Faced with a prospering business that required her to spend more time behind a desk than behind a bar, Lucy Brennan, proprietor of Mint & 820 bistro and bar in Portland, Ore., came up with a novel way of “keeping her hands wet,” as she puts it: She decided to hold regular cocktail classes for her customers. Seven years later, Brennan’s classes still are going strong—at $75 a person, they usually sell out.Other bartenders, managers and owners across the country have picked ...

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