Free and easy—drinks, not your dance partner

The best kind of booze…is free. Obviously.
Photo: Steve Marcus
Sarah Gianetto

I’m a writer, and it’s pretty common knowledge that people in my profession don’t make a lot of money. So I’m the first to look for the cheapest buzz when out on my nightlife escapades (just because I’m press doesn’t mean I’m comped, after all).

Now, I do have the advantage of being a girl, and I graciously thank the partying tourists who donate drinks on their tabs or at their tables. Generally, any outgoing, attractive female can be taken care of for an entire night in this fashion. But, for the other half of the population—or for the less patient—here are a few ways to drink up without dipping into your own pocket.

When two-buck Chuck is too expensive, head to Rock ’n Roll Wine Lounge Thursdays. Unlike a typical wine tasting, where you’re poured a swig and expected to spit, here you’ll be treated to full glasses of wine, such as the Vegas-based vintner’s popular Grotto red. And when you finish your first glass, you can get right back in line while DJs keep the hour happy and upbeat. RSVP online at

Ah, those free drinks offered by casinos to keep your wallet open and your money flowing. How exactly do they work? It’s easy, and you won’t have to feel like you’re getting away with anything. Simply ask. Casinos want you drinking, so their staff will tell you what’s necessary to do it for free. Some places require you to feed $20 into a machine and hit “Max Bet,” but after you spend your 75 cents, you have no further obligation other than to tip the bartender or cocktail waitress. My favorite spot to casino-drink is the penny slots at Fitzgeralds Downtown, where I can sit for an hour, sipping away on one dollar.

Perhaps the best options for low-budget ladies are the open bars that many clubs offer for an hour or two at the start of the night. Stranger danger is fully out of the equation, and the bartenders will happily pour you a glass of champagne or a vodka soda for nothing more than a tip and a “thank you.” And boys, there’s something in it for you, too. Not only do the girls start the night with a good buzz, there’s nothing stopping her from spending the money she saved on your next beverage. So show her those puppy dog eyes and send her right back in line.


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