Issue 30

Perfect Pour: A Craft Cocktail Competition

Perfect Pour: A Craft Cocktail Competition

What comes to your mind when you envision a fundraiser? I’m used to charity events where there’s a silent auction, sometimes a live one, and a standard meal consisting of overcooked beef, steamed vegetables and a starch of some sort. It’s all pretty routine. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not out to put these events down, and I admire people who dedicate themselves to causes that make a difference in our community. It’s all too often that we just skate on by, and don’t step up when we can to help build something.

The reason I describe these events in such a drab, unendearing way is because it’s true; if you’ve been to one, then it seems you’ve pretty much been to them all. Last year, that changed. Last year, a group approached me with an interesting proposition: let’s change that paradigm. You see, our community was ready for something new, something which would get young professionals engaged and interested, and something beyond the luncheons, the 5Ks, the galas. That something was Perfect Pour: A Craft Cocktail Competition, featuring Nebraska bartenders pitting their skills against each other for the benefit of the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation.

Nebraska Children is a nonprofit organization which creates positive change through community involvement. It plays a critical role in building programs that support development in children and preserve the place and role of the family. It’s for this foundation that the Friends of Nebraska Children (FONC) was created as an outreach arm. FONC is different from most groups I’ve worked with in that its membership and leadership consist of young professionals wanting to make a unique and lasting imprint on our community. Last year they approached me with a novel kind of idea: let’s do a cocktail competition which will bring the young professionals of our city out. Let’s do away with a night of speeches and have the sort of celebration this kind of event should be. It immediately grabbed my attention, and FONC linked up with the United States Bartenders’ Guild to make it happen.

The cocktail, more than a beer or a glass of wine, is truly something special. Invoking the romantic ideal of history, cocktails conjure images of times gone by: wearing a tuxedo to dinner, spending a night out with Gatsby or sitting with Hemingway on a veranda, sipping on a daiquiri somewhere in Havana. It’s a civilized drink in these less-than-glamorous days, where the appreciation of the nuanced blending of flavors brings out something sophisticated in all of us. It’s the sort of thing that encourages us to get out and about, dressed to the nines, to celebrate something special and something proper.

So this year, we invite you to purchase a ticket to a truly unique experience. Friends of Nebraska Children and the USBG have partnered up again in a benefit for Nebraska Children.  Brugal, maker of premium Dominican rum, is our feature ingredient, and we’ll have the best bartenders in the state competing against each other, presenting you with some of the best cocktails around. The second annual Perfect Pour: A Craft Cocktail Competition will be held on Feb. 25, 2017. Come dressed for Cuba, because it is going to be a night in Havana.

More information including sponsorship opportunities, ticket sales and how to get involved as a competing bartender available at

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