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Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricanes, Halloween & Weddings: Getting in the Spirit

With Halloween just around the corner and Sandy (aka Frankenstorm) looming, there is definitely an eerie, albeit mixed mood about. Some people are stocking up on staples like toilet paper, jugs of water and batteries, while others in my neighborhood are buying Halloween decorations, pumpkins and candy corn. One thing both groups are buying up is alcohol, lots and lots of alcohol.

Like any good Louisianian, I know that a cocktail or two or five is the perfect way to pass the time during a storm. After all, one of New Orleans' most famous drinks is the Hurricane. (Click here for my sister's delicious Hurricane recipe). To be honest, New Orleanians don't really need an excuse to imbibe, it's a pretty regular occurrence- especially during a Saints' season like the current one, but aside from Mardi Gras and Hurricanes, New Orleans weddings often take the cake or er...bottle.

I've blogged on charitable wines and beers, but this got me thinking- are there any charitable liquors out there? Well, it just so happens there is at least one boozy way to give back via your big day (or at your Hurricane Party).

Heroes Vodka was founded by Veteran Marine Travis McVey and buisnessman R.S. Lipman and is billed as the "Official Spirit of a Grateful Nation." Bottled on 11.11.11 (Veteran's Day), a portion of proceeds from all sales of the vodka go to support veterans and other service organizations. In keeping with McVey's mission, The Heroes Giveback program aims to honor veterans and service organizations based in the US. Every year on Veterans Day, Heroes Vodka announces it "Giveback Partners" for the year. Heroes vodka supports these partners with direct contributions and in-kind donations for events and fundraisers.

In 2012 Heroes Vodka Giveback partnered with Operation Troop Aid, which provides care packages to service members with funds generated through concert promotions and donations. Since 2005, Troop Aid has sent over two million dollars in goods to soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Heroes Vodka also partnered with Nashville based organization, Operation Stand Down (OSDN), which provides social services for veterans.  OSDN offers a full complement of services to veterans. The four major components of the program include: a Service Center, employment services, transitional housing and the annual stand down event. Since 1993, every fall a coalition of over 50 Nashville organizations has worked together to hold a three-day event that provides outreach, information and services for the region's homeless veterans.  
John Daly's at our reception. Photo credit: Fine Arts Exposure
If you're choosing to serve alcohol at your wedding, keep Heroes Vodka in mind. Ask your vendor if they can stock it or if you can bring it in to use for a signature cocktail. Our signature cocktail at our wedding reception was a John Daly (aka a vodka spiked Arnold Palmer). It's a simple recipe and perfect for a late summer or early fall wedding. The mason jars give the perfect (eco-friendly) touch too.

Here's the recipe:

1 1/2 ounce Heroes Vodka
1 Part Iced Tea
1 Part Lemonade
1 lemon wedge

In the "spirit" of the Halloween season with the backdrop of Hurricane Sandy's relentless rain, I hope everyone enjoys a nice (charitable) cocktail and stays safe and dry. Drink charitably & responsibly!