Whether it’s shaken or stirred, it’s all for a good cause.
The second annual Spartini Cocktails for Our Coast fundraiser is taking place now through the end of April, benefitting the environmental nonprofit One Hundred Miles.
The fundraiser — named for the spartina grass that covers Georgia’s marshlands and the martinis that raise money — features specialty cocktails at nearly 20 restaurants on Georgia’s coast, said Kelly Patton, outreach coordinator for One Hundred Miles.
“For every ‘spartini’ the public purchases, (One Hundred Miles) gets $1,” Patton said. We don’t raise a ton, because it’s just a dollar, but last year, it added up. We raised a little over $2,500 from 12 restaurants. If you think about it, that’s significant.”
This year, 19 restaurants from the Golden Isles and Savannah areas are partnering with One Hundred Miles, and Patton said bartenders are encouraged to be creative.
“We challenge restaurants to come up with their own take,” she said. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be a martini, it can be anything. There are plenty of delicious and coastal-inspired drinks to choose from.”
The annual event is also an opportunity for One Hundred Miles to spotlight Georgia’s coastal cuisine and encourage area residents to eat out.
“In our minds, the bigger purpose is celebrating our local restaurants and highlighting the small business community,” Patton said. “They have been so supportive, and a lot of them have a direct relationship with the coast, because that’s what you’ll find on their menu.”
With so many ‘spartinis’ to choose from, Patton reminds people to pace themselves.
“Definitely don’t try to do every restaurant in one day,” she said. “Of course, we want people to drink responsibly, and have in the back of their mind why they’re drinking a ‘spartini’ — supporting Georgia’s coast.”
At the end of the fundraiser, One Hundred Miles will award prizes for best spartini, most creative name and most money raised. The public is invited to vote for the winners at www.onehundredmiles.org. The contest is aimed at “further highlighting (the restaurants) and what they’re doing to support the coast,” Patton said.
Mike Smith, bar manager of Coastal Kitchen restaurant at Morningstar Marina on St. Simons Island, said he’s enjoyed taking part in the fundraiser.
His coastal-inspired cocktail is the mango martini, he said.
“Coastal Kitchen’s owner, C.J. Adams, has had this type of martini on her travels, and since we didn’t have a mango drink on our cocktail menu, we decided to come up with one.”
The drink is a mix of fresh mango, ginger and coconut rums and a cinnamon garnish, he said. Since adding it to the restaurant’s offerings, he’s sold a few and said customers have enjoyed it. What’s more, though, is the opportunity to help raise awareness of Georgia’s coast and the work of One Hundred Miles, Smith said.
“I think it’s a great idea, and especially being here on the island, it’s a wonderful thing to do to raise money for One Hundred Miles,” Smith said.
One Hundred Miles is a coastal advocacy organization based in Brunswick. Its mission is geared toward protecting, preserving and enhancing the 100-mile Georgia coast. The nonprofit’s core focuses are on water and wetlands, land use, changing climate and wildlife.
For more information, visit www.onehundred miles.com or call 264-4111.