Try these 20 unique drinking experiences while you're here.

Ask Kenny Yee to set you up with a scotch flight at Wing's

No one in Columbus knows scotch like Kenny Yee, so if you're a novice to the liquor (or even if you're a seasoned pro), put yourself in his capable hands. When Yee catches drift that a scotch newbie or fan is in the house, he has a charming way of visiting the table and discerning what you'll like. A few minutes later, a dainty trio of fluted Glencairn glasses shows up, arranged on a tiny tray alongside cards identifying the maker and age of your beverage. Sip, savor, discuss. Scotch is as much a journey as it is an experience. - Kristen Schmidt 2801 E. Main St., Bexley, 614-236-8261,

Visit Cris Dehlavi at M

One of Columbus' most experienced and awarded bartenders, Cris Dehlavi, crafts her cocktails at M at Miranova, where regulars and newbies alike are delighted by her creations. She's led the way in the recent cocktail renaissance that has imbibers relishing vintage cocktails while always exploring new options. - Nicholas Dekker 2 Miranova Place, Downtown, 614-629-0000,

Order off the secret menu at Curio

Curio already feels like a secret, down the narrow hallway from Harvest Pizzeria, but the modern speakeasy ups the ante with a secret menu as well. Ask for a house specialty from the leather-bound captain's list, and just trust the bartending crew that they won't lead you astray. - N.D. 491 S. 4th St., German Village, 614-824-1769,

Eat a bloody mary for breakfast at Bar 145

Bar 145's Ultimate Bloody Mary is a complete breakfast in a glass. In addition to the usual garnishes, the drink is topped with vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, pretzel bites and a slider. It covers nearly all of the food groups. - N.D. 955 W. 5th Ave., Grandview Heights, 614-564-9198,

Craft a custom Champagne cocktail on the patio at Lindey's

Brunch and Lindey's are best friends, making brunch cocktails their essential accessory. We recommend the mix-your-own Champagne cocktails. Choose your liqueur and bitters and receive a bubbly, tart-sweet drink of your own imagination. Light enough that you can say yes to a second and still have your head on straight for the rest of the day. - K.S. 169 E. Beck St., German Village, 614-228-4343,

Order the Dube Dinner Deluxe at the Blue Danube

This classic Columbus bar experience will set you back $175 or so, but it'll also make a great story. Pony up for this iconic combination and receive a bottle of Dom Perignon and two grilled cheese sandwiches. It's quite a departure from the typical fare at the Dube, where this fancy-pants menu item shares space with burgers, liver and onions and unironic budget beer. -K.S. 2439 N. High St., Campus, 614-261-9308

Sling shots and beers at Dick's Den

This Old North outpost has a long history (did you know it's named after Richard V. Warren, a Gahanna politician?), so it has a long line of regulars who visit for weekly specials on shots and cheap beers. This great place to hang is made greater with live music, like Tuesday bluegrass jams. - N.D. 2417 N. High St., Old North, 614-268-9573,

Have a real martini at The Top Steak House

After you enter the front door at The Top, pause next to the piano bar, give a nod to Sonia Modes, who's probably entertaining a half-circle of regulars, and give your eyes a few seconds to adjust to the darkness. Perch at the luxurious bar to your left - go ahead, rest your elbows on the padded edge of the counter. Order this: Beefeater martini, dry, up. Add your choice of condiment, if you desire - a twist, an olive or a cocktail onion. Now you fit in just fine. - K.S. 2891 E. Main St., Bexley, 614-231-8238,

Try mead at Brothers Drake

A chic bar that offers some of the most delicious honey-wine in Central Ohio, Brothers Drake takes pride in their mead using only the best locally sourced, organic ingredients. Try the Apple Pie mead, a delectable blend of apple cider and American pie spices. The ideal fall treat. - Amber Hage-Ali 26 E. 5th Ave., Short North, 614-388-8765,

Pair your beer with barbecue at Ace of Cups

You've got a bar with a stellar line-up of live music. You've got a rotating selection of local and regional craft beer. And you've got simply the best barbecue in Columbus in Ray Ray's Hog Pit, open Thursday through Sunday in the AoC parking lot. Three reasons you should find yourself at Ace of Cups with a beer in one hand and a brisket sandwich in the other. - N.D. 2619 N. High St., Old North, 614-262-6001,,

