Link shaker: the Black Mixology Club, WhiskeyFest Northwest, Gatsby and Parenting in Rehab

It’s Friday! It’s really, really nice here in Portland, and nearly time to find a patio and raise a glass.

I will, then, be brief. Here are a few links from the world of alcohol and social justice (self-promotion at the end):

  • This piece from the Washington Post (previewing an event that’s, um, starting in just a few hours at Howard) about the Black Mixology Club talks about the largely forgotten role of African-American bartenders during the early years of black mixology, and how cocktail historians are trying to raise awareness amid today’s largely white haute cocktail scene:

After the last drops have been poured at the Howard, Sylvester hopes the event “starts a conversation and keeps it going.” He talked with Colin Asare-Appiah, of Bacardi Brands, at Tales of the Cocktail about developing a mentoring program “for people who were uncomfortable with the stereotypes” of bartenders in the overwhelmingly white cocktail scene, Sylvester says.

“If I’m a young person, and I look behind the bar and see a hipster with a curly mustache and rolled-up sleeves, I can’t relate to that.”

  • Here’s OPB’s preview of WhiskeyFest Northwest, a weekend of whiskey tasting (natch), food and fundraising for the newly-formed Luna Foundation (intended to benefit children in need) and CASA (court-appointed special advocates for foster youth). Potentially strange bedfellows, given the number of children who end up in foster care due to a parent’s addiction (I’ll get to that in a second), but trying and talking whiskey in a safe, friendly environment while helping foster youth seems pretty righteous at the end of the day.
  • From Sarah Mirk at Bitch, a nice little review of Luhrman’s The Great Gatsby. Mirk deftly notes the irony of the film’s multiple product placement deals, given that the story is supposed to be a morality play about unchecked consumption — and that Moet & Chandon sponsored the flick despite the fact that Nick Carraway ends up in rehab at the end. Mirk suggests you’re better off spending your money on a quality drink, and in all likelihood I’ll wait until I can see it in a second-run theater where I can drink (or at my house, where the bar is better), but Gatsby is only the second movie I’ve actually wanted to see in 3D (Cave of Forgotten Dreams — which I missed in the theater, sadly — having been the first).
  • And here’s my own horn: this week for The Lund Report, I profiled a residential rehabilitation facility for women who are parenting or pregnant. Child care is provided onsite and residents receive parenting skills classes; many women are reunited with their children for the first time at the facility, with kids coming directly there from foster care. One thing that didn’t make it into the story, but which I found striking nonetheless: when I toured the facility, I saw a sign that read, “Addiction is stronger than motherhood. If this weren’t true, no woman would ever use while pregnant or parenting. Hate your disease, not yourself.”
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