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Why is "Pours a strong drink" considered such a positive bar review comment?

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Is it just me? I don't think of the point of going to a bar as getting drunk. I would rather they have a good variety of drinks, and/or that they take care of their drinks. The quality and tastes are very important. When I look at reviews of pubs/bars, I see a lot of people basing their positive impression on the moniker "pours a strong drink", and that's just not very helpful to me.

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  1. I agree that it should not be the only criteria, but having had watered down drinks, they are disappointing. A lot depends on what kind of bar it is--a dive bar or a place that attempts something ambitious.

    1. well, when I order a gin & tonic I would like some gin with the tonic ... by the same token, I rarely drink more than 1-2 of anything and I hate to be drunk. So I'm 50/50.

      6 Replies
      1. re: odkaty

        Because if I pay for a drink, I should get a drink, and not as has been noted, a watered down pretend drink that will force me to buy another.

        Same with 6 oz. pours of wine in great big lovely glasses -- all flash with no substance.

        Give me strong drinks and 8 ounces of wine.

        1. re: anonymouse1935

          A glass of wine is usually understood to be about 4.5 oz.

          1. re: jaykayen

            At a wine tasting, maybe! A single-serving "airplane" bottle of wine is 187.5 ml, or roughly 7 oz. This is what I pour for myself at home. I expect 6 oz. at least in a restaurant or wine bar. There are some places we've been to, in Temecula, for instance, that advertise and pour 8 into a 12-oz. stem; the wines in question were mostly non-local and quite good, and to denigrate this practice as somehow not "respectable" is to my mind simple snobbery.

            Back when I was beginning to drink - this was shortly after water was invented - people spoke of "honest" drinks, made with with a proper jigger and maybe a splash over. I've had'em made too strong - one advertising man we knew believed that "truth in labelling" meant following the USDA rules, with the most plentiful ingredient listed first, so when he poured you a scotch and soda it was significantly more scotch than soda. That was just silly...

          2. re: anonymouse1935

            To expect eight ounce pours of wine is ridiculous.

            1. re: bookhound

              I can see an 8-oz. glass of wine poured at some place like the Olive Garden, but at a respectable wine bar or restaurant, it is wrong to expect an 8-oz. pour.

            2. re: anonymouse1935

              Sorry, but six ounces is generally considered a generous glass of wine if it's being sold by the glass. Five ounces is a moderate pour, and four is on the skimpy side.

              If you've bought the whole bottle, a wine steward at a fine restaurant may well pour significantly less than four ounces per serving. A wine glass was never intended to be filled to the brim; there needs to be room for the nose to develop.

              Of course, a jelly jar filled to the top with cheap local wine has its charm, but that's not what you should generally expect in a nice place.

          3. Because we're a "Supersize It" nation.

            1. Probably part the supersize nation thing to a degree, and part nobody-wants-a-wimpy-watered-down-drink. Pours a strong drink, to be optimistic, means the bartender doesn't skimp on the spirits in order to be chintzy.

              1. "Pours a strong drink" is important to anyone, such as myself, who only orders scotch (or any other liquor) on the rocks. In this situation, one is most interested in getting one's money's worth, not in how deftly a bartender mixes a "girlie" drink.

                4 Replies
                1. re: jimingso

                  Exactly. When you drink a spirit straight up, on the rocks or with a water chaser, it is indeed important to have a bartender that "pours a strong drink." On the other hand, if you are ordering a frozen strawberry daiquiri or a cranberry appletini or some such thing, you may as well not even being drinking liquor.

                  1. re: ttoommyy

                    I think your last sentence is harsh and uncalled for. And I don't even drink things likethat.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      It's inaccurate, too. Mrs. O likes the original version of the Cosmo, as served in a favorite bar ca. '82. Basically vodka, with a little cranberry juice for color, and if there's going to be anything else in it she wants damned little of it. Besides that, she has the same dislike I do (when I order a martini) of drinks shaken with an inadequate amount of ice, especially WET ice, which dilutes them.

                  2. re: jimingso

                    I can understand the reasoning here. But then, a person who prefers to drink this way would probably judge how good a bar is based on atmosphere and prices, once it is determined that the drink poured is strong enough. Maybe two bars are both known for mixed drinks, and one of them does a great job while another one doesn't live up to expectations. But if I read a review of either place that says "poured a strong drink, what more could you want", it doesn't help me at all.

                  3. Because too many bars rip customers off by pouring watered-down drinks; it maximizes revenue while minimizing costs. This isn't an issue if you're paying $18 for a craft cocktail made by a "mixologist," where the value of the drink hinges on the creativeness and care that go into its preparation and the quality of the ingredients used. But if you're drinking bourbon on the rocks at a dive bar, value is equal to the size of the pour divided by the price charged.

                    1. It's a practice of poor quality bars or clubs to water down the drinks, so that the profit margin is upped, and the patrons buy more drinks.

                      Too strong destroys the flavour as much as too weak, but is less likely, because the alcohol is generally the most expensive part of the drink. And drinking a highball, for example, where you can only taste the pop, not the alcohol, sort of defeats the purpose.