Drinking is inarguably one of life’s greatest pleasures, but when imbibing in excellent cocktails also means raising money for a great cause, it’s almost as if it’s your duty. For the past few years, the Dallas bar community has banded together to create one of the year’s most unique cocktail events that also happens to raise money for children in need during the holiday season.
Trigger’s Toys is a pop-up craft cocktail competition that raises money for Our Children’s House, helping buy holiday gifts and therapeutic equipment for hospitalized children. Prior to the event, bartenders participate in a "fantasy bar draft" that chooses the best and brightest mixologists from Dallas and across Texas. Those bartenders comprise five teams, each of which has to create a one-night pop-up cocktail concept.
This year, the five concepts are:
- Chubbies – A dive-bar concept helmed by team captain and Ida Claire bartender Bonnie Wilson. Look forward to frozen Kahlua mudslides and Old Fashioned Jell-O shots.
- Billion $ Baby – A "yacht club bar" with Christian Armando Guillen from Uptown’s The Standard Pour. Put on your fanciest elbow-length gloves and prepare to indulge in "The Champagne of Beers," cocktail caviar, and tableside mint juleps.
- TOGA – This team drew the "wild card" concept, which means that they get to design whatever kind of bar they want. Juli Rene Naida from HG Sply Co. will lead the team, who will be mixing up "Stark and Dormy" and "Roman Cola," which hopefully means they’ve decided to go with a Grecian-frat boy fusion style cocktail bar.
- Liquid Courage – In what may be the best name for a karaoke bar (real or pop-up) of all time, Liquid Courage will be led by Leonard Oliver from Austin's VOX Table. You’ll have to wait until Sunday to figure out what this team be serving up, but if they’re strong enough to make you brave enough to do karaoke, you’re probably not going to care what they taste like.
- Studio Zoom Zoom – Parliament’s Stephen Halpin will be putting on his proverbial boogie shoes to create a modern-day disco bar concept. No word yet on what drinks Halpin will be serving, but if you’ve ever let this bearded ginger barman serve you a cocktail at Parliament, you know they’re going to be killer.