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Posted at 3:19 PM ET, 04/14/2009

Making Tax Day a Little Less Painful

By Fritz Hahn

Tax day is our least favorite time of year. To help make April 15 a little brighter (and easier on the wallet), we suggest you take time out from filling in forms to sip a cocktail, enjoy a discounted dinner or taste a new beer.

From the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 to Prohibition days, liquor and taxes are tightly woven into American history. They've also served as the inspiration for some of our favorite cocktails, including the Rum Runner, the Income Tax Cocktail and the Three Mile Limit. On Tuesday night at Darlington House, the Museum of the American Cocktail's "Non-Taxing and Slightly Evasive Cocktail Seminar" is part history lesson and part cocktail class. Phil Greene of the Museum of the American Cocktail, Derek Brown of D.C.'s Craft Bartenders Guild and author and historian Garrett Peck are the hosts, and the talk gets underway at 6:45. Tickets are $40 in advance from the Museum's Web site and $45 at the door.

Feeling the pinch a little more than you thought? Mister Days feels your pain. On Wednesday night, the Clarendon sports bar is offering a stimulus package that includes all draft beers for $2; a special $2 menu of wings, nachos and other snacks; dinner specials for less than $10; and interactive games (with prizes) from Shock Top, Budweiser's entry into the Belgian-style white beer market. Throughout the night, Mister Days will be giving customers "rebate checks" good for $5 off on their next visit.

Like it has done in years' past, Zola is going all out for tax day. On April 15, those who dine at the bar can take advantage of a special three-course menu for $20.15 at lunch and $35.15 at dinner. That's all you pay -- Zola will pick up the tax tab. The restaurant will also be serving a specialty cocktail dubbed the IRS Raspberry (a variation on the Bronx Cheer for $9.50. Tax forms and calculators will be on hand for those who'd like to complete their 2008 returns tableside, and if you finish by 11 p.m., Zola will even mail your forms for you.

Brabo by Robert Wiedmaier is offering a much simpler special. The restaurant will give diners a 10 percent discount on their meals to offset the pain of tax day. (This deal is only available at the fine-dining restaurant, not the nearby and similarly named Brabo Tasting Room).

And finally, nothing takes our minds off taxes like a nice cold beer. The Gordon Biersch brewpub downtown is showing off its new spring Maibock tonight, with free snacks, a raffle and a ceremonial tapping of the barrel (followed by free tastes). The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will be accepting tax-free donations at the door.

-- Fritz and Julia

By Fritz Hahn  | April 14, 2009; 3:19 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs, Restaurants  
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