Each week, we bring you our top picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in SF.
1. Two Special Drink Events at Txoko: Txoko is now a few months into its stint in the old Enrico's space in North Beach, and its Basque fare and relaxed atmosphere have earned acclaim from our own Carolyn Alburger. They're doing a lot of celebrating: This Wednesday, Txoko's throwing a Pisco Porton happy hour, with $6 cocktails like the Elevation (pisco, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur) and the Jabber (pisco, sherry, Lillet blanc, orange bitters, lemon oil), as well as a classic Pisco Sour. For $12, you'll get your choice of cocktail and two bites: mussels with romesco and crispy potatoes, and a wild-mushroom empanada. The first 50 ladies to arrive will receive a drink on the house, too. Next Tuesday, they'll celebrate National Punch Day, with two punches and two cocktails made with Bols Genever going for just $6 a glass. Fish and chips, fried green tomatoes, and arroz with corn will all be $6 as well. (Pisco: Wednesday, September 14th, 5:30-7:30 pm; Punch: Tuesday, September 20th, 5:30-7:30 pm, at Txoko, 504 Broadway, North Beach.)
2. Barrel-Aged Release Party at Zero Zero: Though it's known for pizza, Zero Zero also has a pretty serious cocktail program, as evidenced by its latest project: a barrel-aged white Manhattan. The staff combined Portland-based House Spirits' White Dog whiskey with Dolin vermouth, Benedictine, and Peychaud's bitters, then aged the whole concoction in an oak bourbon barrel. The resulting cocktail debuts in 2 weeks, where guests can quaff it for half price-- only $6 per drink. (Thursday, September 29th, 5-7 pm, at Zero Zero, 826 Folsom St., SOMA.)
3. White Summer Nights: In honor of Jillian Costello, a UC Berkeley rower who died of lung cancer at only 22, her friends and teammates are throwing a party to benefit cancer research on the rooftop of the W Hotel. Guests are encouraged to dress entirely in white, and hot young Cal athletes (including an Olympic gold medalist) will do double duty as servers. The $35 admission gets you access to an open Svedka vodka bar from 8-9 pm, and all the proceeds will go to Jill's Legacy, a charity founded in Costello's honor. Tickets are here. (Friday, September 16th, 8-11 pm, at W Hotel, 181 3rd St., SOMA.)
4. Happy Hour at Passion Cafe: Now that we're deep into the San Francisco version of summer, knowing about a few good happy-hour spots with outdoor spaces never hurts. If you can take a deep breath and muscle your way down grungy 6th Street, Passion Cafe will reward you with its enormous rooftop deck, which offers a great view of Downtown. And the drink prices don't hurt, either: $3 Stella and sangria and $5 Bloody Marys, mojitos, and Kir Royales are all on offer, as are $5 charcuterie and cheese plates. (Tuesday-Friday, 4-6 pm, at Passion Cafe, 28 6th St., SOMA.)
5. Inside Network Happy Hour: If you're an app developer attending the Facebook f8 conference next week, consider checking out a pre-event happy hour sponsored by Inside Network, a networking firm for app-development types. They'll be taking over Mercury Lounge, with free drinks, to boot-- all you have to do is RSVP here. (Wednesday, September 21st, 5:30-8:30 pm, at Mercury Lounge, 1582 Folsom St., SOMA.)