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Buying Purple-Hued Cocktails Supports a Social Justice Organization Run By Bartenders

Funds raised for Bartenders Against Racism will go toward educational and mentorship programs for service workers

Bartenders Against Racism, founded by Allison Lane, launches its first partnership with a liquor brand. Local company Butterfly Spirits donated product for bartenders of color to dream up four vibrant purple cocktails.

Bartenders Against Racism, the nascent social justice organization founded by D.C. hospitality workers, has partnered with a new distillery out of Frederick, Maryland, and a handful of prominent bars in the District for its first big fundraising effort. In tandem with Butterfly Spirits, BAR has enlisted bartenders of color to whip up colorful, summery cocktails they’re selling to help the group fight inequity in the service industry.

Since the start of August, Compass Rose, Maydan, Maketto, and the Gibson have all been sending a portion of the proceeds from drinks made with Butterfly Floral Vodka and purple-tinted Butterfly Botanical Liqueur (notes of rose, lavender, and lemongrass) to BAR. The distiller, which began operating this spring, donated the spirits to BAR for the collaboration. Allison Lane, a founding member and prominent voice for BAR, says the goal is to start running educational programs with the money by the end of this year or early 2021.

“We advanced so quickly, I think people forget we’re just two months old,” Lane says of BAR. “For programming, we’re focusing on mentorship and education, specifically for the Black and BIPOC community [within hospitality]. We don’t see a lot of that happening for us. White counterparts often find it’s easy to matriculate into different positions, and management if they choose, or even creative avenues. We’re trying our best to figure out what’s the best ways to build programs with the skillsets that we have in BAR.”

Josh Ammerman, who runs Butterfly Spirits with his wife, Alyssa, connected with Lane to get the partnership rolling and aid the cause.

“We wanted to do something more than just put up a social media post,” he explained. “We wanted to put product behind it, put some resources behind it.”

The cocktails are available while products last. Maketto’s Adam Matthews says the vibrant, purple drinks are a hit so far. He crafted a cocktail with vodka, hibiscus, and lime.

“We have a couple other cocktails on the menu, but that one is clearly selling the most right now. I hope that it’s the cause as well as the flavors, the combination that people really gravitate to,” Matthews says.

Here are the four different “Butterfly for BAR” cocktails that were announced at the end of July. Some are available to go, and recipes can be found here. Post a photo of one of these drinks on Instagram for the chance to win a $100 restaurant gift card too.

The Gibson

For the Gibson, Lane whipped up a drink called “Metamorphosis” ($13) that features Butterfly Floral Vodka, Butterfly Liqueur, Montenegro amaro, Dolin Blanc vermouth, and absinthe.


Adam Matthews’s “Purple Emperor” ($20) cocktail at Maketto pairs Butterfly Floral Liqueur with Hibiscus syrup and lime juice for little acidity.

The Gibson’s Metamorphosis cocktail
Photo: streetsense
Maketto’s Purple Emperor cocktail
Photo: streetsense

Compass Rose

Compass Rose’s Julian Garcia created a “Mallard vs. Monarch” with duck fat-washed Butterfly Floral Vodka, Butterfly Liqueur, Peychaud’s bitters, a Dolin Genepy rinse, citrus, and a rosemary garnish.


Maydan’s Nari Kim and Eritrea Solomon used Butterfly Floral Liqueur, red pepper puree, cardamom clove syrup, lemon, and simple syrup to make the “Asmara,” garnished with a dried lemon wheel and a glass rimmed with Korean chili flake spiced salt.

Compass Rose’s Mallard vs. Monarch cocktail
Photo: streetsense
Maydan’s Asmara cocktail
Photo: streetsense

Compass Rose

1346 T Street Northwest, , DC 20009 (202) 506-4765 Visit Website

the Gibson

2009 14th Street Northwest, , DC 20009 (202) 232-2156 Visit Website


1346 Florida Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009 Visit Website


1351 H St NE, Washington, D.C. 20002 (202) 838-9972 Visit Website