If you've ever wanted to learn how to mix up tasty cocktails but never had the time, this pandemic is for you.
Alibi Room bartender Dan Cronin has been regularly posting videos to his Facebook page over the past few weeks, teaching the fine art of mixing spirits to whomever is willing to watch. He's cheekily titled the video series "Drinking at the End of the World."
"I’m posting a video every day across platforms as close to 6 p.m. as possible," Cronin (who uses the Facebook name Dan Draper) told Sudbury.com. "I’ve been in the food and beverage industry for about 15 years, all together, with about 12 or 13 of those spent behind a bar (it’s tough to keep track)."
He said he started doing the videos to provide folks (and maybe himself) with a bit of a distraction. With so many people self-isolating, social distancing, laid off or working from home, boredom is constant threat.
"I started doing these videos as a way to keep folks in the area thinking about innovative ways to keep themselves entertained during a long shut down," he said. "Hopefully, I can give them a few ideas on how to better their experiences at home, and keep the social benefits of a bar setting going, even if we cannot all be there together.
"Bars are about people, and experiences; they aren’t just brick and mortar dispensaries for alcohol. They are community, and socialization, and reinvention. I am focusing on the drinks and the stories on my own social media accounts."
Cronin said he doesn't have a favourite cocktail of his own — "My favourite cocktail changes depending on mood, season, and what I plan on doing that night" — but he rarely says no to a gin and tonic "or if I’m feeling classic, a Savoy Tango, which is equal parts Apple brandy and sloe gin."
He hasn't written a specific drink recipe for a COVID-19-themed cocktail, but in the same cheeky fashion that he titled his video series, he did come up with a cocktail using medieval recipe based on a supposed remedy for the Black Death, a cocktail he calls the Four Thieves Vinegar (check out the video below).
Naturally, this is for entertainment purposes only and should not be taken with the belief the cocktail can protect you from COVID-19.
"I haven’t written a drink specifically for COVID-19, but I have been helping a lot of folks make their own signature cocktails based on the contents of their liquor cabinet and pantry," Cronin said.
Learn to make the Four Thieves Vinegar below:
As for how he's coping with social distancing and, given his occupation, a lack of socializing, Cronin said he's fine, but he does worry about those business owners whose shops have had to close.
"I’m coping about as well as anyone can when faced with a government shut down of their industry," he said. "I’m afraid for all the local small business owners and their staff. I’m concerned about the small army of people who lived check to check and tip out to tip out who suddenly have nothing.
"And, honestly, I am afraid that folks aren’t taking this seriously enough. The sooner everyone follows the best practices set out by the CDC and WHO, the sooner we will all get back to work."
If you like what Cronin's doing and want to help support his efforts, you can send him gratuities through PayPal at paypal.me/getpucked.