1st Annual Mocktail Tasting Fundraiser Benefits Substance Use Awareness

The nonprofit organization A Promise to Jordan is excited to host its first “Mocktail” Tasting fundraiser on Thursday, May 13, 2021 at Real Art Ways in Hartford. The recovery-friendly event will bring restaurateurs and bar owners from across the state together to show off their best non-alcoholic cocktails and compete to be named the best!

“We are thrilled to offer an alternative to the typical beer or wine tastings since our organization is committed to fighting substance use disorders,” said Lisa Gray, Founder and Executive Director of A Promise to Jordan (APTJ). “Additionally, the food and beverage industry has been financially decimated by the pandemic and we wanted to showcase the mixology mastery of our local eateries, while finally having something fun to look forward to.”

The event will take place from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the art gallery located at 56 Arbor Street, barring any COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time. The charitable competition is expected to draw hundreds of guests to taste the mocktails and appetizers, partake of the silent auction and raffles, and enjoy a great night out. If gathering restrictions are still in place, the event may be a mix of in-person and virtual or be completely virtual, if necessary. Virtual guests will receive a mocktail kit to make the delicious drinks at home by following along as the vendors mix the recipes live. In-person tickets are $45 and virtual tickets are $35. For more info or to purchase tickets visit https://mocktailtasting.eventbrite.com.

Gray notes that there is no fee for restaurants or bars to enter and that the nonprofit organization is even covering the cost of their temporary food permits. Interested restaurants to date include 110 Grill, Abigail's Grille & Wine Bar, DaCapo, Iron Horse Pizzeria, Lucky Lou's Bar and Grille, Roux, Soma Grille, and The North House. Plus, Athletic Brewing Company, of Stratford, has already signed on to serve their selection of non-alcoholic brews.

The evening is made possible thanks to the generosity of many fine businesses, including McCall Center for Behavioral Health, Tara Rahmy Realtor and InterCommunity Health Care. Custom sponsorship opportunities are available to meet the unique marketing needs of each business, organization or individual by contacting  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

“We are also accepting auction and raffle donations such as gift cards, gift baskets, decor items, jewelry and fashion or gourmet treats. We'll even pick them up!” said Gray.

Proceeds will benefit the organization that is dedicated to raising awareness about substance abuse, eliminating the stigma of addiction, assisting people in accessing quality care, and giving hope to those struggling with addiction and their families that recovery is possible. Gray created A Promise to Jordan after losing her then 24-year-old son, Jordan Arakelian, to an accidental overdose in 2018. 

“A Promise to Jordan wants to reach young people before they are in the grips of addiction,” explained Gray. “With the current opioid crisis, America is losing thousands of valuable lives every month. In 2019, over 1,200 lives were lost to overdoses just in Connecticut.  Because of the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, the numbers for 2020 are expected to be much worse.” 

In addition to community educational programs, A Promise to Jordan hosts NARCAN and QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) trainings designed to save the lives of overdose victims and those contemplating suicide.

This holiday season, a holiday toy drive supplied gifts for individuals in residential treatment to give to their children when they came to visit.

About A Promise to Jordan

A Promise to Jordan is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit named for Jordan Arakelian who died from an accidental opioid overdose on June 30, 2018 at the age of 24. Founded by his mother, Lisa Gray, the mission of A Promise to Jordan is to raise awareness and eliminate the stigma of addiction, assist people in accessing quality care and give hope that recovery is possible to those struggling with addiction. Visit apromisetojordan.org for information and resources, or call (860) 390-1391.


Follow Hartford City Center HamletHub