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The “Dr. House Martini”: A Beverage With a Cause

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What do you get when you combine a bit of Hugh Laurie, a dollop of Dr. House, shake with a hearty portion of charity and serve it up in a trendy Chicago tavern? “It’s the Dr. House Martini,” says Beth Heller, Marketing Director for Harry Caray’s and a partner in Harry Caray’s Tavern on Chicago’s beautiful Navy Pier Waterfront.

Last month, Laurie performed at Harry’s with The Band From TV, a rock band of television stars whose mission it is to raise money and awareness for their favorite charities.  Band member James Denton (Desperate Housewives), once a server at Harry’s, is a partner in the restaurant and was instrumental in bringing the band to his old stomping ground. And now Laurie’s favorite drink has been added to Harry Caray’s menu to join an enticing list of beverages named for Chicago sports legends like Ernie Banks and Bobby Hull—and to raise money for Laurie’s charity, Save the Children Foundation.

While at Harry Caray’s in June, Laurie was served up his favorite drink: in his own words, “Belvedere Vodka, a croaked whisper of fine Vermouth, almond stuffed olives—served cold as a Welsh grave.” It was a perfect drink to cool him off in the hot Chicago sun—and after a long plane ride to arrive at Harry’s just in time to play the gig. But Denton came up with the idea to add the Dr. House Martini to the menu, which also features “Ari’s Gold” in honor of Jeremy Piven’s character on the HBO hit Entourage (Chicago actor Piven is also a partner in the establishment). But there’s a twist to the Dr. House Martini (and I don’t mean of lime), making it extra special. Harry Caray’s donates 100% of the proceeds from Dr. House Martini Save the Children; it’s also the organization to which Laurie’s take from Band from TV also goes. So you can, as House might say, “get your drink on” and do some good at the same time. (Although I’m not sure if such philanthropy is something of which Dr. Gregory House is likely to approve!)

The Band From TV was started by Greg Grunberg (Heroes), who wanted to raise money and awareness for the Epilepsy Foundation. While guest starring on House during season two (“Sex Kills”), he met Laurie and they discovered their mutual interest in music. Laurie joined up shortly thereafter and Laurie’s co-star Jesse Spencer a couple years after that.

While in Chicago for three days, the band –which also stars Adrian Pasdar from Heroes, Scott Grimes (ER and Robin Hood), Bob Guiney (The Bachelor)—rocked Chicago. In addition to the gig at Harry’s, they played Taste of Chicago and, playing for 1,000 fans at The Vic Chicago, they raised more than $65,000 for Epilepsy Chicago.

Each band member plays for his favorite charity, and fees for performing go to those organizations, raising money and awareness for their various causes. BFTV produced a CD/DVD in 2008, and there are plans somewhere in the works to produce a second recording, time to be determined, according to the band.

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is publisher and executive editor of Blogcritics, as well as a noted entertainment writer. Author of Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D., her primary beat is primetime television. But Barbara writes on an everything from film to politics to technology to all things pop culture and spirituality. She is a contributor to the book called Spiritual Pregnancy (Llewellyn Worldwide, January 2014) and has a story in Riverdale Ave Press' new anthology of zombie romance, Still Hungry for your Love. She is hard at work on what she hopes will be her first published novel.
  • DebbieJ

    “as cold as a Welsh grave”. LMAO

    God, I love his humor.

    And good on Harry Caray’s for donating 100% of the proceeds for every “Dr House Martini” sold!

  • Captanne

    As the daughter of a Welshwoman, I simply must LMAO. 😉 (As the daughter of a Scotsman, I have to agrrree.)

    Well done, Harry.

  • Jay

    It’s great that you found out about this and it’s great that every member of the band plays for a charity that they know and love. I don’t know how they all do it with their crazy TV schedules!

    Anywho, I was reading an article that you wrote where you commented on your general opinions on the quality of season 5 after the season 5 finale aired. You also gave your general thoughts on what Season 5 would look like after you watched the Season 4 finale. Are you going to be doing something similar for Season 7. I believe that Season 7 is really going to be a turning point for the series since House will finally be happy (hopefully!). I’m both scared and excited!

  • http://BarbaraBarnett.com barbara barnett

    Jay–what a great idea. I promise I will do that!

  • Cynthiaanne

    Well done BFTV, thanks to you and all the good people out there was able to watch the great time they all had in Chicago, via the video clips and photos.
    I live in Wales, although not Welsh speaking, translated, annwyd fel cymraeg bedd, cold like Welsh grave !

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