• Sipster Team

Mixologists Keep Happy Hour Alive During Quarantine

Let’s face it: at some point during this pandemic, we’ve all been pretty desperate for a cocktail. Unable to serve, bartenders have taken to the internet to express how much they miss not just their jobs, but also the familiar faces of their regulars. Mixologists from the country’s best bars are keeping the spirits of happy hour alive by giving us a peek at what they’re drinking while they shelter in place and sharing recipes so we can recreate craft cocktails at home.

In support of these creative drink slingers, we at SIP decided to round up the best-looking quarantine-inspired drink recipes we could find. Choose from 8 varieties of quarantine cocktails below, specially formulated for desperate times!

While you sip on your homemade concoction, find a way to support the men and women who would love to whip up something delicious for you, if only they could. Click over to our fundraiser for the Hospitality Industry Associates Fund and make a donation or do a quick search to see if there are relief efforts for service industry workers in your area.

  1. Castell NYC Compassion Cocktail

It’s definitely a shame that Castell Rooftop Lounge is sitting empty at the top of the AC Hotel New York Times Square. The granite bar sits on an open-air terrace lush with greenery next to a fireplace lounge full of abstract, with iconic views of the city all around.

But in New York City, the United States epicenter of the coronavirus, happy hour has been replaced with “clapping hour.” The daily ritual recognizes the healthcare workers putting their lives on the line to care for coronavirus patients. The staff at Castell came up with the Compassion Cocktail specifically for National Nurse’s Week.

Grab these 4 ingredients and watch the Facebook Live tutorial to make your own:

  • Blue Curaçao

  • Coconut Rum

  • Pineapple Juice

  • Lemon Juice

2. Pretty Dirty, LA Dive Bar Whiskey Sour

Tom and Liam, Owner and Bar Director at Pretty Dirty LA shared this simple sip specifically for the “average drinker” to make with ingredients they probably already have in their home bar, pointing out that “if ever there was a time for a quick, well balanced and boozy sour, it’s now.” No egg whites, no Tom Cruise Cocktail moves required. (But if you try to get fancy with it, we’d love to see the video.)

Here’s the recipe:

2oz bourbon (any will do buy 80-90 proof is preferred)

¾ lemon juice

¾ 1:1 simple syrup

Shake briefly with ice, strain and serve. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

3. Jelly-Jam Sour from The Sylvester, Miami

This recipe is great because you can use up any jelly or jam that’s been sitting in the fridge for who-knows-how-long. "This particular variant is made with apricot jam that pairs well with bourbon,” says The Sylvester’s bar director Ben Potts.

And you can actually tip your bartender: consider donating to The Sylvester's relief fund—or, if you live in Miami, grab a gift card for later. Watch @thesylvesterbar on Instagram and follow their #cocktailfromhome series for more great recipes.

Make the Jelly-Jam Sour:

1.5 oz bourbon

.75 oz lemon juice

.5 oz simple syrup

1 bar spoon apricot jam

Optional: egg white

Instructions: Shake together all ingredients, strain and garnish with a lemon peel.

4. Chef's Special Lemongrass G&T

Partner and beverage manager Chase Bracamontes isn’t giving away any secrets! Instead, she put a new twist on the Chef’s Special Cocktail Bar Lemongrass Gimlet and turned it into a ridiculously easy (but delicious) gin and tonic variation. Of course, if you don’t keep lemongrass syrup in the pantry, you’ll have to make it from scratch. This one deserves a chef’s KISS—Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Make it:



Dash of fresh lime

Dash of lemongrass syrup

To make lemongrass syrup:

1 C sugar

1 C water

2 stalks of lemongrass, chopped into 1-in pieces and pounded until the fibers break apart

Heat everything until sugar dissolves, let sit for 15 minutes and strain

5. Ambrosia

This one comes to us from Washington, D.C., our nation’s capitol and one place where people are definitely missing happy hour. “The Ambrosia cocktail is a sophisticated yet simple cocktail perfect for spritz lovers,” say Raquel Fowler and Corey Holland, lead bartenders at the Hamilton Hotel’s Via Sophia. “Don Ciccio Ambrosia Aperitivo gives the drink a hint of bitterness, while the prosecco lifts the cocktail and gives it a wonderful effervescence—perfectly refreshing in every way!”

Brew your own ambrosia:

1.5 oz. Don Ciccio Ambrosia Aperitivo

.05 oz. Averna

1 oz. Prosecco

Splash of soda water

Combine all ingredients and stir. Serve in a wine glass with ice and garnish with an orange slice.

7. Cardinale

NYC favorite Dante has been busy bottling their signature beverages for locals to order online. $1 from each bottled drink Dante sells benefits God’s Love We Deliver, a nonprofit that delivers food to those who are seriously ill and cannot cook for themselves. They also offer free food to go starting at 5 p.m. for anyone who needs it, especially those in the service industry.

Owner Linden Pride shared the recipe for the Cardinale, their drier version of the Negroni.

Make the Cardinale:

1 oz. Dorothy Parker gin

¾ oz. Contratto Bitter

¾ oz. La Quintinye dry vermouth

Method: Stir & strain on new ice

Glass: Etched Rocks

Garnish: Lemon twist (discard) and dehydrated lemon wheel

8. Stanley Tucci's Martini

We would be remiss if we didn’t include a recipe from amateur mixologist (and professional actor) Stanley Tucci, who has become the quarantini icon. Apparently he was already infamous for hosting a daily happy hour on the set of Captain America: The First Avenger from his portable bar.

He uses Ryan Reynolds’s Aviation brand gin, but whatever you have on hand will do. Watch the man work on Instagram, just don’t trust him with a negroni.

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