Friday from 7-9 PM, Viet Bistro hosts a free Svedka Vodka tasting with cocktails from sommelier Rashed Islam and appetizers by chef Dan Nguyen. 

The Ins and Outs of Composting, a class at the Angelic Organics Learning Center in Hyde Park that was listed in this week’s print edition, has been canceled. There are no plans at the moment to reschedule.

Binny’s South Loop is promoting local entries to the Sam Adams Longshot homebrewing competition by hosting a free Chicago Home Brew contest Sunday from noon to 4 PM. The winner gets a trip for two to the 2008 Great American Beer Festival in Denver this October; in addition, all entries will be shipped to Boston (on Sam Adams’s dime) for consideration in the national competition. Participants should bring 12 bottles of homemade beer to be judged. There will also be a home-brewing demo and a tasting.

The Elastic Arts Foundation holds a fund-raising dinner Sunday at 6 PM at Friendship Chinese Restaurant. The four-course meal (a vegetarian option is available) is preceded by a 5 PM reception and followed by music and drinks at 10 PM, both upstairs at Elastic Arts. $50.

A panel including historian Sarah Marcus, Bruce Kraig and Peter Engler of the Culinary Historians of Chicago, and Monica Eng of the Tribune presents Hot Dog! A History of Chicago Foods, on the origins of local delicacies and how they’ve evolved over the years, Tuesday at 7 PM at the Chicago History Museum (Chicago-style Vienna Beef dogs will be served starting at 6:15). This is the first lecture in the Culinary Chicago series; other talks include The Local Option, which will demystify buzzwords like “locavore” and “green,” and Chef Showcase, where local chefs will discuss current trends in Chicago cuisine. $10.

Va Pensiero in Evanston is offering 15-cent martinis with the purchase of dinner on Tuesday in honor of tax day.