When many non-smokers drink, they suddenly turn into smokers. Most of my friends are supposedly non-smokers, but after a few cocktails about half of them become "social" smokers -- an ironic oxymoron, because I never feel particularly social toward someone blowing smoke in my face. Since I'm a solid non-smoker, I prefer to go to non-smoking establishments and make my fickle friends go outside to smoke -- but I often get overruled by people who don't want to be sent out to puff like a dog is sent out to pee. Looks like that's a lesson the Minturn Saloon learned the hard way: Earlier this year the owners changed their non-smoking restaurant-and-bar concept and relaunched the place as a real bar, complete with smoke and a killer smoke-eradication system. The bar area itself remains unchanged (except for the smoke); it's still a great, convivial spot to enjoy appetizers (great wings!) and a couple of drinks. While the margaritas are a favorite (only $2.50 during the Minturn's daily happy hour), I prefer a tap beer with a Hoosier Daddy shot ($4.75) that's made with well vodka, Midori, Amaretto, Grand Marnier, Southern Comfort, sweet-and-sour mix, cranberry juice and orange juice. This amalgamation of everything I drank as a teenager is the brainchild of a farmboy bartender who (I'm guessing) came up with this combo while he was a teenager, too. A few of these and you won't need a cigarette to get lit. Smoke 'em if you got 'em.
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