Drink of the Week

Forget the Fourth of July. New Year's Eve is responsible for more explosive events than any other day of the year. On December 31, the best relationship can detonate under the must-have-the-most-meaningful-time-ever pressures; a simple drive to the mountains can burst in a collision with a junior-varsity drinker. Fortunately, you don't have to go farther than downtown for explosions of the most welcome variety: fireworks. The city will be setting off two shows on the 16th Street Mall at 9 p.m. and midnight, which is when you might want to head over to Willie G's patio, where you can smoke and sip as you watch the skies. If you really want to get a bang out of the rest of the evening, order a Willie Tini ($7.95), a martini glass containing an oyster (nature's little blue pill), hot cocktail sauce and plenty of Absolut Peppar. Spicy, briny and powerful, the drink is a delicious amalgamation of both cocktail and food -- but if your date sees you unattractively trying to gag down that oyster, it may not have the intended aphrodisiac effect. For something to tickle your tongue instead of your crotch, try the Raspberri Flirtini ($10), a sweet and seductive combination of Absolut Raspberri, pineapple and champagne. Or stick with tradition and go for the Pommery POP Pink Champagne in single-serve bottles ($12). Then watch the fireworks!

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