This weekend’s great craft cocktails on


At El Take it Easy,

If anyone calls you a mezcal snob at this gastrocantina in North Park, they’re not kidding! You’ve been showing off all night, describing how this agave-plant alcohol fills the lungs like campfire, sighs down the back of the throat. And just when you’re impressing everyone with your extensive spirits knowledge, you order one of El Take It Easy’s off-menu specials: the  I.B. Sunset. It’s a dry drink, made with Reposado mezcal, sweet vermouth, Cherry Heering liqueur, and fresh-squeezed orange juice. “Sweet smokiness in my tummy!” You say, sounding every bit the cocktail connoisseur. Get it with a pork belly taco.

Heering Blood and Sand on

…URBN Coal Fired Pizza (3085 University Ave. in North Park) recently kicked off its Classic Cocktail Hour, which runs from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday. For $6, you can wrap your lips around pre-Prohibition drinks like the Tom Collins, Pimm’s Cup and Old Fashioned. I dug the sweet and tart Blood and Sand (Famous Grouse Scotch, orange juice, Cherry Heering and sweet vermouth), and my drinking buddy put up a challenge and simply asked for something made with fernet. The bartender surprised us with a very good drink he called the Rabbit Hole (fernet, lime juice, bitters and ginger beer). I’m pretty sure it was URBN bartender Dustin Haarstad who came up with that drink. Haarstad recently placed third in the 4 Orange Premium Vodka Annual Classic Cocktail Competition at the South Beach Food & Wine Festival, so the man knows a thing or two about mixing….

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