Cocktails for a Cause

For the past few years I’ve been lucky enough to support the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, the preeminent research and advocacy group fighting ovarian cancer. Helping others and pitching in to fight this horrible disease is satisfaction enough, but there’s also the annual “Turn Up the Heat” gala/fundraiser to sweeten the deal. The gala brings together dozens of DC’s best female chefs and mixologists to have fun and raise tons of money for a great cause. So, basically, it’s heaven on Earth 🙂


Right out of the gate, I aggressively gorged myself on the finest small bites DC has to offer, but my heart was with the mixologists, of course! We started with an old friend, the delightful and savory “Shenandoah” from the Dabney, ably mixed by Ms. Tyler Hudgens and Mr. Stuart Weaver. Made of apertivo, black walnut falernum, and Old Hill Cider, I loved this drink when I first tried it last week and it was just as good second time around! And the third! Perfect way to start the evening.


I started to drink it straight with the “Mystic Bourbon Liquor” courtesy of North Carolina-based distillery Mystic Liqueur. This was an very interesting flavor that was subtly sweet but not candy-ish, resulting in an sort of relaxed, “bourbon-light” sensation. It lacked the kick of straight bourbon, which some people might love, giving me a lot of thoughts about how it might work in a cocktail. Definitely fun stuff.


We stayed on the sweet train with the “Pay Me What You Owe” with rum, house made orgeat, falernum, all-spice dram, and lime. Offered up by Ms. Naderia Wynn and the folks at Poste and Cava Mezze, this was just what the doctor ordered, a good combination of sweetness and earth off of the orgeat. Also really liked how the dram brought everything together in a sober and enjoyable sugary sipper. Next up was the “Vernetta Mae” from Mia Evans of Mixin’ Mimi Mixology (@MixinMimi), a Mai-Tai variant named after Mia’s grandmother, who passed away from ovarian cancer. A resplendid tropical drink with mango, nutmeg, and mint, this drink was smooth sailing and easy drinking, ultra-refreshing but not too sweet. Perfect cool citrus mix, this is a great drink for a summer picnic or lawn party.

My final drink of the evening came from Andrea Tateosian atUrbana, who offered the “Queen Bea(trice)” with scotch whisky, Carpano Antica Vermouth, honey, almond, cinnamon, and clove. This was a perfect little drink to end the feeding frenzy, subtly bitter but potent, a small but strong hitter that is perfectly balanced. Really liked the softness of the honey off of the vermouth, and the almond and cinnamon were welcome organic touches. Loved it. So, in closing, a wonderful evening with so many talented women, all for a good cause! I can’t wait until next year, and encourage all to support OCNA!


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