Happiest Hour: Throwback Thursdays at Al's and Vic's 

Where you’re at: Al’s & Vic’s, home of the stiff pour and favorite old-school watering hole for townies, college students and creative artists alike. What’s different? It’s Throwback Thursday, a night when the bar gets back to its 1930s roots with a special menu of speakeasy-style cocktails made with fresh ingredients and Knob Creek bourbon.

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What you’re drinking: Well, you can still order a PBR, but if you’re smart you’ll try something like the Old Fashioned or an Old King Cole. The Hailstone is probably the most unusual drink on the menu. It’s made with bourbon, pasteurized egg white, simple syrup and ginger beer. The best part is the ginger garnish, which the bartenders caramelize with a blowtorch.

Speaking of the bartenders: Longtime drink slinger Winter Sanor says he found a cocktail book from 1936, the year Al’s & Vic’s was founded. He took it as a sign and, together with bartender Kelsey Fry, developed Throwback Thursdays late last fall.

Why Knob Creek?: Knob Creek sponsors Throwback Thursdays, and besides taking center stage on the drinks menu, the company outfitted the bartenders in sharp Prohibition-era caps, suspenders and canvas aprons, all of which add to the anachronistic atmosphere.

Where to find it: Thursday nights starting at 8 p.m. at Al’s & Vic’s, 119 W. Alder.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email editor@missoulanews.com.

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