Forty years ago last weekend Jon’s parents got married in Saratoga, New York. It’s a huge milestone and one his family wanted to celebrate in a meaningful way. The longstanding plan had been to fly out to Oregon and spend several days bouncing between wineries, but with the pandemic still raging, we decided to postpone.
After batting around several ideas, we landed on something rather unique. We found a bartender based in Bath, England, who hosts online gin cocktail-making classes. Tickets are offered for individuals (meaning others from around the world will also be in the class) and private groups (meaning the class is limited to those in your party). Over the course of an hour and a half, the mixologist Samuel taught us how to make three gin-based cocktails, and in between, he entertained us with lively stories about the origins of each cocktail and the history of gin. While educational, the class is meant to be lighthearted and fun. Indeed, Samuel kicked things off by asking everyone to share their favorite drunk story and managed to slip in a penis joke at one point while peeling a cucumber.
While Jon’s parents knew they were taking the class, what they didn’t know was that all of their siblings, close friends, and even Jon’s 90-year-old grandmother would be there to surprise them. It ended up being a lot of fun and a great way to bring everyone together from the quarantined safety of their own homes.
Samuel’s “GINspiration History & Cocktails at Home” class is just one of many online experiences currently being offered by Airbnb. Repurposing in-person travel experiences as virtual ones has been a smart move for the company, not to mention the critical income it provides to the proprietors. Along with the gin class, we also took “Sangria and Secrets with Drag Queens,” which is hosted by a mix of seven drag queens in Portugal who teach participants how to make homemade sangria. The hosts are funny, interactive, and do several performances throughout the class. And according to Forbes, these ladies are killing it, bringing in more than $130,000 in monthly income.
If you’re looking for a new way to connect with scattered friends and family who are safely sequestered at home, meeting up for virtual cocktail-making class is a fun way to do it.