Little Libations

From Drinking In America on Dec 07, 2012

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This past week we’ve been hearing some buzz from news outlets, like The Wall Street Journal and the TODAY Show, about smaller serving sizes for alcoholic drinks. Our initial reaction was disgust: “SMALLER DRINKS? WORST IDEA EVER.” But after hearing the reasoning, we think we’re on board. Some bars and restaurants are shrinking their drinks not to be cheap, but to bring them back to their roots and serve them as they were intended to be served.
 
The martini is a good universal example of a drink that was intended to be small. The Wall Street Journal notes that in the 1958 movie “Auntie Mame,” the character Mame Dennis loves martinis, but she asks for no olives because they take up too much room in the glass. That seems silly when we think about the martini glasses of today that are eight or ten ounces, but back then, the martini glasses were only two or four ounces. Why so small? Martinis are meant to be refreshingly cold and when they’re sitting in a giant glass, they’re not going to keep their cool the whole time you’re sitting at the bar.
 
Our society has largely moved to a quantity over quality mentality and it’s not just our fast food meals that have gotten ridiculous – our cocktails have, too. There are a lot of drinks that are just better when served in smaller portions; it’s more about enjoying the bold flavors and sipping rather than gulping and praying for a buzz.
 
Would you be annoyed if you went to a bar, ordered a martini and got a four ounce glass? We would be okay with it, especially if it meant having a better overall drinking experience, but we’d hope the price would match the size decrease. If establishments are serving smaller drinks at the same prices with the same ingredients, we have an issue with that. We do like the approach some bars are taking – they make a full size drink, and pour half in a glass and keep the other half in a carafe on ice. Overall – when you’re ordering a drink, you’re paying for the booze, not the random mixers that are thrown in your drink. As long as we’re getting a stiff 4 oz. drink we’ll be happy.
 
Bottom line: We’re willing to give it a try, but we think it will be interesting to see how far this trend goes. Does this only apply to bars with mixologists and fancy booze hounds, or will your average bar around the corner be picking up on this too?
 
How do you feel about it?

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