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Drink Here Now: 5 Places to Sip This Week

Monroe

Photo of Monroe lounge, via MonroeSF.com

1) Weekly Wednesday DJ Party
If you’re planning to party at the swanky, Hollywood-esque Monroe (473 Broadway @ Kearny) on Wednesday nights, it pays to arrive early. Not only are the drinks cheaper; the music is probably better. The Battle of the Decades DJ party starts at 8 pm with music from the 80s, plus $1 cocktails and premium beers. At 9 pm, the 90s music kicks in, and drink prices double to $2. Music from the 00s starts at 10 pm, with $3 drinks. From 11pm - 2am, drinks cost $4, and the music hails from the current decade. Red Pepper food truck serves $1.50 tacos all night on the heated, outdoor patio.

2) Jamaican Rum Tasting @ Elixir’s Cocktail Club
Are you ready to get serious about your drinking? Elixir’s Cocktail Club offers the help you need. One of the oldest bars in the Mission will be hosting an educational guided tasting of Jamaican Rum this Thursday from 7 to 9 pm. You can join the weekly “cocktail club” for the price of any drink, and your “membership” comes with the chance to learn more about the spirits they use to make their world-famous cocktails. Elixir (16th & Guerrero) is decidedly more serious about drinking than you are, which explains its appearance on “Top Bar” lists in the likes of Food & Wine and Esquire. It also explains the absence of food on the menu. Fortunately, you’ll find Elixir in the restaurant-heavy Mission district, making it easy to dine out beforehand, or bring in a burrito.

3) SF Beer Olympics in North Beach
Those dollar drinks at Monroe may be good training for Friday night’s SF Beer Olympics at Horizon (498 Broadway) in North Beach. This weekly competition of beer games brings in locals and tourists alike. Sign-up begins at 8:30 pm, and everyone is placed on a team to compete for prizes in flip cup, beer pong and relays. The games begin at 9 pm, and beer prices are a team-friendly $10 for 5 until 9:30. After 9:30, the 5-beer price goes up to $15. Facebook friends who RSVP get extra benefits. Stick around afterwards for free entry into the night club upstairs.

4) Writers with Drinks
For a slightly more “civilized”–and possibly salacious–drinking experience, make your way to the Make Out Room (3225 22nd @ Bartlett) on Saturday. Hosted by the vampy Charlie Jane Anders, Writers with Drinks serves up a verbal variety show of erotica, stand-up comedy, science fiction, poetry, memoirs and rants. This week’s line-up includes Alexis Madrigal, Sr. Editor of The Atlantic, and Clarisse Thorn, author of "Confessions of a Pickup Artist Chaser." Doors open at 7 pm for the 7:30 show. Admission is $5 -10 on a sliding scale, with all proceeds benefiting the Center for Sex and Culture. Enjoy $3 microbrew pints, $2 Pabst pints and $3 well drinks from the bar.

5) Tinctures and Bitters Class
You don’t need a vest and a bow tie to make creative cocktails. But you will need some tinctures and bitters. The friendly bartender at Southpaw BBQ (2170 Mission, between 18th and 19th) will be sharing some of the secrets to cocktail success on Tuesday, March 12, from 7 - 9pm. Sign up for this hands-on, intimate class, and learn to make tinctures/bitters flavored with kaffir lime, grapefruit, ancho chile and tart cherry. Each tincture will be demonstrated in a different drink, so you can taste how the flavor of each tincture complements the cocktail. Students will be sent home with samples of each tincture/bitter for home experimentation. Tickets are $50, and the class is limited to 10 students. RSVP by phone (415-934-9300) or email. The restaurant will be closed for the evening, so no food will be served.