Prepare for Louisville super groups The Whiskey Chicks and The Bourbon Brotherhood to join forces August 25th at 6:30 p.m. at the Henry Clay. It’s the 5th annual Bourbon Mixer to benefit Coalition for the Homeless, and this year will feature a retro cocktail party theme – so dust off your 50s and 60s attire for a night of bourbon, food and fun.

To give you a little more insight to the event, we had a short Q & A with Whiskey Chicks Founder Linda Ruffenach.

Can you tell me about the past success of this event raising funds for Coalition?

This will be our 5th Bourbon Mixer. We hosted our first event in 2014 at the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience. We had one distillery and about 100 people in attendance. This year we have 21 distilleries on board and expect a sold-out crowd of 350. Since its inception, we have raised close to $80,000 for local charities. We work incredibly hard to keep expenses down without compromising the experience for our guests, so that the majority of the funds raised goes back to the benefiting charity. Our silent auction is really where we raise the most funds. Each of the participating distilleries donate an experience, collectible items or special release bottles. We also curate some amazing items including private tastings, unique bourbon experiences, rare bottles, artwork, etc.

 Do you have a personal reason for choosing Coalition for the Homeless as the beneficiary and if so, can you share it?

At the time we hosted our first event, I was on the Board of Directors for the Coalition for Homeless. There was an initiative underway to end veteran homelessness and for the first event, we earmarked the funds to go directly to this cause. Our support contributed to the Coalition and its partner agencies’ success in reaching functional zero for veteran homelessness. Currently, the Coalition is leading the charge to end homelessness among young adults in our community. We’re proud that this year’s event will help provide more youth with stable housing and support services so they have hope for a better future.

 What is the upscale cuisine that is offered (and from who)? Is it dinner or tasting style?

This year’s theme is a modern mid-century cocktail party. 8Up will be doing most of the catering, but we will also be bringing in a few select local restaurants to add to the mix. Guests can expect fun twists on classic appetizers and a variety of desserts offered throughout the evening.

 What makes this event stand out for attendees?

Each distillery will offer tastings, and each one will also create their own specialty cocktail for the event. In past years, some distilleries have gone all out by having their master distillers attend, partnering with local celebrity bartenders, or serving unique concoctions like bourbon slushies, bourbon root beer floats, and even bourbon popsicles.

Even though we will take over an entire floor at the Henry Clay, we intentionally keep the crowd capped at 350. We want all of our guests to be able to move around comfortably, browse the silent auction items, and easily access the experiences of their choice.

 What are you most looking forward to this year?

The modern mid-century theme is going to be a fun new element for this event.  We are encouraging guests to step back in time to the late 50’s and early 60’s when bourbon was found on most every bar.  Everyone is encouraged to dress in theme, with men in suits and women in classic cocktail attire. Of course if you have a ticket and want to come a little more casual, we won’t turn you away!