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Midweek Tip #1: Wednesday Drink Club at Speakeasy 518


It is, unfortunately, Tuesday. That can't be helped. You can, however, choose to rise above your circumstances and enjoy the week anyway. Welcome to your Midweek Tip.


This week's Midweek Tip would like to draw your attention to one of the most underrated weekly events quietly chugging along in downtown Albany right now: Speakeasy 518's Wednesday Drink Club. Every Wednesday a "host" from a booze distributor or local liquor producer swings by the speakeasy to pour tastes of their products for you to try, followed by a "Chopped"-style cocktail contest during which two bartenders compete to make the best cocktail including a spirit selected by the host.


Your humble Albablogger dropped by this event a couple of weeks ago and had a great time. The Speakeasy really shines on a weekday night, when the bartenders have time to relax and chat and it's not too crowded to notice the details of the space (did YOU know that the Speakeasy has a really nice working fireplace?) The bar manager, Emmanuel Treski, (the gentleman with the impressive Errol Flynn mustache) was extremely excited to talk about how he hopes that this event will help lure in folks who might be a little intimidated by the Speakeasy's uptight reputation (no, you don't have to dress up like Jay Gatsby to be admitted). The cocktails the two guest bartenders made up on the fly were both delicious, and the whole evening feels very civilized: order one excellent drink, taste a bunch more for free, and get home before 9:30 for around $10-$15 bucks.


Where: Speakeasy 518, at 48 Howard Street under the City Beer Hall (ring the bell at the door under the red lamp to be admitted). You don't have to dress up, but some people do, so it's probably not the place to show up in your pajamas. If you pull out your cell phone at the bar the bartenders will politely ask you to take it outside or into the foyer and bathroom.


When: Booze tastings start at 6:00: cocktail contest at around 8:00/


How Much: Less than $20, though you can easily rack up a big bill at the Speakeasy if you order food and multiple cocktails.