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"Measured pour" cocktails [moved from Los Angeles board]

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josephnl Sep 18, 2012 10:41 PM

[NOTE: We've moved this digression from the thread at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/869175 - The Chowhound Team]

Hmmm! I've considered going there, but I hate restaurants that pour "measured" drinks. I enjoy a nice martini before dinner and am really turned off by restaurants that present a martini in a larger glass which is 2/3 filled and charge $15 for it. When this happens I usually pay for my drink, then walk out before eating. I never complain about price if I'm receiving value (by this i mean the quality/price ratio...and for most branded spirits the only measure of quality is a reasonably sized drink). I do not pay too much attention to price, but if a restaurant skimps on alcohol I assume, rightly or wrongly, that they are skimping on the food. It's sort of like, if the restrooms are not clean...what about the kitchen?

Have others noted skimpy drinks at Sotto? What about wine glass pours? Most smarter restaurants will use a measured carafe for a glass o wine.

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  1. Ciao Bob RE: josephnl Sep 19, 2012 09:49 AM

    The bar is quite creative and I think very, very good -- it is Julian Cox-run. He practically invented what you do not like: small pours: hefty prices.

    If it makes you feel any better, in this regard as I perceve it, the bar philosophy (Julian's) could not be further from the food philosophy (Steve and Zach's) which is quite a lot of hearty, high quality food at a fair(ish, for that part of town anyway) price.

    54 Replies
    1. re: Ciao Bob
      t
      Thor123 RE: Ciao Bob Sep 19, 2012 10:15 AM

      Totally agree. Almost anywhere else, the bar would be too much of a turn off to go back. Not here. Love the food. Get over the tiny pour.

      1. re: Ciao Bob
        j
        josephnl RE: Ciao Bob Sep 20, 2012 09:54 AM

        "Measured pours", "small pours/hefty prices"...these to me are a real turn-off. When I dine out, I am not looking for bargains, but I clearly am looking for value...high quality for a fair price (and by fair, I do not mean low). I have had $250 dinners which I have felt were good value, and $5 hamburgers which I have thought were a rip-off. When I dine out at a nice restaurant, I generally want an well-poured cocktail, outstanding food and a glass or two of good wine. In contradiction to what someone else has said here, I find that at most good restaurants, the more experienced bartenders who work there will rarely if ever use a measure to make a drink. They know what a reasonable pour is, and nail it by eye every time. A good bartender will always err every so slightly in the patron's favor...pour 2 oz. rather than the standard 1.5 oz. Most restauranteurs know this, accept it, and build it into their price structure. Wine portioning is a different story. Smart restauranteurs use a measured carafe for a 3 or 6 oz. wine pour. Because of different wine glass sizes, it is difficult to be consistent in a wine pour without the use of a carafe. I am much more accepting of measured wine pours because of this, because of the marked variation in wine price, and also because I always have the option of buying a full bottle.

        So, if the food is truly spectacular, and the wine pricing is fair, I guess I could forego my pre-prandial cocktail and we could have a bottle of wine with our meal.

        1. re: josephnl
          l
          linus RE: josephnl Sep 20, 2012 10:35 AM

          no offense intended, but i find your view old fashioned(another pun). i think many restaurants -- and to my understanding, sotto is one of these -- now strive to put as much care into their cocktails as their food.
          thus, they pour the proper amount of alcohol into their cocktails to make a good tasting, well balanced cocktail.
          granted, like the amount of protein on the plate, the amount of alcohol is going to be what's cost effective for the restaurant.
          surely, they should charge a fair price for this, and you're welcome to disagree with what they charge for it, as you are with the entree.
          i just think the days of "erring on the side of the customer by pouring 2 oz instead of 1 and 1/2 oz." have gone by, and drinks, for the most part, are the better for it.

          1. re: linus
            j
            josephnl RE: linus Sep 20, 2012 10:48 AM

            I disagree with you. Most highly rated restaurants...Le Bernardin, 11 Madison Park, Union Square Cafe in NYC, and places like Melisse, Spago, and Marche Moderne in southern California pour excellent cocktails. It seems that this may not be the case at some of the newer, trendier restaurants. If pouring a good cocktail is old fashioned...count me in! (please don't get the idea that I'm a heavy drinker...I never have more than one cocktail and perhaps a glass or two of wine with dinner...and much less when I'm driving!)

