The Golden Hour — It’s remarkable to think how the craft cocktail movement has changed the way we drink in just a few short years. Back in the ’00s, most bars thought nothing of offering creations such as a “Chocolatini” — cloyingly sweet concoctions made with corn syrup mixers and worse. Now, the vogue has been dialed back a good half-century or more, with an emphasis on fresh ingredients, boutique bitters, balanced flavors, freshly shaven nutmeg and even hand-chipped ice. Even chain taverns and exurban restaurants are feeling the pressure to upgrade their offerings, as drinkers become a bit more demanding of what’s mixed up for them. And yet some tipplers shy away from the craft movement because the drinks can be a bit more expensive because of the labor put into them. Fear no more, curious drinkers. One of the establishments that helped bring pre-Prohibition-style quaffs to metro Detroit has the happiest of happy hours. The Oakland Art Novelty Company (that’s “the Oakland” to you, bub) is offering three wonderful hours a week of bargain-basement deals 5-6:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday. That’s when you can get the highest quality drinks and pours, friendly bartenders and a comfortable environment for just $5. That’s right: Five measly bones will get you one of eight signature drinks or eight 1.5-ounce pours. Unwind after a hard day and join the legions trampling upon the grave of the vodka martini. The Oakland is at 201 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-291-5295; theoaklandferndale.com.
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