Danni Sullivan asks the medical staff after the ICU is locked down during the suspected outbreak of SARS virus. Actor Tara Reid who played the role in the 2005 episode of Scrubs titled 'My Quarantine' hardly knew what she just said would become a sensation all over the world, fifteen years later.
A 'quarantini,' post March 2020, is neither a particular drink nor a special cocktail.
Every cocktail begins with a base spirit, you have heard. What is the essence behind Quarantinis'? Well, this is a welcome surprise. You can make it with vodka or gin or whiskey or rum or whatever. There is no rule.
The ritual is simple: the drinker should be locked up in his home, (thanks to some outrageous epidemic, not to mention pandemic, raging outside all over the world). A fighter he is, the man would not lose his spirits, virtually, literally. Instead, he would gather odd things from his kitchen, throw them together into a spirit he has managed to procure before the beverage shops finally pulled down its shutters, after a fashion he has just come up with using his imagination.
Hold on! The man doesn't knock it back straight. He must follow one more ritual. He takes a selfie holding the concoction, posts it in social media, and then settles down in his cozy chair to sip it slowly. All alone. Remebering fondly about those good old times he spent in a bar with his friends. Will those days come again, he asks himself, turning around the glass in hand. Elsewhere, he knows, holed up in other homes, his friends will also be going through the same solo practice.
This is quarantini in 2020.
Instagram is inundated with quarantini posts. You must respond to "What is your quarantini today?" almost every day. Even from total strangers who also go through the same mess COVID-19 has thrown them into.
Take away its sheen by calling it 'virtual,' the society evolving in social media is so generous sharing ideas for the less imaginative ones. Quarantini is the password.
Quarantinis do not lift lockdown restrictions a bit, but many fans find relief in the ritual, where they think, they are in it together, by sharing recipes and live videos of mixing the ingredients and building up that final drink.
And since the drink-making is not lorded over by any stylebook, sky is the limit for creativity.
In the US even professional bartenders have begun to make quarantinis at their homes, inspiring thousands who follow them on twitter and instagram.
People raise a toast to the good times that they think will return soon.
(Manu Remakant is a freelance writer who also runs a video blog - A Cup of Kavitha - introducing world poetry to Malayalees. Views expressed here are personal)