It’s 5 o’clock in Hampden: Retired firefighter gives cocktail lessons on Facebook

HAMPDEN, MASS. (WHDH) - A retired firefighter turned bartender is unable to ply his trade during the coronavirus pandemic, so he’s taken to Facebook to teach viewers how to make a new drink every day.

Brian Fitzgerald, a former Springfield firefighter, was working as a bartender at La Cucina in Hampden when the coronavirus stopped him from serving up drinks. But he’s still crafting cocktails on his “Brian the Bartender” Facebook group.

“When COVID-19 hit and La Cucina got shut down I decided to expand my horizons try to make some new drinks that I either hadn’t had before or I was interested in,” Fitzgerald said.

And the page has taken off — the group started less than a month ago and now has 1,500 members worldwide, waiting for Fitzgerald to drop a new drink every day at 5 p.m.

“We’ve had a request from Indonesia, California, Florida, people from all over,” Fitzgerald said. “I don’t even know how they’re seeing the page honestly and it’s kind of overwhelming, it really is, but it’s fun at the same time.”

When 7News asked Fitzgerald to make a drink, he responded with a bourbon smash featuring raspberries and blackberries. For the recipe, check out his Facebook page.

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