is always a great way to enjoy some social company, this isn’t always possible. Distance gets in the way, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still send or share a drink together. Thanks to modern technology, it’s easier than ever to “send” a virtual drink or share one as a group no matter where you are in the world.
Follow this guide to get started. When you’re online, it really is always five o’clock somewhere!
How to Send Someone a Virtual Drink
If you’re not quite ready for a virtual happy hour as a group, you can still spread cheer by sending a virtual drink.
A virtual drink is usually a cute graphic with a favorite drink, like a martini or a chilled glass of beer. You could even take this up a notch by including a few extras to make this “virtual” drink a bit more special.
Step 1: Choose your virtual drink
First, you’ve got to choose which drink your recipient would appreciate the best. There’s no right or wrong answer! Since these are “virtual” drinks, you don’t even have to worry about whether they’re easy to get down or if they’ll leave you with a massive hangover the next day.
While you might want to choose someone’s favorite cocktail, here are our favorites and what they represent:
- Beer: This is a classic choice for a classic guy or gal! It’s the perfect way to unwind after a long day.
- Wine: Another classic, wine is a worldly drink for the ambitious.
- Whiskey: Fancy without going overboard, whiskey is the perfect drink for someone who likes everything in life “straight-up.”
- Martini: This is a drink for those who put their head before their heart!
- Champagne: If you’re ready to celebrate something, send a “glass” of bubbly.
- Margarita: Finally, for someone who’s in desperate need of a tropical getaway, it’s time for a virtual margarita.
Step 2: Use a virtual drink platform
Did you know some websites will send a virtual drink on your behalf? It’s true, and it proves that technology truly is changing the world.
While your recipient might not be able to take a sip (unless they already have a drink of their own), it’s sure to make someone’s day. Try these platforms to send a drink—minus the hangover:
- Rserving: This online bartender platform makes it simple to send digital drinks via email.
- DrinkMail: DrinkMail is the classy bartender everyone wishes they had in their own kitchen. Easily pick a drink and an occasion to share the fun.
- Instacart or Postmates: Finally, to send a gift card for a real drink, use a meal delivery platform like Instacart or Postmates.
Step 3: Add any extras
You don’t have to stop at sending a virtual drink. You can also share some extras to make it even more memorable. From sending your best wishes to including your favorite recipe for a homemade Gin and Tonic, this is a way to add more fun to your digital message.
While a virtual drink might not sound like much, you never know how you’ll impact someone’s day. Everyone wants to feel connected to those they love. Sending a virtual glass of wine or even a digital beer lets your friends and family know you’re thinking of them.
How to Plan a Virtual Happy Hour With Loved Ones
Virtual happy hours are quickly gaining in popularity. If your friends and family are separated by distance or any other constraints, don’t fret. You can meet virtually for a round of drinks.
This is great for reconnecting with someone, and it also makes the perfect weekly ritual. To make sure everything runs smoothly, follow these steps.
Step 1: Choose your guest list
The first step to hosting a virtual happy hour is to plan your guest list. As one of the best things to do when you’re stuck at home, don’t be afraid to really think this out. Knowing your guest list will impact the platform you choose, so make sure you know how many people will be attending as well as their equipment.
Avoid inviting too many people to your virtual happy hour. The sweet spot is between two and nine people.
More than that could lead to technical challenges, and it’s harder to keep a single conversation going. Once you have your guest list, gather everyone’s email and contact information.
Step 2: Choose your video chat platform
The best part about a virtual happy hour is being able to see everyone face-to-face, even if you’re not physically in the same location. You’ll need to choose a video chat platform that’s easy to use and that allows you to send invitations to everyone.
There are a lot of video chat platforms to choose from, but some of the best are:
- Zoom: With a free Zoom account, you can host meetings with 3+ people for up to 40 minutes. It’s also possible to schedule your “meetings” in advance and send virtual invites.
- Google Hangouts: Another option is Google Hangouts which requires users to have a Google account.
- Skype: Skype is similar to Zoom in that you can schedule a meeting and invite other users.
- Facebook: If you’re familiar with Facebook Messenger, this is also a tool for video chatting with friends and loved ones who have a Facebook account.
Step 3: Schedule your happy hour
Next, schedule your happy hour and send invites. Plan for an event that’s around an hour long. While you might go out for long hours when you’re hanging out in-person, this is a little less practical during a video chat when other household things get in the way.
Send your invites via text, email, or social media. Let people know to keep an eye out, and encourage them to respond with whether or not they’re coming.
Step 4: Ask people to bring a drink
Before the big event, be sure to ask your guests to bring a drink! There’s something communal and fun about gathering together to drink, even if it’s virtually. Plus, having something to drink from makes everything feel a bit more relaxed.
You can send out some favorite alcoholic or virgin drink ideas to get everyone started, or just keep it simple. Whether people show up with coffee or a beer, this is sure to be a fun time worth remembering.
Step 5: Plan the conversation
While it might sound weird to plan the conversation in advance, this helps avoid some of the awkwardness that happens at the start of some video calls. People tend to be shyer over video chat, especially if this is their first time joining a virtual gettogether.
As the host, prepare a few topics in advance. You might go around and ask everyone to share the highlight of their week, or you could talk about what they’re drinking. Most likely you’ll only need one or two conversation ideas to spark off the whole event. From there, let things flow naturally.
Step 6: Enjoy and repeat!
When the big event comes around, let yourself relax and enjoy the moment. A virtual happy hour is a great way to unwind and feel a bit of social connection. No matter where you are in the world, you can come together with the ones you love for a delicious drink. Better yet, there’s no tab to worry about at the end!
Once you’re done, see if anyone wants to schedule another happy hour. This might become your new weekly ritual, and maybe someone else can host the next week. Let the good times flow in!
Pass the Virtual Glass
Distance can’t get in the way of the bonds of friends and family. As long as you’re willing to get a bit creative (and you have a strong internet connection), you can “pass” the virtual glass by sending or sharing a drink. You don’t need to be a mixologist to get started, just try these easy steps above.
Have you ever met together with friends and family virtually? It’s a great way to grow closer together. It truly is a small world, and it’s getting smaller with every video chat—or drink!