5 Reasons to Drink: Whiskey Flights, Cocktail Omakase + Ancient Corn Old Fashioneds
Calavera celebrates Day of the Dead for an entire week with marigolds, altars, and special cocktails. (Calavera)

5 Reasons to Drink: Whiskey Flights, Cocktail Omakase + Ancient Corn Old Fashioneds


I only drink on days that end in "Y."

Calavera Celebrates Dia de los Muertos

If you've visited Oaxaca City in Mexico, you know Day of the Dead is more than a day—it's a season. Starting Wednesday, Calavera Mexican restaurant in Oakland will be commemorating the season with a week-long celebration. In addition to marigold decorations, regional molé dishes, and festive altars honoring departed loved ones, guests can enjoy some special cocktails based on ancestral ingredients such as apples, honey, epazote and platanos. We're dying to try the Ancient Corn Old Fashioned, made with Mezcal Vago "Elote" harvest mezcal, bourbon, housemade pumpkin-spiced bitters, and a spiced caramel lollipop. // 2337 Broadway (Oakland), calaveraoakland.com

Trick or Treat on 4th Street

Here's a Halloween block party both kids and grown-ups can enjoy, together. Stroll down Fourth Street in Downtown Berkeley on Monday, October 31 from 2pm to 5pm and be treated to live blues and folk music, kid-centered activities, and adults-only drinks. Entertain the offspring with face and pumpkin painting, bubble and puppet shows, fun fishin' and a pup parade. Maintain your sanity with Monster Mash Punch at Convert, Blood Orange Morgue-A-Ritas at Outback in the Temple of Venus, and Coffee 'n Cream at Artis, made with Artis Coffee and beer from Laughing Monk Brewery. After a few drinks, we dare you to find the Scary Hair Booth. // Fourth Street b/t University and Cedar (Berkeley), fourthstreet.com

Sophisticated Spooky Celebration at Press Club

Looking for a low-key, high-brow option for Halloween? Pick up a ticket ($10 in advance/$15 at the door) for Press Club's Sophisticated Spooky Celebration on Saturday, featuring bloody reds and ghostly whites paired with delicious bites. The decidedly not debaucherous party starts at 9pm, and costumes are encouraged. DJ Brigidope will be spinning tunes, so wear something you can dance in without injuring yourself or others. // 20 Yerba Buena Lane (Mid-Market), pressclubsf.com

Warm Your Heart at Elixir

Break out the umbrella and brace yourself for Fall weather with a whiskey flight at Elixir. The $30 NorCal Rye Whiskey flight features Corbin Cash Merced Rye, Sonoma Rye, Spirit Works Straight Rye (from Sebastopol), and Wright & Brown Rye (from Oakland). Once you've warmed the cockles of your heart with brown booze, order a Gin & Tonic from the Golden Hydrant Charity Cocktail tap, which diverts a dollar per drink to a local family that lost everything in a house fire. // 3200 16th St. (Mission), elixirsf.com

Cocktail Omakase Returns to Roka Bar

Throw caution to the wind and let the bartenders at Roka Akor bring you booze of their choosing, for "Cocktail Omakase." Omakase means "I'll leave it up to you," and Roka Bar's latest theme draws inspiration from traditional Japanese festivals. A cocktail honoring the Yuki Matsuri (Snow Festival) incorporates lemon and basil Japanese shaved ice, a gin-based sorbet, and heirloom melon-infused shochu. Another drink pays homage to the Great Japan Beer Festival, "achieving the essence of what it feels like to drink beer - the bitterness, the hops - without actually drinking beer," says bartender Alex Riddle. Reservations for the 90-minute cocktail omakase ($55) are available Thursday through Saturday evenings at 7:30pm and are limited to five seats per evening. Food pairings are available for an additional $55 per person. // 801 Montgomery St. (Jackson Square), rokaakor.com/san-francisco

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