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Drink Here Now: 5 Places to Sip This Week

1. Independent Spirits Expo: SF's annual celebration of craft distillers is back for another round tonight, with plenty of small-batch rum, vodka, whiskey, tequila, mezcal, cognac, and liqueurs for drinkers to sample. You'll also be able to chat with distillers and brand representatives, enjoy custom cocktails, and compare spirits side-by-side. Tickets are $60 for the general public and $85 for VIPs (who get in 30 minutes before everyone else), and if you use code MURRAYAID when you register, you'll get $10 off your ticket and send a $10 donation to legendary Seattle bartender Murray Stenson, who's battling heart problems. After the event, head over to Elixir for an afterparty also benefiting Stenson; a plethora of top SF cocktail talents, many of whom are brand ambassadors and rarely seen behind a bar these days, will be mixing up special drinks. (Wednesday, November 14. Expo: 5:30-9:30 pm, at Swedish American Hall, 2174 Market St., Castro. After-party: 9 pm-2 am, at Elixir, 3200 16th St., Mission.) 

2. SF Hearts NY: SF bartenders are also teaming up this weekend for another important cause: raising money for victims of Hurricane Sandy. A murderer's row of mixologists, representing the likes of Bourbon & Branch, Rye, Smuggler's Cove, 15 Romolo, Beretta, Tradition, and Jasper's, will mix $5 drinks and serve up Coney Island-inspired fare, and with spacious Local Edition (pictured above) as the host, they'll have plenty of room to ply their craft. Tickets are $25, and all proceeds go to NYC and New Jersey bars that were damaged by the recent storm. (Sunday, November 18, 4-8 pm, at Local Edition, 691 Market St., Financial District.) 

3. See You Later Sandy: Also on the Hurricane Sandy relief train this Sunday is Dobbs Ferry, which is throwing a big bash with an open bar and passed appetizers to benefit the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers foundation, which is based in Staten Island and has a special Sandy charity dedicated to helping families in that hard-hit area. The restaurant, whose owners have roots in New York, is aiming to raise $15,000, and they're charging $100 for tickets, with all money going to the foundation. (Sunday, November 18, 5-9 pm, at Dobbs Ferry, 409 Gough St., Hayes Valley.) 

4. Twice's Sunday Brunch Clothing Swap: Twice, a new marketplace for secondhand fashion, is hosting a giant clothing swap this Sunday morning, with complimentary mimosas and plenty of breakfast fare to keep you shopping. Attendees are asked to bring a minimum of three items to sell, two to swap, and one to donate, and all donations will benefit Goodwill and the SF Food Bank. Stylists from Tog + Porter and the Cinta Aveda Institute will also be on hand to offer advice on clothing selection, makeup, and hairstyling. RSVP here. (Sunday, November 18, 11:30 am-3:30 pm, at Laurent Studio, 470 Alabama St., Mission.)  

5. La Maison Cointreau: The folks behind Cointreau orange liqueur are in town this week, and they've created a unique space featuring bites, live French music, a collection of rare and first-edition cocktail books, and of course, plenty of free drinks. Head mixologist Kyle Ford, who used to tend bar here in SF, will lead cocktail-making classes for attendees as well. Attendance is free, with plenty of times still available tonight and tomorrow night; sign up on their website to get in the door. (Wednesday, November 14 and Thursday, November 15, 7-10 pm, at Big Daddy's Antiques, 1550 17th St., Potrero Hill.)