Moonpig virtual event: cocktail making and flower arranging

AD – press event – all views are my own

Moonpig are one of the most well-known personalised card and gift brands on the internet. I mean, can you even say Moonpig without singing ‘Moonpig dot com’ in your head? They have built up a catalogue of over 10,000 cards for you to send to your loved ones, as well as thoughtful gifts and flowers.

Last week, I joined Moonpig and a whole bunch of lovely bloggers for a virtual event. This was such a lovely thought, seeing as Moonpig’s ethos is about bringing people closer together – and not even lockdown can stop them.

Ahead of the event, I was sent a bouquet of Moonpig flowers to arrange at the event, a cocktail making kit from Mix and Twist, and a Just Eat voucher. On Thursday evening, I dolled myself up for the first time in eight weeks, and took over the dining table for three hours of Moonpig magic. I ordered pizza from my local takeaway before hopping on to the Zoom event to get stuck in.

Moonpig virtual event: The Moonpig App

App product manager Jasper walked us through all of the features on the Moonpig app. There are some super exciting features on the iOS app that make the user experience so much more personal.

  • You can save your friends’ birthdays and occasions to your calendar
  • The app can send reminders about upcoming events
  • You can use a virtual reality feature to see how big your card would be, which is super hand for the ‘giant’ cards
  • There is ‘message inspiration’ available when it comes to writing in your card
  • You can add handwritten messages
  • The app automatically saves any changes to cards so you never lose your creation

My favourite features on the app have to be the message inspa and handwriting options. The message inspiration is totally customisable, but are super handy if – like me – you’re not great at thinking of what to say in a card beyond ‘Happy Birthday, have a great day!’ There are different tones of messages, like funny, cute and sassy. You don’t have to use the messages in full, but can use them to create a card that says exactly what you want it to.

If you wanted to make the card feel even more personal, write your message on a blank piece of paper. You can upload this as an image and Moonpig will work their magic to make the background transparent and make it look like you’ve written directly into the card. I always sign my cards off from me and my dogs – Phoebe and Frank – with a little pawprint signature, so this is a really nice touch.

Moonpig virtual event: Cocktail making with Mix and Twist

I have always wanted a proper cocktail making kit, but it’s just something I’ve never come to accumulate until now! I’m always making cocktails with various gins, syrups and mixers I have in at home.

Mix and Twist dropped off a ginormous box of goodies on the doorstep which included:

  • A bag of ice
  • Three glasses (two high ball, one coupe)
  • A cocktail shaker
  • A bar spoon
  • A Mexican elbow
  • Straws
  • A jigger
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Strawberries
  • Mint
  • Cucumber
  • A bottle of Silent Pool gin (Moonpig sell this as part of their gifting range)
  • Funkin Cocktails sugar cane syrup
  • Mixers including Cranberry, Elderflower and Soda

James hosted our virtual masterclass whilst we followed along at home as he taught us how to make three delicious gin cocktails. One thing I learned is that cocktails have guidelines to follow – which is something I never knew before!

Cocktails should have four components to ensure they’re well balanced, which is something sweet, something sour, alcohol and a lengthener (mixer).

They should also be well iced, because the more ice, the colder the drink will be, so less ice will melt into the drink watering it down. Science, right?

Last but not least, they need to look pretty – now that, I can do.

The three cocktails we made were a Gin Garden, an Elderflower Collins and a Strawberry Gimlet.

First was the Gin Garden, into a highball glass went 25ml lime juice – freshly squeezed using the Mexican elbow. To that, we added 25lm of sugar cane syrup, before bruising some cucumber and mint into the mix. I added ice and 45ml gin and topped with soda. The challenge for this round was to make the best looking cocktail, so I used a potato peeler to cut a strip of cucumber to garnish my drink, adding mint and a straw – and I won the best looking drink!

Round two was the speed round – who could make the fastest Elderflower Collins. For this one we needed the shaker for 25ml lemon juice, sugar cane syrup, gin and ice. I shook it (like a polaroid picture) before pouring it into the highball glass alongside the Elderflower tonic and garnishing with lemon. I may not have been the fastest, but it tasted great!

Lastly we made the Strawberry Gimlet in the coupe glass. This was made with 25ml lime juice, syrup and fresh strawberries in the shaker. I muddled these using the end of the bar spoon before adding gin, cranberry juice and ice and giving it a good shake. I strained it into the glass and added a strawberry and mint sprig for garnish and felt like I was in a quirky cocktail bar in Manchester, not just my living room.

Moonpig virtual event: Flower arranging

After drinking our cocktails, we were joined by Roxanne from Moonpig. Roxanne showed us how to arrange their luxury roses and peony bouquet.

I love arranging flowers, and have done several workshops – I often arrange blooms at home too.

In this bouquet were mixed peonies, roses, trachulium and salal. I started by pruning the stems and cutting the ends to make my blooms last longer. One peony looked a little sad due to the extremely hot weather the day before, but it perked up after adding a little sugar to the water.

I added my salal to a large vase to create a base for my bouquet. Then I added my peonies in a spiral before placing roses and trachulium in the spaces. This is a really beautiful and full looking bouquet. I love how the peonies change so dramatically in size and colour in just a few days.

I had such an amazing time at the virtual event, and can’t wait to treat my loved ones to their gorgeous cards and gifts throughout the coming lockdown weeks.

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Staffordshire, UK

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