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Posted at 7:00 AM ET, 02/11/2011

Weekend Update: Step up your cocktail game

By Alex Baldinger

More and more often these days, we'll walk into a bar, survey the spirits on hand, and just as we're ready to order, the questions start:

"What the heck is Averna?"
"What kind of a cocktail is made with rhubarb bitters?"
"Does that bottle say white whiskey?"

The proliferation of this town's enlightened cocktail class has made things much more complicated than the standard Absolut, Jim Beam or Stolichnaya routine. But you don't need a mixology license in order to understand, appreciate and even mix your own craft cocktails.

In today's Weekend section, Fritz Hahn looks at the growing number of Washington bartenders and cocktail aficionados who are willing to play the role of educators, sharing their knowledge at monthly classes that cater to newcomers, foodies and the merely curious.

Here's the rest of what's inside today's section:

• Our picks for the best bets this weekend, including the D.C. Record Fair's decampment to Arlington; a chance to gawk at undie-clad runners; and the return of Nerd Nite.

• For Detroit's Black Milk, it's all about quality over quantity.

• New albums reviewed this week: Lizz Wright, Abe Vigoda, and Braids.

• "Trenton Makes, the World Takes." Except it's you that should take...a trip there.

• The vintage clothing store has nothing on "Second Lives: The Age-Old Art of Recycling Textiles."

The Rolling Stones and the ballet?

It's Bieber time.

• Elsewhere on screen: "The Eagle", "Dogtooth" and "Outside the Law."

By Alex Baldinger  | February 11, 2011; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Events  
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