Become a better regular, sample cocktail recipes and more

Most taverns share a number of common elements: some type of enclosed structure set in a neighborhood; a physical bar, whether carved from wood or hewed from granite; and a variety of alcohol options, including beer on tap and/or in bottles, and a selection of liquors that can range from top-shelf to rotgut.

While the character of a bar can be shaped by any number of factors, from the staff to the albums stocked on a jukebox, there is one element that can define a space and yet remains totally out of ownership control: the customers.

“I've always said you don't get to pick your regulars,” said Jason Winner, who currently tends bar at Rumba Cafe and the Strongwater events space.

For this year's alcohol guide, Alive profiled a trio of bar regulars who in some way have helped shape the feel of the spaces they frequent. In addition, we've compiled a spring cocktail guide featuring recipe contributions from local distillers, a beginner's guide to wine (as well as a range of wine bars to test your skillset as it grows) and tips from a local bartender on how to become a regular.

So drink up. The next round's on us.

How to become the regular bars want Bar regular Dawn Kurzynowski at Little Rock Bar regular Dave Peterson at 840 Lounge Bar regular Rob Schorr at Dick’s Den Signature cocktails from area distillers Wine for beginners Test your new skills at these wine bars