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)

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 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)

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

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

The Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre will once again be transformed into temporary sheltering for 45 individuals starting in March. (Courtesy of the B.C. Government)
Temporary shelter to resume at Victoria Save-On-Foods arena in March

BC Housing signed lease with GSL Group from Feb. 1 to May 30

Leila Bui with her parents Tuan (left) and Kairry Nguyen on Jan. 27, 2020 after Tenessa Nikirk was found guilty for striking Bui in a Saanich crosswalk. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Driver convicted of dangerous driving after hitting Leila Bui out on bail

Tennesa Nikirk was convicted for striking then 11-year-old Leila Bui with her car

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed as Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Victoria police are seeking a young woman suspected of spitting on a bus driver in October 2020. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
VIDEO: Young woman sought after ‘spitting assault’ on Victoria bus driver

Suspect became irate after bus came to a sudden stop

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 26

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(B.C. government photo)
POLL: Would you like to see restrictions on travel to B.C. from other provinces?

With a host of more virulent strains of COVID-19 appearing across the… Continue reading

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.
B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

Most Read