            1. re: josephnl
              l
              linus RE: josephnl Sep 20, 2012 10:53 AM

              i don't understand this post at all, kind sir. who said those restaurants don't make good cocktails?
              who said pouring a good cocktail is old fashioned?
              if you find the cocktails at sotto to be a poor(another pun) value, and not worth drinking, o.k.
              but automatically dismissing the cocktails of places who measure their ingredients doesn't make sense to me.

              1. re: linus
                Servorg RE: linus Sep 20, 2012 10:56 AM

                I really prefer a restaurant that pours a slightly larger cocktail and prices it accordingly. I gravitate to these places because, most of the time, I'm only going to have one cocktail. If I spend a few dollars more and save on ordering a second drink I come out ahead, both financially and by staying out of the "DUI" pool...Every once in a while I have 2 cocktails, but then forgo having any wine with dinner.

                1. re: Servorg
                  l
                  linus RE: Servorg Sep 20, 2012 11:02 AM

                  obviously, i don't like overpriced drinks. however, i'd rather have one great or good small cocktail than a large o.k. or shitty one.
                  i guess i haven't encountered this small cocktail problem as much as some others have.
                  like i said above, comme ca's cocktails, when i went, seemed smaller than others i have had, but it didn't bother me, because they were excellent, and i like to try more than one.

                  1. re: linus
                    t
                    Thor123 RE: linus Sep 20, 2012 11:24 AM

                    You dont seem to get it. Clearly, a mixed drink needs to maintain ratios and thus, is often measured. Still I find a one ounce pour at an high end place offensive. And any measured pour of straight scotch, vodka, etc is a turn off to me.

                    1. re: Thor123
                      Servorg RE: Thor123 Sep 20, 2012 11:39 AM

                      I like the places that do cocktails like the classic deli or other shops that do shakes or malts, where they give you the extra in the stainless steel mixing cup that they made your shake in...Restaurants I've been in the past have even served the cocktail unpoured, in the shaker they made it up in and then you end up getting a cocktail and a half (or even more). Now that's a deal I can live with.

                2. re: linus
                  j
                  josephnl RE: linus Sep 20, 2012 11:22 AM

                  Ciao Bob above said the Sotto "practically invented small pours and hefty prices". If this is indeed the case, then they may make very good very small very expensive cocktails, but this is not what I'm looking for! Yep, I may be old-fashioned but I prefer a bartender who using his eye alone pours great spirits, in the right proportions, into a properly sized and chilled glass, and pours to 1/2" of the top...and charges accordingly.

                  1. re: josephnl
                    Ciao Bob RE: josephnl Sep 20, 2012 11:57 AM

                    Let me be clear - I did not say Sotto did that, but Julian Cox who is a bartender-mixologist that runs the bar program at several restaurants, including Sotto. The history as I recall it (and, remember, I "studied" this history solely while drinking) was that he really got the craft cocktail and pour-price ratios up-and-running at Comme Ca. Was he the only one doing that? Probably not. Lots of new cocktail bars (Varnish, etc) were doing the same thing. But I credit Julian with bringing the concept to a lot of places I like to eat. And his creativity, passion, quality ingredients and eye for bartending talent are quite impressive. I get to enjoy more variety with the smaller format, albeit, at a higher price.

                    1. re: josephnl
                      l
                      linus RE: josephnl Sep 20, 2012 01:49 PM

                      maybe i'm old fashioned. i prefer a bartender who makes good drinks. i don't give a rat's ass how he or she gets there.

                      1. re: linus
                        b
                        BSW6490 RE: linus Sep 21, 2012 02:49 PM

                        "shitty"...."rats ass"...... You need a stiff drink.

                      2. re: josephnl
                        Porthos RE: josephnl Sep 20, 2012 03:50 PM

                        Josephnl. This place is probably not for you. Measured drinks. Classic Neapolitan pie with wet center. Same chef as the one who made pizzas at Ortica.

                        You will be missing out on some killer pastas and antipasti though. Oh well... ;)

                        1. re: Porthos
                          j
                          josephnl RE: Porthos Sep 20, 2012 09:08 PM

                          You're probably right...sigh! Is it also noisy?? BTW...Mozza in NB has great drinks, and if you ask for pizza "a bit crispy", it's absolutely stellar.

                          1. re: josephnl
                            Porthos RE: josephnl Sep 20, 2012 09:54 PM

                            You kill me :)

                            Mozza's pizzas are crispy enough for me. After 40-50 or so visits between the two, I'm preferring more soft and chewy crust these days a la Ortica and Sotto.

                            I didn't notice Sotto being loud. But then again, I don't find Mozza loud either so I'm a bad gauge for you.

