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 launches May 15, with two or three different cocktails a week ranging from $35 to $45.

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



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

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

CoronavirusFood and Drink

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Victoria’s 75,000 veggie plants ready to find a home

New gardeners line-up for Get Growing Victoria

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

No one injured in suspicious Victoria boat fire, say investigators

Victoria police and fire personnel called to blaze on waters near Selkirk Trestle May 22

Suspected thief drops backpack of stolen goods and runs

Oak Bay Police use K9 for suspicious male

VIDEO: Saanich police tackle man who refused to move off Trans-Canada Highway

At this point, it is unclear why the man refused to move

Dump truck in Nanaimo snags power lines, snaps hydro pole, crashes

No injuries in incident Monday morning on Old Victoria Road

Ferry sailings scheduled once again at Nanaimo’s Departure Bay terminal

BC Ferries announces that resumption of service June 3 includes four daily round trips

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Island Health signs working agreement to turn former Comox hospital into a ‘dementia village’

Island Health has signed a project development agreement with Providence Living to… Continue reading

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

Most Read