By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Feb 12, 2009 at 11:19 AM

"Bar Month" at is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun bars and club articles -- including guides, unique features, drink recipes and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

In honor of Bar Month, we decided to dedicate this entire edition of to Libation Nation. We're recommending a tasty old fashioned from Bryant's Cocktail Lounge (pictured) along with a cool Guinness gizmo, a great drinking movie, an innovative and handy ring, a "chick drink" treat and a classic cocktail. We urge you to check them all out and apologize in advance if we make you thirsty.

Ordering an old fashioned at Bryant's -- Whether made with bourbon or brandy, the old fashioned is a classic Wisconsin cocktail. It happens that Bryant's, located at 1579 S. 9th St., is a classic Wisconsin cocktail lounge. While it may seem like a pedestrian request, given the menu of more than 450 drinks, the mixologists at Bryant's make magic with the simple syrup and bitters. Order one and toast your grandparents. Better idea -- take your grandparents with you and maybe they'll buy you one. --Drew Olson

The Guinness Surger -- Keeping Guinness on draught isn't easy. Bar owners tell us that unless they sell a lot of it quickly, it's hard to keep this unique beer fresh. The alternative has been to serve it in bottles or cans, which until recently involved the use of "widget," that is, a pressurized piece of plastic filled with nitrogen that when released simulated the stout's famous head. It worked fairly well, but a new system is even better: you can now buy specially formulated cans of Guinness that, when poured into a pint glass and placed on a "surger" will sonically release the beer's gasses. In just seconds, the ultrasonic pulses will whip up a nice, creamy head. The result is mighty close to drinking the beer from a tap. The Surger is on display at Café Centraal in Bay View. Apparently, the Surger is available for home use in the U.K., but if you want to buy one on this side of the pond, you'll need to check eBay. --Andy Tarnoff -- Savvy bartenders know that this is a go-to site for creative drink recipes and other information. One of the cooler things about it, though, is the "In My Bar" application. You just enter the contents of your liquor cabinet and Webtender will give you a selection of cocktails to make. --D.O.

The Cholive -- Here's a fun idea from a Milwaukee-based company. The Cholive is a chocolate truffle that is shaped like an olive, though it tastes nothing like the salty little fruit. The Cholive is described by its producer, The Cholive Company (TCC), as a "chick drink accessory" and works well when coupled with any number of decadent dessert martinis that are so popular around Valentine's Day. The Cholive has recently gone national, but here in its hometown, you can order one any many bars and restaurants, including Balzac, Branded, Centanni, Decibel, Hinterland, Hotel Metro, Soho 7, Swig and Water Buffalo. --Julie Lawrence

Keeping a couple mugs or pint glasses in the freezer -- It's always nice to be able to offer unexpected guests a beer. Serving it in a frosty mug is a nice touch that will make them want to drop by and drink your beer more often. Be prepared. --D.O.

Bottle opener rings -- Recently, I saw these useful and surprisingly OK-looking rings at Urban Outfitters, and although I did not buy one, they made me smirk and think of a friend who might get this for his upcoming birthday. For $8.99, the beer drinker in your life will never again have to sift through measuring spoons and take-out menus to find an opener in that annoying kitchen junk drawer, or fish around in a lint-filled pocket for a lighter to pop the top. Instead, the instant gratification of chug-a-lugging a brewski is just a finger away. --Molly Snyder Edler

A glass of water with every drink -- This isn't a groundbreaking recommendation, but it's one worth a reminder.  No matter how many cocktails are on your evening agenda, matching each one with glass of water really helps.  The water keeps you hydrated, helps lessen hangovers and even reminds you (by filling you up) that maybe you don't need that final night cap.  Make water a habit and it will make everything from that nightly vivo to the semi-regular bender that much more tolerable. --Jeff Sherman

Bar Keepers Friend -- This powdered cleanser, which has been around since 1882, has been helping bartenders keep things clean. But you don't need to work behind a bar to use it. It removes stains and rust from all kinds of surfaces - stainless steel, porcelain, ceramic tile plastic, copper, china, fiberglass, imitation marble, tile, grout, chrome and composition sinks. One can does it all! The best professional powdered cleanser since 1882. The unique formula in Bar Keepers Friend gently removes stains other cleansers can't. It will even remove rust, and is great for cleaning stainless steel. (You can even use it to clean those vintage Nikes). The motto -- "Once Tried, Always Used!" -- definitely applies. This stuff has been around forever because it works. Look for it near the cleaners in your favorite store. --D.O.

Prairie Organic Vodka -- In an era when many consumers are trying to "go green," this Minnesota product should be a hit. The production process has been certified organic by the USDA and kosher by the Orthodox Union. The corn is free of chemicals. The co-op of farmers are stakeholders in the company with high standards. The kosher certification requires all equipment to be sterilized in between batches to ensure purity. Any biomass waste from the corn and other material is converted to energy to run the stills and the distillers dried grains are used as feed on the farms from which the corn originated. Into the bottling, the glass is recycled and unfrosted and the bottles are packed in cardboard from sustainable wood pulp. Using locally grown grains also cuts the fuel costs of production. None of that would matter though, if it didn't taste good. The vodka has a lush, almost creamy texture and a clean corn flavor. --D.O.

"Barfly" -- If you've cheered Mickey Rourke's "comeback" performance in "The Wrestler," you should check out this 1987 movie that represented him at a performing peak. Rourke plays Henry Chinaski, a full-time boozer modeled after real-life writer Charles Bukowski. As Chinaski, Rourke is a tour de force performance as he drowns himself in Scotch, hangs with Wanda (Faye Dunaway), fights with Eddie the Bartender (Frank Stallone) and frustrates magazine editor (Alice Krige) will make you want to buy a round "For all my friends." --D.O.

Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Yellow Label -- With Valentine's Day approaching, why not go the extra mile and get a bottle of decent champagne to toast your significant other? Veuve Clicquot's Yellow Label is always a crowd pleaser. It's not sickeningly sweet or overly bubbly. It's just right. It may cost about $35 or $40 a bottle, but it's always a crowd-pleaser. --D.O.

The Sazerac -- If you want to go "old school," you can't go wrong with this drink, which dates to pre-Civil War New Orleans and is believed to be one of the first cocktails invented in America. The original drink is based on a combination of Cognac and bitters created by Antoine Amédée Peychaud in the 1830s. Different recipes evolved, but most involved a combination of Cognac, rye whiskey, absinthe, pastis and bitters (Peychaud and Angostura). As for the name, that comes from John Schiller, who opened the Sazerac Coffee House in New Orleans in 1859. The drink and the establishment were named for a brand of Cognac, Sazerac-du-Forge et fils. If your bartender is "old school," he'll know how to make it. --D.O.