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A year of great drinks and sports in San Diego

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Where did you quench your thirst or watch your favorite team play in San Diego in 2011? Maybe you were at FLUXX-the winner of the 2011 Nightclub & Bar Awards for Best New Club. FLUXX is San Diego's next generation of nightlife-a club in constant change. Or perhaps you fell in love with Flavor Del Mar's cocktails, especially the Salt and Pepper with Grey Goose, orange bell pepper, lime, and agave syrup. A lush one-acre beer garden is the ideal setting for the beer connoisseur. So Stone Brewing Company would have been your place. Did you like to sip on affordable specialty cocktails, wines by the glass, and mouth-watering appetizers including the Fresh Burrata with Mint Walnut Pesto and Grilled Country Bread? Then Andaz was your place.

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If you were looking for a place to see your favorite teams play and be with other fans, you may have gone to Seau's Sports Bar. With 60 T.V.'s and a massive project screen you couldn't miss a play. With 600 square feet of screens and 50 satellites with sports everywhere you turn, Player's Sports Bar is a hard core sports fanatic's paradise. Close proximity to Qualcom Stadium and 21 T.V. screens made San Diego Brewing Company a heaven to the sports junkie. The college crowd had their place in Effin's Pub & Grill. Inexpensive, entertaining and close to campus, it's everything a college bar should be.

For off-beat facts it was confirmed that San Diego actually has haunted establishments. El Fandango Restaurant has had a resident ghost since the 1800's. Around the same time the Tivoli, the Gaslamp District's oldest bar, was serving one of history's most notable lawmen-Wyatt Earp.

Making a come-back as popular drinks are champagne cocktails. Classics have a funny way of coming back. The "Old Bailey" served at Prohibition was at the top of the list this year with hints of mint, cucumber, strawberries and Pimms No. 1. The most popular places were the ones with the best mixologists-the new title for bartenders-with original and inspired drinks.

This has been an extraordinary thirst-quenching year. We'll be looking forward to 2012. Cheers!

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