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Rent parties and mystic liqueurs


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Historically, rent parties have been cultural events as much as practical ones. Originating in Harlem in the 1920s, the parties featured jazz and blues music, plus food, and tenants passed the hat to help pay their rent.

On Nov. 23 at 7 p.m., The Cookery, 1101 W. Chapel Hill St., Durham, is hosting its first in a series of planned rent parties, featuring food, music and drinks—but to help pay someone else's rent.

Housing for New Hope's Rapid Rehousing program, which places homeless people and offers them financial assistance and support, will receive all proceeds from the evening.

Tickets are $50. The Catering Company of Chapel Hill will serve hors d'oeuvres, including mini Yorkshire pudding with beef tenderloin and caramelized onions, brie and grilled asparagus tartlets, and crab cakes with smoked tomato remoulade and pickled shrimp. The Cookery's inventive bartenders will mix drinks. The Mint Julep Jazz Band will perform; for a preview, hear them on WUNC's "The State of Things" Friday at noon. For tickets, go to

Before heading to The Cookery, stop by 106 Main, a bar at, well, 106 E. Main St. in Durham, 4–6 p.m. for a free tasting of Mystic Bourbon Liqueur, a small-batch spirit made in Durham by Jonathan Blitz and Michael Sinclair. It combines American bourbon whiskey and exotic botanicals.

Raleigh folks, they haven't forgotten about you: Bolt Bistro & Bar, 219 Fayetteville St., hosts a tasting Nov. 27 at 6:30 p.m.

Mystic Bourbon Liqueur is also available in local ABC stores.


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