Drunk Shopping: The 8 Best Bars to Hit Before Tackling Your Holiday Errands

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        Let the day drinking begin. | Zach Garrison

Let's face it: You still haven't finished your Christmas shopping, and time is running out. Soon, you'll be forced to find a remote parking space, fight the massive crowds -- all bumping and jostling and cutting into lines -- and empty your already hurting bank account. But hey, there's no need to go all Grinch. The key: drunk shopping.

Buoy your Christmas spirit by stopping off at one of the many fine drinking establishments that surround the epicenters of shopping and throw back a few. You'll have a glow to rival Kris Kringle's, and shopping will never have seemed more fun.

See also: IKEA Meatballs Won't Be Here Until 2015; Here Are the Best Local Meatballs to Try Now


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Dishcrawl's Cocktail Wars: Which Drink Will Win?

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       A bourbon cocktail at Mission Taco, one of the competitors. | Jennifer Silverberg

Some of St. Louis' best bartenders will be slinging drinks at Mad Art Gallery (2727 South 12th Street; 314-771-8230) on Tuesday, December 10, and competing in the North American Spirits Championship -- a.k.a. Dishcrawl's Cocktail Wars. Each one is distinct; read on for more detailed descriptions.

See also: Celebrate the Repeal of Prohibition Gatsby-Style

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Missouri Named Best State For Drinking

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       4 Hands Brewery, one of the reasons we won. Probably. | RFT Photo

Today in the rest of the country realizing how awesome we are, Time magazine named Missouri the best state for drinking. The worst? Utah (duh).

See also: 30 Reasons to Love Drinking in St. Louis

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Celebrate the Repeal of Prohibition Gatsby-Style

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       The Corpse Reviver No. 2. | Seth Anderson

It may be hard to believe now, but there was a time when our crazy country actually banned the production, sale and consumption of alcohol. How it happened is a weird and complicated story involving Congress, the Temperance Movement and a bunch of party poopers. But, on December 5, 1933, after more than a decade as what would (ironically) become known as one of America's drunkest, most depraved, violent and glamorous eras, the 21st Amendment was ratified, and Prohibition was over.

See also: Drinking Bathtub Gin and Other Prohibition-Era Cocktails with Distilled History

We've got some ideas on how to celebrate at home, plus two Repeal Day parties that are sure to be the bee's knees.

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Happy Hour at Flying Saucer

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       With nearly 70 beers on tap, you'll want to ride the Saucer for a while. | Jennifer Silverberg
Flying Saucer Draught Emporium (900 Spruce Street, 314-932-1456)

The Hours: 4 to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, specials all day on Mondays and Sundays.

The Deal: $1 off drafts during happy hour, $3 off some 60 beers and $3 Missouri beers on Sundays.

The Scene: For a place built so recently, Flying Saucer looks like it has been posted up across from Busch Stadium for forever. Parking is a little dicey (there is a gated lot next to the bar), but if you're willing to brave downtown, definitely put the Saucer on your list. The bar was packed on a Monday night, and Gut Check lucked out by finding a seat outside on the patio awash in light from the nearby ballpark.

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Happy Hour at Café Mochi: Just Roll With It

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The spicy octopus and California rolls at Café Mochi. | Caillin Murray
Café Mochi (3221 South Grand Boulevard, 314-773-5000)

The Hours: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday.

The Deal: Select rolls are half-off, $1 off beers and two-for-one select cocktails.

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Salute American Vodka "Battle of the Bartenders" Finals Tonight at Three Sixty

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Image via
Salute American Vodka
In April Gut Check talked to Emily Gifford, representative for Salute American Vodka's parent company, Better Brands BevCo., about the company's first big contest in St. Louis. Dubbed "Battle of the Bartenders," the competition kicked off its first round on Monday, April 22.

Tonight the competition enters its final round, with a showdown pitting eight local bartenders against one another at Three Sixty St. Louis (1 South Broadway Street; 314-241-8439) from 7 to 10 p.m.

Curious who the eight finalists are -- and which restaurants and bars they'll be representing?

See also:
- Calling All Local Bartenders: Salute American Vodka Hosts "Battle of the Bartenders" Contest With $1,000 Cash Prize
- Q&A With Pete Kelly, Founder of Salute American Vodka -- Released First in Missouri

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Happy Hour at Sanctuaria in the Grove: Día de los Borrachos

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Jennifer Silverberg
The bar inside Sanctuaria.
Sanctuaria (4198 Manchester Avenue; 314-535-9700)

The Hours: Tuesday through Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. and late-night happy hour Friday and Saturday from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.

The Deal: $2 seasonal sippers, $1 off bottled and tap beer and $1 off wells.

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Happy Hour at Plush: Take a Tipsy Trip

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Jennifer Silverberg
Mini-meatloaf cupcakes at Plush, half-off during happy hour.
Plush (3224 Locust Street, 314-535-2686)

The Hours: 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and all day Tuesday.

The Deal: Half off of well drinks, reduced-prized sixteen-ounce draft beers and half-off appetizers.

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Happy Hour at Mango Peruvian Cuisine: Imbibing, Incan Style

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Jennifer Silverberg
Flan at Mango plates vanilla custard made with eggs and liquor, drizzled with caramelized topping.
Mango Peruvian Cuisine (1101 Lucas Avenue, 314-621-9993)

The Hours: Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m., and late-night happy hour Monday through Thursday from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.

The Deal: $5 margaritas, martinis and wines, $3 premium drafts, $16 pitchers of sangria and $5 select small-plate dishes.

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