Mike Norbury didn’t know what to do with himself when the pandemic first hit. He started created video tutorials showing people how to create a cocktail a day and that helped “shape” his next project — Adopt a Bartender. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Victoria bartender mixes new program to keep cocktail culture alive

Adopt a Bartender pairs local talent with local distilleries to create cocktail kits

A Victoria mixologist is trying to “keep cocktail culture alive” during the pandemic with a program that allows local distilleries to adopt a bartender and customers to take home a cocktail kit.

When the pandemic first hit, Mike Norbury, who was working five days a week at Veneto Bar Ristorante and another day at Ene Raw Food and Sake Bar, says he didn’t know what to do with himself.

“I was just like I don’t want to forget how to make drinks, I don’t really know what to do with my time,” he says.

Norbury began creating videos and posting them on Instagram, called A Cocktail a Day, walking viewers through creation of a drink. The videos helped “shape” his next project — Adopt a Bartender.

View this post on Instagram

Ramos Gin Fizz and Sheringham/ Lumette Give Away

A post shared by Mike Norbury (@norbs414) on

“There’s a lot of moving parts when you have cocktails to-go, so it’s a lot more simplistic than maybe something you would get from behind the bar but nonetheless, a really good quality, creative cocktail,” he says.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Business return up to managers, customers, Dr. Henry says

Adopt a Bartender pairs a local bartender with a local distillery, who then create a drink. People are able to buy cocktail kits, which contain a 375-millilitre bottle of booze and a recipe card.

“The whole idea is you go to the Instagram account, there’s a video of the bartender at home and he’ll take you through a step-by-step tutorial of how to put this cocktail together that he’s created and he’ll talk about his inspiration a little bit as well,” says Norbury.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Here’s a phase-by-phase look at how B.C. hopes to re-open parts of society

He says the cocktail kits are a fun way of maintaining the restaurant atmosphere.

“The whole backbone behind what, I think at least, bartending is and cocktail culture is, isn’t necessarily the drinks,” he says. “But I’ve always found that people who will go out to these places and spend $14 to $17 on a drink sometimes — they were doing it more for the experience.”

Norbury hopes this new program will help bartenders and restaurants have a fighting chance when things begin to open again. And while he knows there are other cocktail kits out there, he notes there’s kind of a “cold feeling” that comes with them. Norbury hopes that with the fun tutorial videos, the bartenders will be able to emulate a bit of that bar experience that people love so much.

“Not only are we trying to teach people how to make these drinks, we’re trying to be very mindful that not everyone has a professional bar,” he says, adding that the videos will give people “pro-tips” to make the most of the items they have at home like using a protein shaker as a mixer or a chopstick to stir.

Adopt a Bartender features two or three different cocktails a week ranging from $35 to $45.

For more information about the program visit @adoptabartender on Instagram.

For more news from the Island and beyond delivered directly to your email inbox, click here.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusFood and Drink

 

Soren Schepkowski is one of the first bartenders to be ‘adopted.’ (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Soren Schepkowski, Clayton Thornber, Baz Voy and Mike Norbury are all taking part in the Adopt a Bartender program. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Just Posted

Cowichan RCMP remind public to leave dogs chilling at home on hot days

Dogsafe has designed a Dog in a Hot Car Responder Checklist

Tofino mayor urges “kindness” as tourism reopens

Citizens divided as the West Coast gets set to start welcoming visitors again

Island firefighters calm, then rescue mom and child trapped in elevator

Three-year-old girl given stuffed animal to calm nerves

Chemainus animal sanctuary needs your vote in nationwide contest

RASTA is up for $5,000 from Nutram; contest runs until May 31

Warning: cancelling bus service to the North Island will compromise public health

Mount Waddington Health Network says transportation primary factor for rural health access

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Pregnant B.C. woman catches COVID-19 days before giving birth

Michelle Hunter said it was like a horror movie when caught COVID-19

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

COVID-19: B.C. too dependent on foreign food production workers

New B.C. job site links unemployed with farm, seafood work

Tahsis opens its gates to visitors to save local economy

Seasonal local businesses that rely on tourism hope to survive despite drop in tourist numbers

Another Asian giant ‘murder hornet’ found in Lower Mainland

This is the farthest east the invasive species has been found so far

B.C. girl left temporarily paralyzed by tick bite sparks warning from family

Mom says parents need to check their kids when they go camping

Most Read