Dano’s Tequila hosts virtual happy hour on Cinco de Mayo to help unemployed bartenders, waitstaff

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs’ only tequila maker is giving folks a reason to celebrate Cinco de Mayo while raising money for the Bartenders’ Guild Relief Fund.

Dano’s Tequila will donate up to $50,000 during its weekly Cocktails & Culture virtual happy hour and what better way to kick off Cinco De Mayo than a virtual class on tequila-based cocktails?

“In this time when our bartenders and waitstaff are out of work, there’s not much support for them out there,” said Dano’s CEO Chris Timmerman.

That’s why Dano’s created a popular virtual happy hour where they pay a professional bartender to create concoctions during a Zoom meeting where folks from all over the country can watch, learn and even tip the bartender via Venmo, an online payment system.

And now Dano’s is donating $5 to the national relief fund for each person who shows up to their virtual cocktail hour and another $5 when someone buys a bottle of Dano’s Dangerous Tequila for home delivery.

The virtual happy hour move from Friday to Tuesday night on May 5 for Cinco de Mayo. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. on the Cocktails & Culture With Dan & Dano’s Facebook page.

Since April, Dano’s has hired a skilled bartender each week to lead the online cocktail hour where they teach viewers recipes using tequila. Interesting guest speakers also show up to the Zoom meeting.

Dano’s Tequila developed out of Steamboat resident Danny Thompson’s basement, where he would experiment with infusing pineapple and jalapeno into agave blanco tequila. Friends liked Thompson’s cocktail mixtures so much that he and Timmerman decided to head to Mexico to find a distillery partner in 2018.

Investors helped the company roll out Dano’s Dangerous Tequila in seven states before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The name, Dano’s Dangerous Tequila, was coined after friends started calling Thompson’s mixtures “dangerous” when they realized the infusions hid the taste of the actual alcohol.

If you go

What: Cocktails & Culture with Dan & Dano’s on Facebook
When: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 5
Why: Dano’s will donate $5 for each virtual visitor and $5 for each bottle of Dano’s sold on to support the Bartenders’ Guild Relief Fund.

With the help of the second oldest tequila distillery in the world located in Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico, Dano’s handcrafted tequila has won numerous awards including Best in Class and Double Gold for its Dano’s Anejo at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

While Dano’s virtual happy hour hires bartenders from all over the country, the Cinco de Mayo bartender will be Colorado’s very own Michael George of Denver with The Way Back Restaurant and Join or Die Concepts.

The guest speaker will be comedian Nick Pruher of Found Footage Festival.

Dano’s Cinco de Mayo recipes:

Dano’s Spicy Margarita

2 oz, Dano’s Pineapple and Jalapeno Tequila
1 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. Lime juice

Shake all ingredients and pour over ice into a highball or rocks glass.

Garnish rim of glass with sugar/salt mix

El Jefe Old-Fashioned

2 oz. Dano’s Anejo Tequila
.25 oz. Agave nectar
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Aztec Chocolate Bitters

Stir with ice into a rocks glass.

Garnish with orange peel and toasted cinnamon stick.

Timmerman said what’s really cool about the virtual happy hour is how participants communicate with each other during the cocktail hour, from helping each other out with tips and suggestions on surviving economically, to just being there as support for one another.

“With the current COVID-19 situation, Dano’s Tequila fully supports the countless people making sacrifices to stay inside in order to keep themselves and their loved ones safe,” said Conley Fitzpatrick, CMO of Dano’s Tequila. “We want to ensure that any 21-plus-year-old adult, regardless of their current social distancing situation, is still able to celebrate Cinco de Mayo from the comfort of their own home.”

Frances Hohl is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.

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