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Cask . . . and you shall receive

Cask popped up quietly, though spirits junkies and bartenders around town have been awaiting its opening for some time. The specialty spirits and bartender-supply shop opened by the good folks who have given us Bourbon and Branch, Swig, and Anu, seems slightly out of place next to the Subway sandwich joint at Third and Market (17 Third St is the exact address), but once you pass under its burnished wooden sign, you enter a world away from the big corporate retailers that otherwise populate most of the area.

Swig specializes in smaller production spirits and bartender favorites, and thus is one of the few bottle shops you'll find anywhere that carries more gins than vodkas. There's also an exemplary whiskey section, pisco, absinthe and everything else you can think of. Hey, there's even wine, mostly from local, small producers and a nice choice of high-end Champagne. What's truly great about Cask, though, is the dedication to bartending--it's the best seleciton of citrus squeezers, muddlers, different-sized mixing tins, spoons, ice crackers and anything else you could think of--good for both the professional and the home 'tender. A great compendium of cocktail and wine books completes the store. If you're in search of ideas for that drinker in your life, Cask is obviously a good place at which to start brainstorming.