Help Us Help Black- and Brown-Owned Businesses in Mpls.

After George Floyd’s horrific murder in my hometown, I was looking for a way to help black- and brown-owned businesses that had sustained damage during the demonstrations that followed. I learned that my friend, Chris Montana, the co-owner of Minneapolis’ Du Nord Craft Spirits, the first black-owned micro-distillery in America, was putting together a fund to do just that

Chris thought that a raffle for a virtual cocktail party featuring some of his distilled product and some fun conversation with the two of us might raise some money.

“Really?” I asked.

“You’re right,” Chris said. “I don’t know if you’re still that big an attraction.”

“That’s not what I meant,” I replied angrily. “But I get your point. How about if we added my friend Sarah Silverman?  She mentioned wanting to do something as well.”

“That’d be great!” Chris said immediately. “She’s big! And everyone loves her! People would jump at the chance to have a virtual cocktail party with Sarah Silverman!”

Chris Du Nord
Chris Montana at Du Nord

“And me!” I insisted.

“And…?” Chris asked.


“Yes,” Chris said.

“But no one knows who the hell you are,” I rejoined.

“Hey,” he responded. “I’m the guy who put this fund together and who is not taking any of the proceeds himself – even though my distillery suffered significant fire damage.”

“But that’s because you had good insurance!” I countered. “Then again, I will give you credit for feeding folks in the Lake Street neighborhood with your food pantry over the last several weeks and also, kudos for for converting the distillery during COVID to manufacture hand sanitizer. That was a classy thing to do, I must admit.”

“Yes, I’m very proud of that,” Chris said. “But why don’t you tell people about the raffle?”

Al and Sarah
Al and Sarah at the DNC Convention in 2016

So, here’s the deal. Sarah, Chris, and I will drink cocktails and engage in cocktail party banter with the winner of our raffle to benefit black-and-brown business owners in Minneapolis who suffered losses during the recent demonstrations.

Here’s how it works. Enter the raffle by clicking HERE. While it’s not required to be entered into the contest, you can  donate if you wish to help these small businesses and the community get back up and on their feet. Write “raffle” in the comments section after you donate so we know you want your donation entered in the contest!

The winner will get to have cocktails with  Sarah, me, and Mr. Montana. Not only that! You will also receive a bottle of Du Nord’s spirits. Recovering alcoholics are encouraged to enter and will be accommodated in some yet-to-be-determined way.

And my Midwest Values PAC will match the first $50,000.

Thank you so much!


P.S. Even if you don’t win the raffle, you can still have a cocktail party! Here are three recipes Chris and his wife Shanelle were kind enough give us.



Wealthy Apple
1.5oz Apple Du Nord
1.5oz Cranberry Juice
0.5oz Lemon Juice
Lowball Glass
Shake with ice, serve in Lowball, garnish with drunken cranberries.

Purple Rain
1.75oz Apple Du Nord
1.75oz Blueberry Syrup
0.5oz Lime Juice
0.5oz Ginger Juice
Lowball Glass
Shake with ice, serve in Lowball, garnish with blueberries

The Dude
2.0oz Cafe Frieda Du Nord
0.5oz L’etoile Du Nord
3 drops Vanilla
Lowball Glass
Fill Lowball with ice, add Café Frieda, L’etoile, and vanilla, stir, top with cream poured over spoon.



No purchase, payment, or contribution is necessary to enter or win and will not improve chances of winning. Void where prohibited. Entries must be received by July 8, 2020. Enter by contributing here or email and put “Du Nord Riot Recovery Fund” in the subject line to enter without contributing. 1 winner will receive the following prize package: a hand-drawn map of the United States drawn and autographed by Al Franken (approx. retail value $3,000). Odds depend on number of entries received. Promotion open only to U.S. citizens, or lawful permanent U.S. residents who are legal residents of 50 United States, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and 18 or older (or age of majority under applicable law). View full official rules at Sponsor: Al Franken, Inc., P.O. Box 583502, Minneapolis, MN, 55458