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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. DonQ Rum Cocktail Competition: The U.S. Bartender's Guild is hosting a cocktail competition at the Burritt Room, with Puerto Rican rum DonQ as the featured spirit. Attendees can sample rum cocktails made by eight competitors from the city's best bars, nosh on Sol's Puerto Rican food, and enjoy live salsa music by Hot Pocket. Admission is free if you RSVP here. (Tuesday, April 12, 7 pm, at the Burritt Room, 417 Stockton St., Union Square.)

2. HowAboutWe at Smuggler's Cove: The dating site HowAboutWe is hoping to make a few matches over a free scorpion bowl at Smuggler's Cove. Their event, designed for singles, encourages you to match up with someone; bartenders will only dispense a scorpion bowl if you order with a buddy, and there's a limit, meaning you should find Mr. or Ms. Right Now if you want a gratis drink. Space is limited; RSVP here. (Monday, April 11, 6:30-8:30 pm, at Smuggler's Cove, 650 Gough St., Hayes Valley.)

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. MoMo's Martini Hour: Our baseball champions start a new season this week, and their newly lofty status has been reflected in high ticket prices and sellout crowds. If you want to be part of the action, but can't get into the stadium, consider hitting up their bar's Martini Hour, which offers $4 classic or creative martinis and draft beer, plus $4 bar bites. (Monday-Friday, 4-7 pm, at MoMo's, 760 2nd St., SOMA.)

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. Mint Slope Cocktail Crawl: This event got announced late and is happening tonight, so pounce now: for a $5 donation (proceeds go to the Human Rights Campaign), bartenders at four bars on the strip of Upper Market known as "Mint Slope" will each offer their own Svedka vodka creations for your sampling. The crawl starts at Orbit Room, and continues to Blackbird, Pilsner Inn, and Rebel; vote for your favorite cocktail on your smartphone. RSVP here. (Wednesday, March 23, 6:30-9 pm, at Orbit Room, 1900 Market St., Upper Market.)

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. Free St. Pat's Drink at Harlot: If your St. Patrick's Day plans run more towards DJs than old Irish drinking songs, head to Harlot, where JJ Flores will be spinning. The $10 admission includes a free drink of your choice, though given the nature of the holiday, you'll probably want more than just one. And if you've got a March birthday, your luck of the Irish doubles; they're offering unspecified drink specials. (Thursday, March 17, 8:30 pm-2 am, at Harlot, 46 Minna St., SOMA.)

Support Our NorCal Brews in the Washington Post's Beer Madness

It's bracket season-- that special time of year when everyone, down to the President himself, is filling out their NCAA tournament picks for the office betting pool. While most of us can't influence the outcome of the Final Four, there's another March faceoff in which everyone gets a say: the Washington Post's annual Beer Madness competition. Last year's Beer Madness spanned the globe, but 2011's tourney is exclusively focused on American craft brews, meaning more of Northern California's finest get to compete.

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. SF Weekly's DRINK Party: This city loves its booze, and SF Weekly is celebrating that fact with its first-ever drinking bash, benefiting the Barbary Coast Conservancy of the American Cocktail and the United States Bartender's Guild. Magnolia, St. George Spirits, Cask, 21st Amendment, Toronado, The Wine Club, and Distillery No. 209 are among the 30+ participants-- and it's an open bar. But wait, there's more! LTB readers get a $20 discount on admission, bringing the cost of a regular ticket to $30 and a VIP pass to $55. Just use the code 7x7 at the event website. (Saturday, March 12, 6-9 pm VIP, 7-9 pm general admission, at the Fairmont Hotel, 950 Mason St., Nob Hill.)

2. Johnnie Walker Tasting: Like Scotch? You'll want to get in on Johnnie Walker's series of private tastings, which they're offering gratis multiple times over the course of the weekend. Sign up on their website to get in on the action, but be sure to show up early-- an RSVP doesn't guarantee entry, and spots are limited. (Wednesday, March 9- Saturday, March 12, various times, at Fort Mason Center, Landmark Building A.)

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. Fillmore Mardi Gras: Celebrate Fat Tuesday at the Fillmore's second annual block party, where numerous restaurants will be serving New Orleans-style cuisine and hosting live bands. The drink deals are numerous, including $3 Abitas and $6 Sazeracs at 1300 on Fillmore, 23-ounce pints of Abita SOS for $6 at Fat Angel, $4 and $5 drink specials at Gussie's Chicken and Waffles, and $6 Leblon cachaca cocktails at Sheba Piano Lounge. (Tuesday, March 8, 6 pm-12 am, in the Fillmore District.)

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. Food and Thought: The "Now Playing" series at SFMOMA continues to offer one of the best fusions of cheap drinks, culture, and tasty food in town, with $5 small plates from the likes of Coi and Local: Mission Eatery, an art collaboration with Noise Pop, and complimentary Trumer Pils and Scribe wine. All this can be yours for a half-price museum admission; members get in free. (Thursday, November 24, 6-8 pm, at SFMOMA Rooftop Garden, 151 3rd St., SOMA.)

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.

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. Cocktail College at Bar Adagio: The latest installment of Bar Adagio's Cocktail College is this Thursday, and as always, tuition is free. Ketel One vodka is the sponsor this time around, and drinkers will be able to sample a few vodka cocktails before being set loose to make two of their own. RSVP here. (Thursday, February 10, 6-8 pm, at Bar Adagio, 550 Geary St., Union Square.)

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