Category Archives: Charity

The Ultimate Cocktail Experience Returns for a Bigger 2017

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again … the only thing better than drinking is drinking for a good cause.

And that’s why I’ve enjoyed The Ultimate Cocktail Experience (the event formerly known as Trigger’s Toys). The event has, for five years already, brought the bar industry together for one spectacular event featuring pop-up bars, entertainment, and a hell of a lot of fun for a really incredible cause.

The general idea is that, one bar is great, but six make for a real party. So, each year, a theme is selected for the event, then captains conceptualize pop-up bars with their teams under the year’s theme. This year’s captains, cocktails, and bar themes are:
– Mexico City: Brad Hensarling & Megan McClinton, The Usual (Margarita)
– London: Omar Yeefoon, Shoals (Gin and Tonic)
– New Orleans: Keisha Cooper, Shoals (Sazerac)
– Hong Kong: Robbie Call, frmly of Filament (Rob Roy)
– Casablanca: Andrew Stofko, Hot Joy (Mule)
– Havana: Ravinder Singh, Rapscallion (Daiquiri)
(Each pop-up will also be accompanied by a food truck.)

In past years, the event has featured bar and hospitality talent from some of the best venues right here in Dallas. This year, the event has beaconed talent from across the country—and from as far off as Australia—to participate. Making the trip to support the cause will be Ash Hauserman of Blacktail in New York (Best New American Cocktail Bar*), Iain Griffiths from London’s Dandelyan (Best International Hotel Bar and Best Cocktail Bar in the World*), Ezra Star from award-winning Drink (Boston), and Mitch Bushell formerly of Melbourne’s internationally renowned Black Pearl.

Trigger’s Toys, the charity to benefit from the event, is a Dallas darling. “The organization is dedicated to reducing the financial and emotional stress placed on chronically ill children and their families by providing financial assistance and supplemental therapy to those in need.” Last year’s event raised more than $200,000, and their goal is to surpass that in 2017.

Bryan Townsend of The 86 Co., founder of the event

THE ULTIMATE COCKTAIL EXPERIENCE
ultimatecocktailexperience.com
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September 30, 2017, 6:30pm
Klyde Warren Park (Dallas, Texas)
21+ only

PURCHASE TICKETS

General Admission – $65
Event entry (6:30pm)
Champagne upon entrance (while it lasts)
Passport to all (6) bar concepts with cocktails
One food truck item

VIP – $125 (Limited Quantity Available)
Early entrance (6:00pm)
Champange upon entrance
(3) Vegas Area Tokens – $60 value
Complimentary Valet Parking – $20 value
Passport to all (6) Bar Concepts with cocktails
One Food Truck Item

Trigger’s Toys | Ultimate Cocktail Experience 2016 from Beyond on Vimeo.

*Named at the 2017 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards

VINO-Palooza

Vino Palooza is a traveling wine and music festival that recently made a stop in both Fort Worth and Dallas this year. The Dallas event was held at Happiest Hour and featured wines from more than 20 different wineries as well as some beers and ciders.

J-Si Chavez from The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show hosted and several “Top 40” artists performed including Ryan Cabrera, Nash Overstreet of Hot Chelle Rae, and Ryan Key of Yellowcard, all in the name of helping local non-profit organizations. Snacks were provided, but the full Happiest Hour menu was available for those looking for substance.

The day couldn’t have been more pleasant at 75-ish degrees and sunny–everyone clearly enjoyed the wine, the music, and the atmosphere. This event is a must if you can grab a hold of tickets before they sell out!

 

VINO-Palooza
vino-palooza.com
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“Bartend” at Pat’s & Mike’s and Help Raise Money for Charity

Think you can bartend? Interested in raising money for charity? Well … you can raise money for a charity of YOUR choosing by simply having drinks with friends. Yup, you have the chance to drink for a good cause … Habitat for Humanity, Wounded Warrior and Scottish Rite are just a few of the organizations who have already benefitted.

Some background…

The guys who were now serving up burgers, fries and one hell of a margarita, long before many others in Dallas, Pat and Mike Snuffer (yes, of Snuffer’s*), opened a burger joint with their cousin, Steve Cole, in North Dallas in November 2014.  Now, if you have ever met these guys, then you already know how genuinely nice and caring they are, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that they have a way to give back to the community that also helps spread the word about their new place, Pat’s and Mike’s.  (Hold tight … I’ll have a full review on the new eatery for you shortly.)

