Sending cutesy virtual gifts to your friends on Facebook is so 2008: dial into the Bartab iPhone app instead and send them cheap, real drinks.
Picking up the tab has never been so painless. Download the free app or go to bartab.com. (Not all your pals have iPhones? There’s an Android version, too). Pick the person who you want to offer a pint – or Pisco punch or shot of Peppermint Schapps – and the bar where you want to send it, pay a buck and pow: your friend shows their iPhone screen to the bartender at a participating watering hole and gets a drink. (They also have to pay a dollar to redeem the drink coupon, to make sure the app complies with state drinking regulations.)
All alone and need a drink? With this new app, you can also send your lonely self a libation, too. Keep in mind that either way, the resulting brew shows up as sent to you on your Facebook status, but nosy bosses or disapproving teetotalers won’t know whether you redeemed the drink or not.
The iPhone app is currently available in at 100 bars in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, with another 20 cities available by the end of the year.
Before you plan to go on a seriously cheap bender thanks to your smartphone: keep in mind that you can claim one drink at each bar you visit. That still means that energetic bar hoppers with lots of friends could still do some damage, since you can hit up to 10 bars and get 10 drinks for $10 in a single day.