                            1. re: Porthos
                              j
                              josephnl RE: Porthos Sep 20, 2012 11:03 PM

                              Mozza NB is not loud at all...indeed pretty quiet at ~5 pm when we usually go. The few times I've been to Mozza LA (last a few years ago), it was so noisy and chaotic that we never returned. That's partly why I didn't want to go to the NB Mozza...but thanks to you Porthos, I did, and we love it! It's all good...the salads, the pizza, the wine...and yes, even the martini's!

                              Should I wait for the Newport Beach Sotto?

                              BTW...I love a chewy crust...I don't even mind a floppy center that requires a fork and knife...it's when the center is wet and raw that I draw the line. Unfortunately, that's what I've experienced at Ortica the few times I've been there. Sigh (again)!

                              1. re: josephnl
                                Porthos RE: josephnl Sep 21, 2012 12:12 AM

                                Once again, never was raw at Ortica. Impossible to be raw given the charred edges and thinness of the dough in the center.

                                Sotto Newport is called Ortica. Where do you think the octopus, lamb ragu, and Neapolitan style pizza came from? Some of the Ortica/Sona/Comme Ca crew moved to Sotto with the chef. Sotto just does everything 1-2 notches better.

                                Now that you've heard about Neapolitan pizza more you should try Ortica again with an open mind: Margherita with salame picante added and the lamb ragu pasta.

                                Low risk. High reward. Eat the pizza immediately and folding the slice in half. Use your fork to help support the center as you lift it towards your mouth if you have to.

                                They even have a couple of classic cocktails that are pretty good.

                                1. re: Porthos
                                  j
                                  josephnl RE: Porthos Sep 21, 2012 07:16 AM

                                  Give me a little time...I don't want to rush into anything so consequential!

                                  1. re: josephnl
                                    Porthos RE: josephnl Sep 21, 2012 08:04 AM

                                    Enlightenment awaits :)

                        2. re: josephnl
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                          Thor123 RE: josephnl Sep 20, 2012 04:04 PM

                          Agree with you 100% except that the food and service at Sotto is so good that its worth just ordering doubles.

                        3. re: linus
                          n
                          ns1 RE: linus Sep 21, 2012 12:38 PM

                          I'm with linus here. Eyeballing drinks = eyeballing a recipe. Sure if you're really good you'll be consistent 90% of the time, but with measured pours you can be consistent 99% of the time.

                          more is not always better. if more = better, ask for the drink stiff or get a stiffer drink.

                          that said,

                          "Still I find a one ounce pour at an high end place offensive. And any measured pour of straight scotch, vodka, etc is a turn off to me."

                          No arguments here.

                          1. re: ns1
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                            cacio e pepe RE: ns1 Sep 21, 2012 01:36 PM

                            I can also get to that last part. I think a standard pour for a straight spirit should be 2 oz. Anything less is certainly chintzy. For me, I'm alright with a measured, 2 oz. pour. But I can't argue at all with someone who finds that a little less that hospitable.

                            1. re: cacio e pepe
                              n
                              ns1 RE: cacio e pepe Sep 21, 2012 01:43 PM

                              n/m

                    2. re: josephnl
                      c
                      cacio e pepe RE: josephnl Sep 21, 2012 11:37 AM

                      I think perhaps you take some off-the-cuff remarks, Liek Ciao Bob's, as hard facts and then trust those facts to inform your opinion. Frankly, you're wrong on this count to do that.

                      And while I'll concede that you're right that many bartenders still pour by eye, I think you'll be disappointed that the trend is moving rapidly and steadily away from that at places with bar programs of any interest.

                      Measured pours are an absolute necessity for many of the complex drinks that are now being poured at bars with thoughtful programs. These are drinks that can shift dramatically with 1/4 oz. of something. Believe me, something like Fernet Branca is great in a cocktail, until you get too much and it takes over the drink completely.

                      Measured pours at *these* kinds of establishments are not meant to be stingy and to boost the prices. They really aren't. It's about balance.

                      Now if your pleasure is a martini and you aren't too particular about your ratio of vermouth to gin, well then a measured pour isn't something that will enhance your experience.

                      Measured pours in spirit have nothing to do with the size of a cocktail, only the ratio of ingredients.

                      Smaller drinks are also en vogue right now, and I say it's about time. I see nothing appealing about 12 oz. (that's SIX shots) of cold gin at one time. It's not enjoyable to me and I can't see how anyone would drink something like that before it warmed up anyway. Maybe that's how grandpa showed he had hair on his chest before he slammed his Buick into a parked car, but great grandpa had no such custom.

