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    Eat & Swig

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    Triple M Mondays at Gary’s on Spring
    204 S. Spring St.

    Manhattans, martinis and margaritas — all half price. And this isn’t your ruby-red, maraschino cherry Manhattan or your neon-green margarita poured from a swirling vat. Bar manager Martin Hall says he tries to make drinks with the best ingredients; he recently chucked shelves full of flavored vodka and replaced them with bourbons. The Manhattan has cherries that are soaked in Fernet Branca, an Italian bitter; Rittenhouse rye; Angostura bitters; and Punt e Mes vermouth. “It’s hard to screw it up when you put good ingredients in it,” Hall says. Did we mention these drinks are $3 to $4 all night on Mondays?

    Whiskey Wednesdays at Loop 22
    2222 Dundee Road

    Don’t go on a Wednesday and expect to get a rotisserie bird (though Loop 22 does have a cheaper Wednesday menu that includes that same chicken on nachos; we’re excited, too). The first items listed on the special hump day menu are drinks: $1 well liquor; $3 West Sixth IPA; $4 wines. When the server brings the second gin and tonic — the tab is now at $2! — she apologizes. “Sorry,” she says. “These are really full.” She’s serving drinks with under-diluted alcohol filled to the top of the glass? For a dollar? And she’s sorry?

    Penny Sake at Sakura Blue
    4600 Shelbyville Road

    On Tuesdays — FOR ONE PENNY— you get a bottle of hot sake that’s served with mini ceramic shot glasses. It’s every excuse to get Sakura Blue’s sushi rolls on even the coldest day. We also found a YouTube video of the chefs making (and taking) sake bombs — sake shots dropped in pints of beer and chugged. When we ask the server about the bombs, she gives a puzzled look and has a conversation in Japanese with one of the chefs, before saying in broken English that she does not think the bombs are tasty — too much alcohol to drink at once. But the sake only costs a penny. A PENNY!

    The Five Dolla Holla at Decca
    812 E. Market St.

    For $5, you get a shot of Benchmark bourbon and a can of beer. (The beer part of the deal rotates but is often Old Style.) The special runs whenever the place is open, to welcome people who don’t want to spend a paycheck on a drink. “Or you can have a $12 craft cocktail. Whatever, man,” bar manager Cameron Lyles says. Decca also has half-price bottles of wine on Thursdays. “It’s any bottle, so if you feel real weird you can get a $300 bottle for $150,” Lyles says. Steals aside, the downstairs is cave-like on a recent evening, with musical instruments on the wall and a black-and-white film playing from a projector. In other words, it’s a den we could spend hours in.

    Bourbon and Jazz at Match Cigar Bar
    207 Spring St. (Jeffersonville, Ind.)

    No excuses, traffic-phobes. Match is a block away from the Jeffersonville side of the Big Four bridge, which means you can walk there (yeah, we’re hoping for a mild winter). Burn those bourbon calories you’re about to ingest. “When everything’s done by hand, it just makes it better,” owner Jeff Mouttet says, twisting an orange rind for the Old Fashioned he’s making between puffs of a cigar. Smoking is allowed in bars across the river, so if you’re one of those cigar aficionados (or don’t mind the smoke), take a seat on one of the leather couches. Mouttet plays vinyl from his collection that includes lots of jazz, like Dexter Gordon and Norah Jones, and local stuff like Houndmouth. Listening to Gordon play “Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out to Dry” on the sax, we must say: Vinyl just sounds better.

    Late Night at Asiatique
    1767 Bardstown Road

    On Friday and Saturday nights, you’re lucky to get a seat in the basement lounge that’s filled with white modern couches and soft light. The mood music includes everything from electronic artist Flying Lotus to Godfather of Soul James Brown. The main draw is the happy hour that runs in the lounge and bar after dinner. Drinks and appetizers in the $6 range include skirt steak and spring rolls, and ginger martinis and the Asiarita. The party goes on as business dictates, but not past 4 a.m.

    Lounging and Love at Vint
    2309 Frankfort Ave.

    Sometimes you want a fireplace and couch and huge windows to see snow through the frost while you sip on a warming drink. This is Vint. Gather with some buddies for some wine on a Thursday, when bottles are half price, or on a Wednesday, when lattes are $2. Vint’s best deal of all? The prospect of finding love. Really! We keep hearing of singles meeting here. Even marriage proposals have gone down at the casual coffee shop. Are laptops for lovers?

    Beignets and Bloody Marys at Selena’s 
    10609 La Grange Road

    We are not making this up: You can get four beignets and three mimosas for $10. On Saturdays and Sundays at Selena’s (out front, look for the Willow Lake Tavern sign that’s been there forever) the mimosas and Bellinis are $2 apiece, Bloody Marys are $4 and beignets are four for $4. With the fireplace and multiple TVs, you can post up through basketball season.

    This article appears in the winter issue of SWIG. To subscribe to Louisville Magazine, click here.

    Mary Chellis Nelson's picture

    About Mary Chellis Nelson

    Mary Chellis Nelson is the managing editor of Louisville Magazine.

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