In the spirit of spontaneity, we cruised the menu of events for Midtown Cocktail Week, which kicks off today and wraps up Sunday, keeping an eye on those pop-ups. Try this sampling, both shaken and stirred.
• Absolutely!, 5 p.m. at Foundation, 400 L St., (916) 321-9522, www.foundationrestaurantandbar.com: Meet Absolut vodka “ambassador” Jessamine McLellan and taste Absolut and Absolut Elyx.
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• Rookie competition, 9:30 p.m. at the Golden Bear, 2326 K St., 916) 441-2242, www.goldenbear916.com: Who can make the best original shooter and expertly assemble a classic frozen drink? Rookie bartenders will go blender-to-blender for cash and prizes.
• Freaky Tiki Luau, 3-6 p.m. at Pour House, 1910 Q St., (916) 706-2465, www.pourhousesacramento.com: Classic tiki cocktails will get a tweak, paired with luau cuisine with a twist.
• The whiskey sour and friends, 4-6 p.m. at Capital Dime, 1801 L St., (916) 443-1010, www.capitaldime.com: Learn how to make the perfect whiskey sour, and variations on the classic.
• Craft cocktails redux, 10 p.m. at the Limelight Bar & Cafe, 1014 Alhambra Blvd., (916) 446-2208, ww.w.limelightcardroom.com: In celebration of the craft cocktail movement, craftily choose your favorite.
• Under the Big Top, 9 p.m.-midnight at Capitol Garage, 1500 K St., (916) 444-3633, www.capitolgarage.com: A circus atmosphere will prevail, with bartenders as “ringmasters” mixing mezcal-based margaritas. The bites will be “circus inspired,” as will be the performances.
• Bourbon happy hour, 3-6 p.m. at Foundation, 400 L St., (916) 321-9522, www.foundationrestaurantandbar.com: A “boot camp” where bourbon drinks will rule.
• Bitters and mixers, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, 1900 Alhambra Blvd., (916) 455-2667, www.sacfoodcoop.com: Learn how to make orange bitters, tonic, “tipsy” cherries and basil syrup; $45.
• Guy walks into a bar... 7 p.m. at Pour House, 1910 Q St., (916) 706-2465, www.pourhousesacramento.com: Four local comics will center their acts around cocktails.
Here are some highlights:
• Cocktail Competition, 6-9 p.m. today at Harlow’s, 2708 J St., (916) 441-4693, $15: Batched cocktails will be on the menu, tasted by you and judged by a trio of “industry leaders.” Cover band Apple Z will rock.
• Just Chill: A Spirited Snow Cone Party, 6-9 p.m. Wednesday at Centro, 2730 J St., (916) 442-2552; free admission: Infused tequilas will be poured into frosty snow cones. Feel the burn while chilling.
• Amaro Tomorrow, 6-9 p.m. Thursday at Shady Lady, 1409 R St., (916) 231-9121; free admission: Antipasti will team with amari-based cocktails. Amari (the plural of “amaro”) are bitter Italian liqueurs usually served as digestifs, and include Campari, Fernet and Averna.
• Bright Lights, Big City, 6-9 p.m. Friday at Grange in the Citizen Hotel, 926 J St., (916) 492-4450; free admission: Small plates will match with an array of craft cocktails and live music. Dance to tunes by Happy Fangs, DJ Katz and the Satin Dollz.
• Big Ole Roundup, 6-9 p.m. Saturday at Goldfield Trading Post, 1630 J St., (916) 441-4340; free admission: The country-themed bar-restaurant will serve bourbon-based drinks and appetizers, with honky-tonk music.
• Island Summer Nights, 1-4 p.m. Aug. 24 at Crawdad’s River Cantina, 1375 Garden Highway, (916) 929-2268; free admission: Midtown Cocktail Week closes with tiki cocktails, island-inspired bites and live music.
For the complete list of all the events, visit www.midtowncocktailweek.org or call (916) 596-1952.