Sydney bars take animals to heart


Visiting Sydney and looking for cool places to drink and eat? I’m spruiking more than 60 of them in our fair city because they have big hearts and recently helped raise $40,000 for the Animal Welfare League (AWL)  in a fundraiser called Parched March. OK so it’s mid-April, but I’m pulling rank.  And think of it as a preview for 2014. Reliant on donations, AWL works to save and improve the lives of pets that have been surrendered, neglected or abandoned. The bars mixed up special fundraiser cocktails (some named after animals), throughout the month of March, and held novelty events to bring in support.

Dessert and drinks at the Beresford Hotel, Surry Hills
Dessert, drinks and courtyard buzz at The Beresford Hotel, a Parched March supporter
  • They included Bondi Hardware, The BotanistThe Beresford HotelAnanas Bar and Brasserie, Grain, Gazebo Wine Garden, Hugo’sMinsky’s @ Hotel Cremorne, Name This Bar,  Palmer & CoMéjicoLL Wine & Dine, The Cut Bar & Grill, and many more.
  • King Street Wharf’s The Loft had a knock-out with The Poodle – Cointreau, lemon curd, peach bitters, fresh lemon and cranberry.
  • Kirribilli’s The Botanist’s take on the classic Side Car: Cognac, Cointreau, rosemary syrup, lemon juice and a dash of egg white. Served in a Martini glass.
  • At the North Shore’s Crows Nest The Stoned Crow’s offering was: Sour Puss with Cointreau, Pom liqueur, lemon, lime, vanilla sugar and a flaming orange peel.

In 2010, the Sun-Herald newspaper’s party columnist Amy Cooper was puzzled by the number of invites for the launches of “dry” charity months crossing her desk. While applauding the causes supported by Febfast, Dry July and Ocsober, bar-loving Amy worried that three whole months in the calendar was a lot of time for people to be away from their favourite watering holes. She created a charity month devoted to encouraging responsible drinkers back out on the town. The aim: to celebrate the talent and creativity that characterise Sydney’s bar scene, while raising money for Amy’s favourite cause, animal welfare.

In March 2010 she undertook the first ever sponsored Parched March 30 Bars in 30 Days challenge and raised $5,000. In 2011, several teams joined the 30 Bars in 30 Days challenge, and Sydney’s bars jumped on board with their special fundraising cocktails. Parched March raised $10,000. By 2012 a packed calendar of pet-friendly events and celebrity appearances added more fun to the mix and helped raise $20,000 for Animal Welfare League NSW.

And this year it’s $40,000.

Amy Cooper, Dr Katrina Warren and SYP celebrate at the wrap party
Amy Cooper, Dr Katrina Warren and SYP celebrate at the wrap party

The month ended with a wrap party and auction to raise the last $4000 at The Ivy and it was pretty much a media and celebrity scrum. The drinks flowed dizzingly faster than the food, but it was all about the animals, right? Guests included Dr Katrina Warren (celebrity TV vet), SYP (Australian Psy impersonator) and Rex Lee ( from Entourage).

More details:

List of supporting bars and their hip cocktails for Parched March click  here

*Top images of The Beresford Hotel courtesy of Tom Mitchell

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