This Round's on Them

Bartenders serve up philanthropy

To those who would argue that alcohol has a negative influence on society, bartenders are ready to prove you wrong.

More and more, booze slingers are champions of the golden rule, using their talents to aid those in need. We lift our coupes in their directions:

Speed Rack: Started last year by New York bartenders Lynette Marrero and Ivy Mix, this competition pits female bartenders against each other in a timed cocktail challenge at events across the country. The proceeds raised from each event go toward fighting breast cancer. The 2013 tour begins in New York on November 4. (See the full tour here.)

Pig & Punch: The Bon Vivants, a San Francisco-based cocktailing company, have a failproof formula for a good party: Roast a whole pig, fill trash cans with stiff punch (see one of their recipes here), and sell T-shirts. Prior to each event, which they've put on in New York, New Orleans and Portland, Oregon, they lead a group of bartenders to volunteer at a charter school. They then donate the funds raised by the party to that organization. (Follow Pig & Punch online.)

MurrayAid: Following the news that Murray Stenson, the legendary Seattle bartender, had been diagnosed with a heart condition, fellow bartenders across the country rallied to his aid. So far, almost $30,000 has been raised to offset Stenson's expected medical expenses–he, like many bartenders, doesn't have health insurance. (See the MurrayAid donation page.)