9 nonprofit-inspired cocktail recipes for your holiday party

[image description: Two wine glasses filled with a yellowish cocktail, each having a small bunch of red currants on the bottom and ice and lime wedges floating on top. Image obtained from Pixabay.com]
Hi everyone, this will be the last post of the year. I thought about writing a recap of 2017, maybe a list of profound lessons we learned as a sector or something. But that takes way too much thinking and analysis, which I can’t really do after three glasses of Gewürztraminer, the nonprofit of the wine family (sweet, underappreciated, with a hint of bitterness).

So instead, we’re going to talk about cocktails. It’s been a while since we’ve had a follow up to Nonprofit Cocktail recipes. However, since all of us are likely hosting holiday parties, it is a good time to brush up on our mixology. If you’re sick of the boring old eggnog, try these nonprofit-inspired recipes below at your next gathering, and wow your friends and family. Please drink and serve responsibly.

The Board of Directors

2 oz. vodka

1 oz. hazelnut liqueur

1 oz. Malibu

2 oz. coconut milk


Crushed pistachios

Mix everything together in shaker with ice, pour into glass. Garnish with a pinch of nutmeg and sprinkling of pistachios. Inexplicably strong and slightly nutty.

The Grant Proposal

1 oz. vodka

½ oz whiskey

½ oz. peach liqueur

¼ oz. apple liqueur

¼ oz. simple syrup

¼ oz. lime juice

1 3-inch stalk lemongrass

1 strawberry

6 ½ mint leaves

3 mesquite wood chips

Put wood chips into a teapot, add whiskey and lemongrass stalk, and use a long lighter to set wood chips on fire. Meanwhile, muddle mint and strawberry in a shaker. Add the other ingredients, shake, and empty out into a small glass with ice; try not to overflow. Garnish with the stalk of lemongrass. Smokey and complex.

The Salary DOE

1 ¼ oz. rum

1 oz. whiskey

½ teaspoon powdered activated charcoal

1 oz. grapefruit juice

½ oz. lime juice

Edible glitter (yes, that exists)

Dissolve activated charcoal powder in whiskey in shaker. Add the other ingredients and some ice. Shake and strain into a glass. Garnish with edible glitter and a twist of grapefruit. Pitch black opaque and may cause health problems.

Equity Juice

2 oz. vodka

1 oz. elderflower liqueur

2 oz. coconut water

½ oz. simple syrup

½ oz. lime juice

1 teaspoon blue curacao

Combine everything in a shaker with ice, shake and pour into martini glass. Garnish with a large piece of edible gold leaf. Refreshing but packs a powerful punch. Hydrates as it inebriates so you don’t get a hangover

The Logic Model

1 oz. rum

1 oz. tequila

1 oz. whiskey

1 oz gin

1 oz. coke

Pour each ingredient into its own shot glass (input). Line up the shots and take them one at a time from left to right (output). You are now the life of the party (outcome).

The Nonprofitini

5 oz. leftover event wine (red or white)

1 oz. vodka (or whatever clear liquor you have in your desk for emergencies)

2 oz. lemon or lime soda

Pour into a glass or mug filled with ice, stir with a swag pen. Garnish with a piece of cantaloupe or pineapple or cauliflower or whatever is left on the fruit or veggie platter. Simple yet elegant.


1 oz. vodka

1 oz. vodka

1 oz. vodka

1 oz. vodka

1 oz. vodka

Combine all ingredients in a chipped mug that’s at least five years old. Drink up.

Overhead Sangria

8 oz. vodka

1 bottle of white wine or rose

12 oz can of Sprite

5 oz. elderflower liqueur

1 lemon, 1 lime, 1 grapefruit

Combine vodka, Sprite, elderflower liqueur in a punch bowl. Slice citrus fruit and add to bowl. Chill for at least 3 hours, add Sprite. To serve, place bowl on table. Do not provide cups or serving utensils.

The Bloody Annual Report

2 oz. vodka

4 oz. tomato juice

½ teaspoon grated horseradish

3 dashes Worcestershire sauce

3 dashes Frank’s hot sauce

½ oz. lemon juice

Freshly-ground black pepper

Lemon or lime wedge

Celery salt or sea salt

Pickled asparagus, olives, celery sticks, jalapeno slices, pickled beets, marinated artichokes, pepperoncini slices, pearl onions, pickle spears.

Combine first 7 ingredients in shaker with some ice. Rub rim of glass with lemon or lime wedge, dip into celery salt. Pour cocktail into glass. Add garnish; use bamboo skewers to skewer together small items like olives and pearl onions. Serve with a copy of your annual report. This is the only way anyone is going to read it.

Related post: Check out “Nonprofit Cocktail Recipes” for The Strategic Plan, The Retreat, the Development Director, and other awesome concoctions.

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Donate, or give a grant, to Vu’s organizationRainier Valley Corps, which has the mission of bringing more leaders of color into the nonprofit sector and getting diverse communities to work together to address systemic issues.