Imagine working a day at the office, then donating the full day's pay to local charities.
Bartenders in New Orleans, NYC and Charlotte do that once a month, pooling their earnings to benefit The Barman's Fund, managed locally by bartender Holly Williams.
House of Bombay joins the effort Dec. 9-22, promising to match $1 donations on each specialty cocktail sold at select bars in New Orleans.
The gin giant is pairing with local U.S. Bartenders' Guild members, who have crafted drinks made with Bombay Sapphire or the brand's latest evolution, the Asian-inspired Sapphire East, touched with Thai lemongrass and Vietnamese black peppercorns. The softer, lower-proof East is meant to appeal to new gin drinkers.
Over at Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse, USBG-NOLA chapter president Tiffany Soles has fashioned a gin martini, matching equal parts Sapphire East and Lemon Zinger tea, and adding her own lemongrass-ginger syrup and a long splash of lemon juice.
Her Lemongrass-Ginger Chari-TEA-ni is pleasingly potent and perfumed, with mild lemon tea on the front palate and a mellow ginger streak on the back, as smooth as the jazz (this night, Kipori Woods) playing in the bar area.
Over at Boondock Saint, check out Holly's tiki-themed Blue Raja (a gin-based twist on the Blue Hawaiian that includes blue Curaçao, coconut rum, citrus and amaretto); at Cocktail Bar, Christine Jeanine Nielsen's Gable Meets Gaga is a pretty gin fizz based on green tea syrup, orange bitters and an egg white.
December's donations to the NOLA Barman's Fund will go to Raintree Family Services, and to buy wish list items for families staying at the New Orleans Women's Shelter.
Drink well, and do good.
The New Orleans chapter of The Barman's Fund has raised about $35,000 since its launch in 2011; find December's full schedule of NOLA Barman's Fund dates and bars here.
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Boondock Saint, 731 St. Peter Street, 525.4950
Cocktail Bar at the Windsor Court, 300 Gravier Street, 523.6000
Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta, 300 Bourbon Street, 553.2299