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  • asweetsavorylife


Updated: Aug 12, 2020

I’ve really been missing our friends these past few months. Here in California we went on Covid-19 lockdown in mid-March, and I’m not going to lie, it’s been a lifestyle adjustment. No more meeting up on Friday night for dinner at a favorite restaurant or hanging out with friends on Saturday nights; no Sunday morning hikes or picnics. No extended-family dinners or in-person book club meetings. (Ok, I get that these are small sacrifices, but even so…)

The Solution: A Virtual Cocktail Party or (VCP)

Thank goodness for Zoom, FaceTime and Houseparty. (I’m only half-joking when I say that the coronavirus was probably the best thing to ever happen to Zoom!)

My partner SLF is the ultimate social organizer. It wasn’t long before he had us scheduled for a VCP around 5 or 6pm every Friday and Saturday afternoon, five weeks out. He invited different couples to get their cocktails on and join us for an hour or so. We planned our drinks and appetizers ahead of time and dressed up (because, hey, it’s a social event and I’m tired of wearing workout pants!). Not only has it been fun catching up with local and distant friends, it’s also created some anticipation and structure to our week, so the days don’t just run together.

We have several cocktails in our VCP rotation, but the Aperol Spritz is one of our faves. Bright orange in color, with 11% alcohol, Aperol is made from oranges, rhubarb and herbs. It’s so refreshing when served on a hot summer day, especially when accompanied by a simple platter of sliced tomatoes, burrata cheese and basil, and drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. (Ciao, and Welcome to Italy!)

To make an Aperol Spritz

Start with a big, round wine glass and lots of ice. Fill the glass with about 4 ounces of Prosecco, add 2 ounces of Aperol, and top with a splash of unflavored sparkling water. Garnish with an orange slice in the glass.

Tips for Your VCP:

-Decide who’s going to initiate the call and which app you’ll use. Make sure everyone’s set up well before the day.

-Gather your cocktail and appetizer makings early, so your drinks and snacks are freshly made when you start your VCP;

-Make it something to look forward to—clean yourself up a bit, make a tasty cocktail and set up in a nice location.

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