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

Mike Norbury’s Adopt a Bartender heading to Fresh Kenny’s in downtown Duncan this weekend

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. He’s bringing his talents to Fresh Kenny’s Fish and Chips in downtown Duncan this weekend.

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, who grew up in Duncan, 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

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

Land purchase brings early treaty benefit to Halalt First Nation

Ownership taken of Crofton Corners and Chemainus River Storage

RCMP remind drivers of school zone safety as classes resume

Keep your foot off the gas or police might get their hands… Continue reading

Centennial Hall upgrade, parking lot paving among postponed capital projects in Lake Cowichan

Council lowers tax increase for the year due to COVID-19 crisis

Mill Bay students petition for formal graduation

“We have a few realistic ideas in mind that could provide a safe and healthy grad celebration”

800 meals donated for Cowichan frontline workers

They were at Cowichan District Hospital on May 25 handing out prepared meals to grateful workers

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

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

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Stepdad able to walk bride down the aisle days before he passes away

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

Most Read