It started as a fun holiday concoction. Rob Lederman, local radio personality at 97 Rock and stand-up comedian, gathered various alcohols, a clean garbage can, and special ingredients to build his famous drink (in his garage). He made 144 bottles a year.
“I would bring a bottle to a party and end up having to go home to get more,” he told me. “People love it.”
It’s not egg nog; there are no egg products in it. But it does contain plenty of scotch, rum, brandy, Canadian Club, Southern Comfort, and vodka, with a few of Rob’s own special ingredients. In the end, it becomes a “cinnamony Baileys,” Rob says.
It’s especially important that Bob Rich of Rich Products loved it. Bob tasted Rob’s creation and knew it was special.
“Let’s do this everywhere,” he told Rob.
Soon, the pair, both of whom are involved with funds for cystic fibrosis and Camp Good Days, realized they could turn the drink into a fundraising tool. They made 800 cases of what was then known simply as “Rob’s drink,” but became “Rob’s Grog” after Bob Rich’s wife tasted it and thought of the name.
Each case sells for $400 and includes six 64 oz boxes of drink mix. The restaurant simply adds the above liquors, and voila! (RCH_08056RobsGrogSellSheet_v43438.pdf). All the proceeds go to charity.
“It’s a no brainer for restaurants,” he says. “The case is only $400, which is 100% tax deductible. They can make up to $3,000 on it. Plus, we’re advertising it on 103.3 The Edge, 104.1, and 97 Rock for 6 weeks, so they get their name on the radio for 6 weeks just for signing up.”
Right now, 28 restaurants and bars in Buffalo and Western New York are on board. That includes almost the entire Chippewa district in Buffalo, Black and Blue in Williamsville, and a whole lot of Clarence restaurants. They are looking to branch out into other areas of Western New York, hopefully getting to a maximum number of between 30 and 40 establishments. If you’re interested in carrying Grog, contact Rob at RobsGrog@secretgourmet.com.
Head to Dandelion’s Restaurant on November 24th for a Grog release and tasting party. And if you’re out and about, try it. Think of it as drinking for charity.