Editor's note: For our 17th Annual Fur Ball, our friends at Heritage offered a unique experience in the auction package "Cocktail Crafting at Heritage." The package was conceived by co-owners Emilia and Joe Sparatta and purchased by our wonderful supporters Angi and Rob Pannell, who gathered their friends at Heritage last weekend. Today Angi shares the inspiration behind the signature cocktail that resulted from their party, which will be available for purchase at Heritage for the next three months with a portion of proceeds benefitting the homeless pets in our care.
We were so excited about the Heritage package that we won at the Richmond SPCA Fur Ball last year because in addition to getting what we knew would be a fabulous meal, we would have the opportunity to work with Mattias Hagglund to craft a special cocktail and name it after one of our dogs. Rob and I had been trying to think of which of our three dogs to name the cocktail after, even considering using a mashup of their names. Two nights before the dinner, we found out that our friend’s dog, Nora, was struggling and not expected to make it through the night. She passed away peacefully at home on Friday morning. That night I told Rob that I thought we should name the cocktail after Nora. Rob said he was so glad to hear me say it, because he’d thought the same thing. We decided to make it a surprise for Nora's humans Dale and Allie.
Nora had come to live with them nine years earlier. A friend of theirs had found her but had other dogs and was looking to rehome her. They agreed to keep her for a little while…that little while lasted nine years. She was a very much loved pet to them and later to their two children, Stoller (5) and Arden (4).
We told Mattias what we were planning before Dale and Allie arrived at the restaurant. When we told him the name of their dog, he produced the glass we were going to use for the cocktail and told us it was called “the Nick & Nora,” so it was meant to be! They were surprised and touched by the gesture and we worked together with our party to create something we thought would appeal to the largest number of people possible so we could raise a lot of money for the Richmond SPCA.
The Nora is Belle Isle Ruby Red Grapefruit Premium Moonshine, Licor 43, Aperol, vanilla, lemon juice and simple syrup.
We would highly recommend this package to anyone! Mattias was fantastic and made the cocktail creation process fun and informative. It’s worth noting that I had learned I have Celiac disease shortly before the date of the dinner. Chef Joe Sparatta created a fantastic menu that was perfectly executed by Mike Hill the night of our party, and the chef tweaked the courses so that I could enjoy almost exactly what everyone else was having. Everything was absolutely delicious! And, the staff was fantastic.
I hope everyone will go to Heritage for an amazing dinner and order a Nora (or two!).
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