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Lowering the Bar: 5 Places to Drink For Cheap (or Free) This Week

Each week, we bring you our top picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in SF.

1. Foursquare at Epic Roasthouse: Enjoy broadcasting your location to friends via Foursquare? Then get ready for what will surely be WikiLeaks-level news in your social circle: the first five people to check into Epic Roasthouse's bar during happy hour get a free drink. (And even the losers win, with drinks from $3-5.) The only problem: happy hour starts at 3 pm. We suggest claiming some sort of ice-skating-related injury. (Monday, December 13-Friday, December 17, 3-6:30 pm, at Epic Roasthouse, 369 The Embarcadero, Embarcadero.)

2. Cocktail College at Bar Adagio: Need a little schooling before you start mixing those holiday drinks? Enroll at Bar Adagio's free Cocktail College, where you'll learn to construct cocktails with Bacardi's Anejo and Solera rums. Plus, you can always drink your mistakes. RSVP here. (Wednesday, December 8, 5-8 pm, at Bar Adagio, 550 Geary St., Union Square.)

3. WineSocials' Holiday Tasting Party: Need a little wine and art to break up the monotony of gift-wrapping, travel-planning, and last-minute deadlines? WineSocials has the solution, with a party at Artists' Alley featuring appetizers, vino, and plenty of works to browse. Thanks to the folks at Goldstar, you can get into this event for a mere $10-- just grab a ticket over at their site. (Saturday, December 18, 7:30-9:30 pm, at Artists' Alley, 863 Mission St., SOMA.)

4. $15 Champagne Tasting Party: If your holidays aren't complete without a little bubbly, take advantage of the Daily Dishout's latest offering, a $15 pass to a champagne tasting shindig at Fort Mason. Along with bubbly, the event will also have port, rare dessert wines, and hors d'oeuvres-- and any bottle you might want to take home will be 10% off. Sign up here. (Saturday, December 11, 1-4 pm, at Fort Mason Center's SFMOMA Artists' Gallery, Building A.)

5. ECS' Holiday Happy Hour: Want to help others, but don't want to sacrifice a good time? Consider joining Episcopal Community Services at their holiday fundraiser, which benefits shelter, housing, and jobs programs for the homeless. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door, and include a glass of wine, appetizers by Burger Bar, and a killer view of the Union Square decorations. If you want to sponsor a resident for the holidays, buying them a few essential items like clothing and shoes, your admission goes down to $15. Get a ticket here, or learn more about sponsoring a resident by e-mailing ECS. (Thursday, December 9, 5-7 pm, at Burger Bar, 251 Geary St., 6th Floor, Union Square.)