Drink at campus institution Bier Stube

Longtime Ohio State alumni bemoan the corporate takeover of the campus bar scene, but a few dive bars like the Bier Stube are hanging on. The place has character, that's for sure. Nothing has changed much over the years: the bathrooms, the decorations, the menu or the sense of camaraderie among its regulars. - N.D. 1479 N. High St., Campus, 614-299-5467

Do a tour and tasting at Watershed or Middle West

Our city's two distilleries both offer regular tours and tastings at their facilities. Smell gin boiling at Watershed; taste Middle West's vodka side-by-side with national brands. You'll often see their stills at work, learn about the distilling process then taste the fruits of their labor. Just sign up online. - N.D. Watershed: 1145 Chesapeake Ave., Grandview Heights, 614-357-1936,; Middle West: 1230 Courtland Ave., Short North, 614-299-2460,

Take a Columbus Brew Adventures tour

A CBA tour is a great way to keep up with Columbus' growing beer scene. Take a van tour of Grandview or downtown, or try the history-rich walking tour of the Brewery District. Each stop lets you meet the makers and sample their wares, all while learning about the brewing process. -

Have a morning beer at the Ruckmoor

Opening their doors at 5:30 a.m. since 1958, the Ruckmoor is the perfect place for third-shifters to get an after-work beer. Known for cheap booze, camaraderie and ring toss, this retro little dive is a great way to get the local experience. - A.H.A. 7496 N. High St., Crosswoods, 614-885-4468,

Ask for bartender's choice at Mouton

You can't go wrong with any cocktail from Mouton's menu, but you can get the fullest experience if you rely on the bartenders' expertise. Ask yours about nightly specials, house-aged cocktails or their latest creations, then order a cheese and charcuterie board to pair with your drink. - N.D. 954 N. High St., Short North, 614-732-4660,

Spring for Kitchen Kool Aid at Veritas Tavern

As a little culinary outpost in Delaware, Veritas regularly tops "best-of" lists for Central Ohio. Sit at the bar to sip on cocktails and stock up on small plates like sous vide Brussels sprouts or bacon risotto. Then show the kitchen your appreciation by buying them a round. - N.D. 15 E. Winter St., Delaware, 740-417-4074,

Have a better boilermaker at The Tree Bar

If you are looking for a thrifty hangout with eclectic music, this is your spot. Known for their diverse selection of craft beers and booze, Tree Bar's boilermakers tie these two things together. Owners carefully hand-select each combination for the perfect flavor. Try the Vuch, a boilermaker named after a favorite regular. - A.H.A. 887 Chambers Road, Grandview Heights, 614-294-2264,

Visit the St. James, the original Fourth Street corridor bar

The St. James was a craft beer haven before craft beer was cool. The quintessential neighborhood pub features a city-favorite jukebox and a solid lineup of beer, almost all priced at $4 a pint. The wood-accented bar is a quiet and cozy place to sit and knock back a few. - N.D. 1057 N. 4th St., Italian Village, 614-294-0064,

Appreciate variety at the Wolf's Ridge taproom

When Wolf's Ridge Brewing's Taproom opened in January, its almost-daily happy hours (they're closed Mondays), light foodie snacks and 20 rotating taps made it an instant must-visit for local craft brew enthusiasts. Stay on Santa's nice list by gifting a growler of a winter seasonal like the Sustinator Doppelbock. - Brooke Preston 215 N. Fourth St., Downtown, 614-429-3936,

Have two at Denmark: a classic and a twist

The floor-to-ceiling windows offer unparalled people-watching from your stylish second-floor perch above High Street. But the real stars here are the drinks - fresh, seasonal and sophisticated cocktails. Here, old-world classics and truly original (and tasty) creations mingle together as happily as Denmark's eclectic and friendly patrons. - B.P. 463 North High, 2ndfloor, Arena District, 614-914-6700,


3 Beer Clubs (With Prizes!)

Earn an MBA (Masters of Beer Appreciation) or Ph.D. (Professor of Hearty Drinking) at Elevator Brewing Co. by ordering the monthly specialty brew; after 12 months earn a diploma and other swag.

