Syracuse, New York: This holiday season guests of Pastabilities restaurant, which has been happily serving patrons in Armory Square for more than 35 years, can spread joy while savoring handcrafted cocktails with Community Cocktails. Each week from Nov. 23 to Dec. 23, 100 percent of proceeds from featured signature cocktails will go directly to four local nonprofit organizations. Every cocktail is available with or without alcohol.
Karyn Korteling, Pastabilties’ owner, said the idea for Community Cocktails came from three common holiday themes: joy, community and togetherness.
“With all of the difficult, divisive and tragic news of 2018, I wanted Pastabilities to be a place for people to be reminded that joy can be found in something as simple as breaking bread with family and friends,” said Korteling. “And while it’s wonderful to have those to share our love with, we all know that there are many people in our community who aren’t as lucky.”
The first week of Community Cocktails, Nov. 23 – 29, will benefit The Rescue Mission and feature hot apple cider, mulled in house and infused with lemon, clove and cinnamon. Thomas Tew Rum is optional.
Korteling said she wanted to kick off Community Cocktails with The Rescue Mission because the organization’s mission is at the core of finding joy—ending hunger and homelessness.
Community Cocktails will continue Nov. 30 – Dec. 6 with a housemade horchata that is available with or without ancho chili infused tequila and will benefit Vera House. The horchata’s base is made from a rice and almond milk that Pastabilities will create specifically for this cocktail by milling brown rice and toasted almonds. It will also contain cinnamon, coconut milk, vanilla and demerara syrup for added flavor.
Pastabilities already works with Vera House through the Raise the Bar program where Vera House employees provide training to the restaurant’s serving staff on how to recognize signs of abusive situations.
From Dec. 7 – 13, Helio Health (formerly Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare) will receive all proceeds from a spiced hot chocolate made with milk, star anise, cinnamon, orange zest, allspice berries, brown sugar, semisweet chocolate and optional Tullamore D.E.W. Irish whiskey.
Korteling feels the organization’s mission, “Where hope meets healing,” fit perfectly with the idea of Community Cocktails. “By focusing treatment on mental illness and drug addiction, Helio Health addresses some of the root causes of homelessness and despair in our community that prevent people from finding joy.”
The final week of Community Cocktails (Dec. 14 – 23) will feature a winter solstice punch with proceeds going to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central New York. The punch is made with cranberry and pineapple juices, almond extract, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon and optional Prosecco.
Ronald McDonald House Charities provides comfort and hope to families with sick children. Even though the organization has a global reach, Korteling said she wanted to include it in Community Cocktails because it still needs the local community’s support.
The Christmas decorations at Pastabilities this year also reflect Korteling’s desire to spread joy. She said it was her goal to bring a smile to everyone’s face the moment they walk in the door. Guests wishing to donate without purchasing a signature cocktail just need to let their server or bartender know.
“When there’s love and joy in your heart, there’s love and joy available for others,” added Korteling. “Together, let’s spread some joy.”
Located in Armory Square at 311 S. Franklin St., Syracuse, Pastabilities restaurant has been serving guests for more than 35 years. Its seasonal menus feature a full range of homemade pastas, sauces, salads, and its famous Stretch Bread, which is made daily in its bakery across the street. Pastabilities has won numerous awards and has been featured on The Food Network.