Top CT Restaurants Stir Up Excitement for Charity Mocktail Competition

The weather is heating up and so is the competition for the 2nd Annual Mocktail Tasting on Sunday, May 22, 2022 at Real Art Ways in Hartford. Hosted by A Promise to Jordan, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about substance use disorders, is bringing restaurateurs and bar owners together to showcase their best non-alcoholic beverages and appetizers and compete to be named the best.

“The list of competitors just keeps growing!” said Lisa Gray, founder of A Promise to Jordan (APTJ).  “We encourage everyone to buy their tickets early so that they can get some fresh new mocktail inspiration just in time for Memorial Day weekend.”

In addition to sampling delicious alcohol-free drinks and hors d’oeuvres, attendees will learn how to help someone struggling with addiction through literature and discussions.

New to the event this year is a powerful video presentation of people in recovery describing the positive benefits of their recovery journey.  Individuals interested in participating can submit a 1-minute or less video and/or photos with their first name and the town in which they reside to:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  Entries must be received by Friday, April 29, 2022.

All proceeds from the event benefit APTJ in its mission to eliminate the stigma of substance use disorders and give hope to Connecticut families that recovery is possible by connecting them with treatment programs.

The fundraiser, which is a fresh alternative to the typical beer or wine tastings, will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. in the art gallery parking lot, 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 fun afternoon out. Tickets are $50 and may be purchased at: www.2ndMocktailTasting.eventbrite.com.

Gray notes that there is no fee for restaurants or bars to enter the competition and that the nonprofit organization is covering the cost of their temporary food permits. Several businesses have already committed to participating, including many defending champs from last year’s event:

  • Da Capo of Avon
  • Dope Fried Food (truck)
  • Flora West Hartford that won Most Creative use of Ingredients-Appetizer for "Fruit and Nut Salumi" and Best Overall Mocktail for "Pink Panther"
  • Fork & Fire
  • Keith Barile, whose "Spicy Cinnamon Shirley" won Most Creative Use of Ingredients-Mocktail last year
  • Roux, winner of last year’s Best Overall Appetizer for its Jambalaya
  • Soma Grille that won last year’s Best Presentation – Appetizer for "Chicken Canapes"
  • Better Rhodes, an alcohol-free beverage distributor, that won Best Presentation - Mocktail: "Raspberry Basil Promise" last year.

The event is made possible by many generous sponsors, including McCall Center for Behavioral Health, Tara Rahmy of Century 21 AllPoints Realty, and The Village for Families and Children.

“There is only a limited number of sponsorship opportunities remaining, however we are still accepting auction and raffle donations such as gift cards, gift baskets, home décor, jewelry and fashion items, gourmet treats and tickets to entertainment and travel destinations,” adds Gray.

APTJ frequently hosts community educational programs, NARCAN, QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) and CRAFT trainings, designed to reduce substance use and assist individuals seeking recovery programs. Gray founded A Promise to Jordan after losing her son, Jordan Arakelian, to an overdose in 2018.

Individuals who are not able to attend the 2nd Annual Mocktail Tasting event on Sunday, May 22, 2022, but are eager to donate, can visit www.apromisetojordan.org.

About A Promise to Jordan

A Promise to Jordan is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit named for Jordan Arakelian, a 24-year-old Simsbury resident who died from an accidental overdose on June 30, 2018. 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 substance use disorders. Visit apromisetojordan.org for information and resources or call (860) 390-1391.

PHOTO: Anticipation is building for the 2nd Annual Mocktail Tasting on May 22, 2022 to benefit A Promise To Jordan. Last year's event at Real Art Ways in Hartford drew hundreds of supporters. Photo courtesy of A Promise To Jordan


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