HOME > Chowhound > Spirits >
What are you cooking today? Share your food adventure
TELL US

The cost of a Sazerac...

p
pinkbayou Jun 8, 2009 02:47 PM

I am a waitress and the restaurant that I work for has just added a "specialty cocktail" menu. One of the cocktails included is a sazerac, the cost that they have decided on for the drink is $17.00!!! This to me is akin to robbery. We do not have the best atmpsphere, the prices are not listed on the menu and though the bartender is competent she is in no way a master mixologist or anything.... What do you all think? I feel bad selling them. Also, a mint julep is $15.... ouch.

  1. sku Jun 8, 2009 04:51 PM

    For $17 you better be using super-premium ingredients in that baby. The Brandy Library in New York only charges $13 for a Sazerac or a mint julep, and that's at NY prices.

    1. yarm Jun 8, 2009 05:26 PM

      Sazeracs here in Boston range from $8-10. $17 is rather steep for a gussied up Old Fashioned. What city was it in and what are the food prices like at that restaurant?

      I know that there's one posh place that charges $17 per cocktail to keep the proverbial riff-raff out (which I guess includes me).

      1. MC Slim JB Jun 8, 2009 08:10 PM

        It depends: the city, the bar's location, its atmosphere, the level of service, the quality of the spirits (there are some pretty pricey American ryes available these days), glassware, ice, etc. There aren't many places in Boston that could justify that price.

        It's not a terribly hard drink to make, but it does take some care, and I've seen several Boston bartenders do terrible renditions. Classic blunders: using bourbon instead of rye or Cognac, tossing a big dash of absinthe or pastis directly into the shaker instead of doing a rinse, shaking instead of stirring, on the rocks instead of up. The wrong glass is pretty common, too: I expect this to be served in a heavy rocks glass, not a cocktail glass or snifter. If you're taking the trouble to offer this drink, it needs to be done right -- it's one of the oldest known cocktails.

        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

        1. ted Jun 9, 2009 07:26 AM

          I agree with that the others have said- that's steep. I had a couple drinks at the new mixological emporium at the W downtown in Atlanta the other night. They chip the ice off a block to make your drink. And if you order a single-ingredient rocks drink, they take a big hunk of ice and put it in a mold that makes it into a perfect sphere. All homemade mixers and high-end stuff.

          And that was only $12 or $13.

          So, maybe if you are putting in a rye that's well north of $50/bottle (ri, Thomas Handy, Michter's). But you better be proudly proclaiming that to justify that price.

          1. t
            texascarl Jun 11, 2009 03:19 PM

            A giraffe will walk into your bar and order a sazerac. When he pays the bill you'll say "We don't get many giraffes in here" and he'll say "At $17 for a Sazerac I should think not. If your drinks were cheaper I'd tell the other customers to drink up, the high balls are on me".

            1. c
              Chefpaulo Jun 11, 2009 04:59 PM

              If the atmosphere is not the best and the bartendrix not the most skilled, it is an outrageous price. You'd probably need financing to get a Pousse-cafe there, if she knows what that is.

              There's something surreptitious about not posting prices and would lead me to suspect I'm going to get an over-inflated bill anyway. I have NO reservations about asking for a price list or leaving if they won't provide one. Are you at least allowed to discuss drink prices with the customers or does the boss zip your lip until he can extort all he can?

              1. alanbarnes Jun 11, 2009 05:34 PM

                Hmmm, looks like this got moved from the New Orleans board.

                Any chance you see a lot of tourists?

                1 Reply
                1. re: alanbarnes
                  r
                  roro1831 Jun 12, 2009 07:43 AM

                  Did not get moved, she originally posted in both places, it's still on the NOLA board, just further down the page.

                  I'd have trouble paying $17 for one even in New York, they just are not that expensive to make.

                2. TroyTempest Jun 12, 2009 06:40 AM

                  i don't care if the waitress is naked and the drink served in a glass made of gold, $17 is outrageous.

                  1. t
                    travelingmansoul Jun 13, 2009 08:44 PM

                    I live in LA and went to westside tavern - one of the best made sazeracs I've had for $9

                    I had a sazerac also at the Edison - that was $15. I think the Varnish charges about $15 also...

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: travelingmansoul
                      s
                      silverlakebodhisattva Jun 15, 2009 03:40 PM

                      . . . . except at Edison and Varnish a bunch of that is going to amortize the fancy/"nostalgic" ambiance and build-out.

                      1. re: travelingmansoul
                        v
                        vinosnob Aug 3, 2009 04:10 PM

                        Wow, $9! That's dirt cheap; I wonder what they used booze-wise to compose your drink.

                        I've had a sazeracs at 2 bars in Los Angeles.

                        The Edison's version was pretty good, but the one at Comme Ca was even better. However, Comme Ca charged $21 bucks for it, but they did make it with premium booze; I don't know what Edison used.

                        Still, $21 for a drink is absurd.

                        1. re: vinosnob
                          j
                          joshekg Aug 3, 2009 06:02 PM

                          I had a great sazerac at Comme Ça as well, but I am pretty sure it was around $15 and not $21 (I would not order a $21 cocktail). Maybe they mis-charged you or have raised prices since I last went.

                          1. re: joshekg
                            v
                            vinosnob Aug 4, 2009 10:04 AM

                            I had the drink there not long after they opened and I know what I paid. Perhaps the ingredients in mine differed from yours.

                        2. re: travelingmansoul
                          m
                          mixpro Feb 26, 2010 11:59 AM

                          All cocktails at the Varnish are $12. Only if you ask for premium booze will they charge more. For the work they put into your drink, that's one of the best deals in the city.

                        3. andytee Aug 2, 2009 07:11 PM

                          I think pretty much everyone here would agree, based on the information given, that that price is ridiculous. It's possible that more information - a different side to the story - would change that opinion but not likely.

                          Ouch.

                          Sleaziness finds its own rewards.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: andytee
                            s
                            silverlakebodhisattva Aug 3, 2009 12:32 PM

                            My mama taught me never to order anything without knowing its price, or at least having a pretty good idea what it was. Bars will charge whatever patrons will pay, at least until we have socialized bartending....

                          2. d
                            Davo7 Feb 26, 2010 01:51 PM

                            A group of us went to Commander's Palace the Friday before Mardi Gras, and they had a big function that was cancelled and had lots of rye whiskey that they needed to go through...they were selling Sazerac's for $4. Needless to say, one of the best lunches ever.

                            Show Hidden Posts