earlier this month we attended the second annual shaken not stirred fundraiser benefiting the junior league of mcallen, inc. this texas style martini party was held at sofies ss saloon, featuring martinis and nibbles, blackboard and silent auctions, live entertainment, as well as s'mores, dessert and a cigar station.
while only in it's second year, the event sold out and spotlighted martinis from mcallen's culinary scene heavyweights including: santa fe steakhouse, salt/house.wine&bistro, europa cuisine and entertainment, university drafthouse, bodega tavern & kitchen, copper moon bar and grill, infusions, tony roma's, arturo's, and macaroni grill. chefs larry delgado of salt and house.wine&bistro, adam cavazos of bodega tavern & kitchen, and dustin stair, cec all served up heavy hors d'oeuvres in the spirit of gourmet texas bbq.
while the inaugural event last year featured a couple martini stations, it was more heavily focused on the auction. this year, the event has evolved to be as much of a fundraiser for junior league as it is a showcase of what some of the best local restaurants have to offer. we saw an extreme expansion in the number of martini stations, and there wasn't a bad drink shaken all night, with delicious beverages pouring from every single station. i was suitably impressed by macaroni grill and university drafthouse, the latter of which is best known for their beer selection rather than their mixed drinks.
santa fe steakhouse and copper moon boasted some of my favorite samples of the evening but in the end, it was bodega that took home the attendee-voted "best martini" award.
general admission tickets granted entrance into the event, covering unlimited food and beverage. guests mill around the exterior of sofie's sampling martinis and food, as well as stopping by the cigar and dessert stations as desired. all attendees were welcome to peruse and bid on the auction items, which were donated and sponsored by over a hundred local businesses. there were picnic tables to relax on, a dance floor to enjoy the live music, and in addition vip ticket holders were given reserved seating, and favors including a copy of the junior league of mcallen's cookbook and custom hand-decorated kookies by karla.
attendees also had the option to purchase a $20 yeti tumbler, which they could bring to the martini stations for a larger sized sample.
as both an attendee and member of the junior league of mcallen, i am so proud of every facet of how this event turned out. from the support garnered from local businesses to the quality and show put up by the sponsoring restaurants and bars - this event was top notch.
proceeds from the event benefited the junior league of mcallen, a nonprofit organization of women committed to improving the lives of youth in our community through programs targeted at developing childhood literacy and combating pediatric obesity in the rio grande valley.
we'd like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who donated, sponsored and/or attended this event - it was a resounding success!
disclaimer: at the time of attendance, author was a member of the junior league of mcallen, inc. since this event, membership has been transferred to the junior league of seattle.