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6 Cocktails For Your Next Zoom Happy Hour

May 29, 2019

Life has changed drastically since lockdown began and with bars and pubs shut, many of us are turning to video chats to have a drink with friends. I don't know about you, but these weekly virtual cocktail meet-ups have become an essential way to unwind during lockdown, especially when I'm all Netflixed out. Whether you use this time to improve on your cocktail mixing skills or are simply looking to make do with what's in your pantry, these drinks will hit the spot during your next Zoom happy hour sesh.

Improved Vodka Tonic

Vodka tonics are popular for a reason but can be a bit boring. The solution? Add some bubbly! Sparkling wine improves pretty much anything. Opt for an inexpensive bottle and mix it with Fevertree's Mediterranean tonic water and a generous helping of vodka for a delicious spin on a thirst-quenching classic.

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 2 oz brut sparkling wine
  • Fevertree Mediterranean tonic water
  • 1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Lemon peel to garnish

Fill a Collins glass with ice. Pour in the vodka, sparkling wine, and lemon juice. Top up with tonic water and stir gently. Garnish with a lemon peel.

Marmalade Martini

Time to raid your pantry and shake up a Marmalade Martini. Use a dollop of orange marmalade or your preferred fruit jam (berry jams make a delightful choice but just about anything works) in this not too sweet, not too tart tipple. For the bitters, opt for something that'll complement your jam, whether it be orange, lemon, cherry, or any of the myriad variations you can order online.

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp marmalade or jam of choice
  • 1 bar spoon Cointreau
  • Dash of bitters
  • Citrus peel to garnish

Add all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well, strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange or lemon peel.

Maple Mint Julep

Speaking of pantry staples, why not put that bottle of maple syrup to work with a maple mint julep? Bourbon and maple syrup are made for each other and this cocktail manages to be ultra-refreshing with just the right amount of sweetness. Perfect for now or when the Kentucky Derby rolls around this September.

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 ½ oz maple syrup
  • 8 mint leaves
  • Club soda

Muddle the mint leaves in an old-fashioned glass. Add the maple syrup and bourbon, followed by crushed ice. Give it a quick stir then top up with soda water. Pop a mint leaf over the ice as a finishing touch.


Outrageously refreshing and just a little bit spicy, the Michelada conjures up memories of boozy brunches and balmy afternoons. If you can't get enough spice, it's easy to ramp up the heat to palate-pleasing perfection. As for the beer component, your best bet is a Mexican pilsner but other light, crisp lagers would work too.

Serves 2

  • 12 oz Lager
  • 8 oz tomato juice
  • 4 dash of hot sauce (use less or more, depending on your tastes)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 dashes of soy sauce
  • 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce

For the rim:

  • Salt
  • ½ to 1 tsp chili powder
  • Lime wedge

Combine the salt and chili powder on a small plate. Run the lime wedge around the rim of your glass, then dip it in the chili-salt mixture. Add ice to the glass, then pour in the remaining ingredients. Stir well and garnish with a lime.


Odds are none of us will be traveling anytime soon. But you can bring the tropics to your living room with the Painkiller. This tiki classic is rather like a Pina Colada but with a subtle hint of spice thanks to the nutmeg. Tracking down cream of coconut can be tricky at the best of times, but you can use coconut cream (not the same thing) and mix in some simple syrup at a 1:1 ratio.

  • 2 oz dark or navy rum
  • 4 oz pineapple juice
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1 oz cream of coconut
  • Grated nutmeg and fresh pineapple wedge to garnish

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker packed with ice. Shake vigorously, then strain into a glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish, take a sip, and imagine you're on a beach somewhere warm.

An Extra, Extra Dry Martini

You've undoubtedly seen the Quarantini trending across social and news media. If your drinks cabinet is looking bare or you don't feel like mixing up something elaborate, there's nothing quite like a dry martini. A classic martini features one part dry vermouth, but for this version we'll opt for a vermouth rinse. Don't have any vermouth? Then be like Noël Coward and fill your glass with gin and “wave it in the general direction of Italy.”

You can use gin or vodka here – whatever you fancy and serve it well-chilled. Heads up, this drink is strong, so limit yourself to one or two tops.

  • 4 parts gin or vodka
  • Splash of vermouth

Add ice to a cocktail glass. Pour the splash of vermouth over the ice. Fill a mixing glass with ice, then add your spirit of choice. Stir it gently until it's chilled. Discard the ice and vermouth from your cocktail glass, strain in your vodka or gin, and enjoy.


Written by Camille Berry for Knockaround.

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