Being a great bartender doesn't mean just pouring the right amount of booze and flavorings; it's also about fostering a fun environment where people can get together and hang out. How can bartenders keep the good times rolling when bars have been closed by a global pandemic? Rob Boyland, known as "Rob the Bartender," has a few ideas.

Rob Boyland

Boyland is a brand ambassador for Nautical gin, which is made in New Hampshire. Last week, he posted the first in a planned series of videos on how to craft the perfect cocktail. In the first clip, he explains how to put together a riff on the Seelbach cocktail, with gin replacing the traditional bourbon, and pointed out some common substitutions you can make if you're stuck at home and unable to get to the liquor store.

"It's really just to keep people connected and give them something to do in the house," Boyland says. "The connection is really the biggest motivator."

In addition to working for Nautical, Boyland also previously tended bar at Art Ovation Hotel, but was laid off because of the pandemic. He has represented Nautical for awhile, but this is his first foray into video production.

"It's a crash course for me," he says. He is in the middle of setting up a mini-studio to film more videos, and has begun to collaborate remotely with other bartenders to create new clips. Those videos will have themes like Prohibition or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Like many of us, he's trying to find his way in a strange new world. "I'm used to talking to a bar full of people," he says. "I'm not used to talking to a camera."

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