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On this week’s The NOLADrinks Show with Bryan Dias, we’re talking about Old Fashioned Week, taking place from October 14-23. It’s a benefit for the Southern Smoke Foundation, which provides emergency relief assistance and mental health support for the hospitality industry. We chat with Lynn House, National Spirits Specialist and Portfolio Mixologist for Heaven Hill, which owns Elijah Craig Bourbon, sponsor of the event. Also joining us, is James Beard award-winning chef, Chris Shepherd, co-founder of the Southern Smoke Foundation. We discuss the issues that the foundation seeks to address as well as talking all about Old Fashioned Week and how you can support the cause simply by getting yourself an Old Fashioned!

Pictured above from left, at lower left – Chris Shepherd of the Southern Smoke Foundation and Lynn House of Heaven Hill.

The NOLADrinks Show with Bryan Dias – Old Fashioned Week and the Southern Smoke Foundation – 2022Ep27

This time around, we are chatting with a terrific organization and a great event that is supporting its efforts. Elijah Craig’s “Old Fashioned Week” is coming to a bar near you from October 14th through October 23rd. The event supports the important charitable work of the Southern Smoke Foundation.

Our guests are, Lynn House, a Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award winner and the National Spirits Specialist and Portfolio Mixologist for Heaven Hill (owners of the Elijah Craig Bourbon brand) and James Beard award-winning chef, Chris Shepherd. Chris is the co-founder of the foundation and recently left his gig as the founder and owner of the noted Houston-based hospitality group, Underbelly, to focus on his charitable work with Southern Smoke.

We discuss the foundation’s programs and mission to support members of the hospitality industry, which ranges from “farmers to fry cooks, servers to sommeliers,” as they say. Their two main areas of focus – with more coming, something else we also touch on – are mental health and providing a financial safety net for those in need due to injury, illness, natural disasters, the pandemic, and more. Chris also lets us know how they have expanded their reach around the country and continue to do so.

Lynn lets us know about Elijah Craig’s Old Fashioned Week and how it supports important charitable efforts, like Southern Smoke, with the event each year. Both Chris and Lynn, as hospitality industry veterans, let us know their firsthand experiences and views on the need for the programs that the foundation provides. It’s an important and passionate conversation about this critical industry that we all know and love and should support!

Of course, we let you know how you can get involved – and it’s pretty easy! Just go to a participating bar (there is a bar-finder on the event’s website where you can find a participating venue near you) and order an Elijah Craig Old Fashioned and a portion of the proceeds benefit Southern Smoke and their programs. What’s more? Snap a photo of your drink and tag @ElijahCraig and use the hashtag #OldFashionedWeek on Instagram and Heaven Hill will donate an additional $5 per post to the cause! You can even whip up and Old Fashioned at home and post it as part of the effort!

We talk about the cocktail itself, touching on its long (and, as with most classic cocktails, its somewhat murky) history. We even get a bit into preferences on how the drink is made – you gotta hear that part! Lynn and Chris stick around for our podcast-only segment, “Another Shot with NOLADrinks,” where we have some laughs as well as touching on the personal nature this cause means to them both.

Cheers and Be Well, You All!

~ Bryan