So here is how it works…

Every Tuesday night from 4 pm to 7 pm, Pat’s and Mike’s welcomes a “Guest Bartender(s)” to mix it up and support a charity of their choosing.  For obvious legal and liability reasons (not to mention cost), “Guest Bartenders” won’t be pulling a Tom Cruise in “Cocktail” and mix up drinks and serving up shots.   “Guest Bartenders” will help pour some beers and assist in the bar area in other ways – meaning no special experience behind a bar or in a restaurant required.

You raise money by inviting friends, family, coworkers … heck, anyone you know to come have a drink while you “bartend”.  Hopefully, your stellar service will encourage tips from your group and 100% of the tips “Guest Bartenders” earn go directly to the charity they selected.  Seriously, take a look at what a few “Guest Bartenders” have easily raised for their charities over 3 hours on a Tuesday.

  • Habitat for Humanity – $1,600
  • Scottish Rite Hospital – $2,000
  • Wounded Warrior – $1,000
  • LPC Charity – $2,000

Whether you are looking for a new way to help raise funds for an charitable organization or just want your drinking to benefit one, check out Pat’s & Mike’s “Guest  Bartenders” on Tuesdays.  Give them a call to book your Tuesday and have some fun!


PAT & MIKE’S
www.patsandmikes.com
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18101 Preston Road, Suite 240C, Dallas, TX 75252
(469) 941-4489

*The original Snuffer’s is no longer owned by them … just FYI!

My Fit Foods “Pays Fit Forward”

I love being a contributor for Susie Drinks Dallas … it affords me some amazing opportunities to try the most incredible variety (and quantity … ) of  some of the most delightful food and drink D/FW has to offer … and on a pretty frequent basis. In addition to an untold number of delicious things I eat and drink on my own time, outside of the realm of the blogosphere. I think what I’m trying to say is, I end up indulging perhaps a tiny bit more than I ideally should (especially since I am getting married in three weeks and training for a marathon, but that’s neither here nor there). So, when I received an invitation to attend an evening of healthy food and fitness in support of My Fit Foods’ “Pay Fit Forward” campaign, I decided that was probably something I needed to take advantage of.

Bless you, My Fit Foods.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, My Fit Foods is a healthy kitchen concept with 9 stores in the Dallas area. They offer a variety of pre-made meals made with fresh, healthy ingredients, with options that are designed to fit any diet or lifestyle. They offer a number of meal plans, featuring a multitude of choices for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

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In honor of North Texas Giving Day, My Fit Foods is “Paying Fit Forward” on Fridays during the month of September. When you purchase a meal on PayFitForward Fridays, you will receive an additional meal for free, which you can elect to give to a friend, or donate to a local food bank. So, while you’re doing something good for yourself, you can share your healthy choice with a friend- or, with a stranger- for free!

In the spirit of sharing healthy habits with a buddy, My Fit Foods hosted a fun partners circuit workout at the store, led by Lea Genders of Running With Ollie. After we worked up a sweat (and an appetite) we were treated to a tasty and healthy meal of our choice from the My Fit Foods kitchen. I chose the “Beef it Up” meal, which consisted of a natural beef tenderloin, accompanied by cauliflower mash and fresh green beans. It was seriously hard to believe this meal, which was plenty filling, contained only 270 calories.

Be sure to PayFitForward on 9/25; if you haven’t checked out My Fit Foods yet, this is a great opportunity for you and a friend to give it a try!

MY FIT FOODS
www.myfitfoods.com
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Various locations

Event Recap: Herradura Tequila Dinner at Mesero

The best place to be on July 23rd, the day before National Tequila Day, was in the upstairs private room at Mesero by Mico Rodriguez, located on Henderson Avenue. Guests at this private event donated $1,000 per couple to the Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities to attend.

The night started with the Russ Hewitt Trio playing music while Tequila Herradura cocktails and brisket nachos, chicken flautas, and shrimp ceviche were passed to the hungry attendees.

Once the guests were called to be seated, Emmitt Smith was introduced to welcome everyone and speak briefly about his wife’s and his charity and what the evening had in store.

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“Thank you guys for supporting Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities,” Smith said, addressing the intimate crowd before the dinner got underway. “The work that we do couldn’t get done without the help and support of people like yourselves. Tonight is an opportunity for everyone here to get to understand and learn about the Herradura culture.”

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Smith continued to explain his experience traveling to Guadalajara and learn the entire process of how Herradura makes the tequila, and how “it is one the cleanest tequilas out there, and that makes the taste itself very pure.”

 

After the introduction, guests were guided through the dinner and tastings by global brand ambassador for Tequila Herradura, Ruben Aceves.

 

He began the dinner explaining the concept of a tequila dinner. “We are going to have dinner like we do in Mexico–where we drink tequila before dinner, with dinner and after dinner with desert.”

