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"Can you recommend a coffee drink?" "What bands play on Fridays?" "Do you like puppies?"

These seemed like fairly straightforward questions with simple answers. (Except the last one — no one just likes puppies.) For the most part, when we called local bars, coffee shops and such to ask these questions, simple answers are what we got.

However, with interesting frequency, we were told ... advised ... asked to call back next week, to try the owner's cell phone, or passed off to a regular. One enterprising young woman warned that it was her first day, then went on to rattle off 15 drink ingredients all included in one concoction, from memory. Now that's training.

All this to say that for you, dear reader, we have called, e-mailed, voicemailed, cajoled, threatened, begged and enjoyed a surprising come-on from one female bartender (note: Ann, I'm off at 5 today), all to bring you our most complete Drink guide ever, built largely around happy hour.

If divine wine off the vine is a fine time; if cold beer steers you to good cheer; if white snow goes well with a hot Joe; if a jam band demands a head slam, man — OK, I'm done, sorry — read on here.

Of course, no mention of booze is complete without the usual caveat to imbibe responsibly, so please, friends, don't drink anything you'd play beer pong with.

  • "Can you recommend a coffee drink?" "What bands play on Fridays?" "Do you like puppies?"

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