Gray Whale Gin founders Marsh and Jan Mokhtari know that service professionals are in a tight bind now during the novel coronavirus outbreak and with the closure of bars and restaurants around the country.

So to help, they are searching for bartenders for its newly launched virtual bar.

In the first 24 hours of posting “Bartenders Needed!” on social media on April 1, the couple received nearly 200 cocktail submissions at a chance to earn $350 to tape one virtual shift. The show airs live Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning at 5 p.m. PST, at @GrayWhaleGin.

The first virtual bar aired on April 2 and featured Mink Dang and his drink, the Archangel Cocktail. 

“We've all got bills to pay and rent and mortgage and god knows what else and, and suddenly to have it cut off is debilitating,” Marsh said. “We wanted to basically get them back to doing what they loved and what they're great at. Plus it's just vitally important to get cash into their pockets right now.”

To apply for the shift, the bartender must create an original cocktail with Gray Whale Gin, a Manhattan Beach-based company, and submit it to The video not only highlights the creative cocktails, but the bartenders as well.

“We want to really play them up and their personalities, their expertise and get people out there to know them and they can gain their followers,” Jan said.

The video will feature a portrait of the bartender and how they created the cocktail at their own home bar. After their shifts ends, there will be a virtual happy hour where Marsh interviews the bartenders “delving into them individually as a bartender… what drives them, what they get inspired by and what they love about their jobs.”

The virtual show is expected to last 15 weeks and will air Tuesdays and Thursdays with different bartenders.

“We're now kind of diligently sifting through (applicants)… Which ones are unique? Which ones are interesting and which ones really accentuate Gray Whale Gin,” Marsh said.

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