Before the salad course, Jose Cortes, a third-generation Jimador demonstrated the harvest of an agave plant while Aceves explained the process.

Each course consisted of a tequila margarita pairing that included Herradura Tequila–Silver, Reposado, Ultra or Selección Suprema.

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As each tequila was presented with its course and Aceves described their qualities and how each was made.

The Cazera Salad was served with the Meserita cocktail, made with Herradura Silver, Cointreau and citrus.

The second course sampled a cheese tomatillo enchilada, pollo brasa with chipotle cheddar grits and the Mico “12” a la Mexicana. The La Dona cocktail (Herredura Reposado, Cointreau and citrus) complemented this course.

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The Pastel Cinco Leches was the final delicacy of the evening. It was paired with the El Santo (frozen Micorita made with Herradura Silver, house Sangria and Herradura Ultra). Herradura Ultra is the most recent addition to the Tequila Herradura family. It is an traditional Añejo tequila blended with premium Añejo tequila that creates a very smooth, subtly sweet tequila.

To cap off the evening, guests sampled the Extra Añejo, Selleción Suprema de Herradura, which is Tequila Herredura’s highest quality tequila.

This event raised $25,000 for the Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities, which provide educational opportunities and experiences to underserved children.  If you’d like to donate or learn more, visit www.emmittsmith.com.

If you want to sample these cocktails yourself, you can visit Mesero and experience your own tequila dinner!

Alcohol That Gives Back

If you’re on my site, chances are that you enjoy your spirits.  (Duh.)  Why not do good WHILE enjoying your spirits?  The companies below let you by giving back.  Now that’s something I can really sink my straw into.

LIQUORS

RED RIVER WHISKEY | RRW gives back to wildlife conservation and has neat drawings on the bottles.  Oh, and it’s a local business and delicious. Win-win-win.
Check out William‘s review here: Red River Whiskey Review red river whiskey

SNOW LEOPARD VODKA | “a unique new vodka made from the distinctive spelt grain and distilled six times in small batches using natural spring water and was born out of the desire to save the Snow Leopards from extinction, so 15% of the proceeds 
is donated directly to Snow Leopard conservation projects.”

WESTERN SON VODKA | a sister brand of Red River Whiskey, WS donates a portion of proceeds to the Peter Burks Unsung Hero Fund.

VeeV | while you’re “cheating on your vodka” with VeeV, you’re drinking one of the most eco-friendly liquors on the market.  Along with that, they have donated $200,000 to green-minded non-profits and planted more than 40,000 trees (1 cocktail = 1 tree planted).

JIM BEAM | “Jim Beam has partnered with Operation Homefront to provide emergency assistance to the U.S. military, the families thy leave behind, and wounded warriors when they return home. This marks the sixth year that Jim Beam has donated to the organization, resulting in over $900,000 in donations.”

VIVA Tequila | “10% of net proceeds donated to animal abuse prevention. VIVA XXXII supports organization like SPCALA, ASPCA, and START,regularly donating to animal welfare charities that make a difference.”

WINES

ONE HOPE WINE | produced in partnership with Rob Mondavi, Jr., HALF of their profits are donated to their partner causes – each varietal supports a different cause.

BAREFOOT WINE | one of the causes they support is Soles4Souls, a not-for-profit organization that gives shoes to those in need.  So far, they’d donated millions of pairs of shoes!

AFRICAN PASSION | “For every bottle of African Passion Wine, 10% of the profits will go to support TransAfrica Forum, an organisation dedicated to the human rights and social justice advocacy of the African world.”

FLIPFLOP WINES | the apparent fun-loving brand donates to charity on a regular basis thanks to feedback from its fans.  Case in point: they announced on 9/15/14 that they’d be donating $100,000 to four charities picked by their fans.

BEERS

FINNEGANS | “100% of profits go to the Finnegans Community Fun to be used for good.” (Available in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota)

BOULEVARD BREWING COMPANY | BBC donates to 12 worthy organizations each year, 3 per quarter.

TAKE IT A STEP FURTHER …

2014-09-25_10-02-36NAPA WINE CHILLER | this lightweight stainless steel ball (dubbed “balls of steel” by the company) can chill your wine or spirits without diluting it … and it donates 15% of proceeds to MD Anderson’s Cancer Center in Houston.
$29.95/ball, available at www.originalbos.com.

UNION GROWLER CO.This local growler supplier claims that they “don’t pay [themselves] a dime; rather, [they] donate 100% of profits to organizations striving to make our world a better place.”

CAUSE | this “philanthropub” in DC donates profits (up to $100,000) to charitable organizations.  They choose a different organization each quarter.  More information.
If you know of another company along these lines that donate to charity, please let me know and I’ll add them to the list!