Your World of Beer Loyalty Card earns you points for ordering beer, redeemable for shirts, mugs, plaques and even parties.

The Tour of Beers roster at Winking Lizard Tavern changes annually. Track the beers with your card; drinking 50 earns you a duffle bag; 100 gets you a jacket.


3 Bars That Rock

You'll never pay cover at Carabar, leaving more money for the bar's great craft beer selection and vegetarian-friendly menu. Expect an edgy, ear-clearing mix of indie rock, metal and hip-hop at this outstanding Olde Towne East hangout.

Does your radio station have a bar? Fans of CD102.5 answer in the affirmative, with the recent opening of the Big Room Bar. Take the station's stellar reputation among musicians and bands and mix it with a comfort-food menu and great drinks, and you've got all the signs of a new institution.

Rambling House started as a local soda maker but has quickly evolved to be a prime hangout for people who love good roots and traditional music to go with their drinks and food truck-inspired eats (the kitchen is dubbed Jailhouse and is run by the folks behind Paddy Wagon food truck). When there's a cover for bands, it's usually $5, and the money goes to the musicians.


3 Boozy Milkshakes

AtB Spot, the Chocolate Banana Marshmallow shake ($7, add $3 with dark rum) is the oddest, coolest most buzz-inducing s'more you've ever sipped through a

Pie lovers, your jam isFlip Side's Apple Pie Shake ($5.50, add $3 for bourbon) layered with vanilla ice cream, chunks of real apple pie and a drizzle of caramel sauce, plus bourbon of course.

Turns out, there is a good use for Fireball. Namely to add a kick toStack City Burger Bar's Cinnamon Toast Crunch ($6, add $3 for RumChata and Fireball) shake made with vanilla ice cream, the crunchy cereal and a sprinkling of


3 Cocktails for Sharing

The Guild House's Cocktail for Two ($20) is a quick-infused libation that matches the classy-cool Short North bar. Now inside the glass Porthole: house gin, St. Germain, aperol, rose and lemon cardamom

Polynesian eateryTai Tikiresurrects The Kahiki's original cocktail arsenal, including The Volcano - a flaming concoction of citrusy juices, sugary syrups and three kinds of rum, including hard-hitting 151. The Volcano ($18, $15 during happy hour) is best (and safest) enjoyed with two or three friends.

Party like it's 1905 with an old-school punch (fancy bowl and ladle included) atThe Pearl. Their seasonal cocktails for four ($38) include the Caramel Bourbon Punch with Watershed bourbon, apple cider, ginger liqueur, salted caramel syrup and Chinese


3 Spots for Wine Lovers

House Wine, in adorable Olde Worthington, is organized for folks who love wine but aren't obsessed with it. Shop by varietal or food pairing (beef, vegetarian, even takeout), and try before you buy at the dispenser that lets you try featured wines one ounce at a time.

Visit one of the four local Wine Bistro locations on Monday or Tuesday to share a bottle with friends, with the typical corkage fee waived. These approachable wine bar-restaurants are great for wine explorers who want to linger over a cheese board or even dinner.

Hand it to The Refectory for being committed to wine from day one. This restaurant hosts copious wine events throughout the week (most include heavy hors d'oeuvres, too), giving guests a chance to drink and to learn from winemakers. Watch for a 10 for $10 event, or visit the casual bistro bar to sample the outstanding by-the-glass list.


3 Actually Great Margaritas

We love Chile Verde's list of hand-shaken margaritas, served in oversized rocks glasses, rather than comically large goblets. Spring for the one made with 1800 Reposado, a medium-bodied tequila that's more complex than your typical well blanco.

While the food can be hit-and-miss, there's nothing wrong - ever - with the El Camino Margarita, a blend of Cuervo, Cointreau, agave nectar and juice squeezed at showy citrus presses on the bar. Eschewing the typical syrupy body of other margaritas, this strikes the right balance between sweet and tart.

While the list of margaritas at Local Cantina is long, it is also affordable enough that you can try a few before you land on a favorite. We're particularly partial to the crisp, clean-finishing Gimlet, made with Olmeca Altos Plata tequila, muddled lime and agave nectar, but we're sure the Moustache Ride will tickle some drinkers simply by virtue of its name.