                      The drinks at Sotto use premier ingredients, some often hard to find, some made in house. They're measured so they can be replicated more precisely. I think those are the facts here.

                      If you like complex cocktails that you can finish before they reach room temperature and before you start drooling on yourself, then the drinks at places like Sotto, Red Medicine, Picca, Tasting Kitchen, etc., are outstanding. If you're old school and want a soda-can of cold gin before a meal then you'd better stick with wine at those places.

                      1. re: cacio e pepe
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                        BSW6490 RE: cacio e pepe Sep 21, 2012 12:22 PM

                        Personally, only rarely do I drink a mixed drink, I find they get it right every time on that program so I understand the offense to a measured pour and find it a big turn off too. I understand with complex drinks a measure is required too.

                        1. re: BSW6490
                          c
                          cacio e pepe RE: BSW6490 Sep 21, 2012 01:29 PM

                          I'm kind of confused by this response. On the one hand, you find a measured pour a big turn off. But you understand that with a complex drink measured pours are necessary and that Sotto, which always measures pours, nails your drink every time.

                          I suppose if I ordered a scotch neat I wouldn't expect a measured pour. And I could see someone perhaps feeling that the restaurant wasn't exactly generous. Kind of the opposite of the overflowing cup of sake treatment that some Japanese restaurants offer. I just don't get that mentality for mixed drinks which owe their flavor entirely to the ratio of its ingredients.

                          1. re: cacio e pepe
                            b
                            BSW6490 RE: cacio e pepe Sep 21, 2012 02:48 PM

                            I agree, but since I dont drink mixed drinks; I dont want a measured pour. I am talking from a selfish point of view.

                            1. re: BSW6490
                              c
                              cacio e pepe RE: BSW6490 Sep 21, 2012 04:16 PM

                              I get you now. Agreed. I do appreciate a generous, unmeasured pour for the straight stuff.

                        2. re: cacio e pepe
                          n
                          ns1 RE: cacio e pepe Sep 21, 2012 12:43 PM

                          great post here.

                          "They're measured so they can be replicated more precisely. I think those are the facts here."

                          1. re: cacio e pepe
                            j
                            josephnl RE: cacio e pepe Sep 21, 2012 03:21 PM

                            Of course, using a measure is necessary for a complex drink. This should not equate to a small drink.

                            The post that got me started on this issue, is the post way back by Thor123 who commented that Sotto pours a "measured" drink which I interpreted to mean "small". This interpretation was reinforced by Ciao Bob's post referring to the person who supposedly is in charge of Sotto's bar program as "practically inventing small pours and hefty prices". This does not speak well imho of the bar policy of an upscale restaurant.

                            I maintain that most experienced bartenders in good restaurants should not need to use a measure for preparing most standard cocktails...martinii's, manhattan's, and most mixed or "neat" drinks. And yes, small drinks (< 2 oz.) are not, I think, appropriate at upscale restaurants where cocktails are generally in the $13-15 range.

                            1. re: josephnl
                              t
                              Thor123 RE: josephnl Sep 21, 2012 03:25 PM

                              Perfectly stated. However, IMO Sotto is still great!

                              1. re: Thor123
                                j
                                josephnl RE: Thor123 Sep 21, 2012 03:46 PM

                                Sounds like at Sotto the way to go is with a bottled beverage...beer or wine!

                                1. re: josephnl
                                  t
                                  Thor123 RE: josephnl Sep 21, 2012 03:48 PM

                                  or a double.

                              2. re: josephnl
                                l
                                linus RE: josephnl Sep 21, 2012 03:52 PM

                                one, i maintain the best bartenders in america measure for cocktails. the best manhattans, martinis and old fashioneds i have had have been measured. two, everything else is more expensive in an upscale restaurant (your eight oz of filet at the cheesecake factory is cheaper than your eight oz. of filet at cut), why shouldn't the drinks be?

                                1. re: linus
                                  j
                                  josephnl RE: linus Sep 21, 2012 04:04 PM

                                  linus...respectfully, my experience regarding your point #1 is quite different. I've dined at the bar at some of America's best, and have rarely seen experienced bartenders use a measure except when making complex concoctions (which I myself never drink). Indeed for martini's, the strong trend is for either just a "whisper" of vermouth, or none at all, so the only reason to use a measure would be to calibrate the size of the drink, something good bartenders are pretty adept at.

                                  1. re: josephnl
                                    n
                                    ns1 RE: josephnl Sep 21, 2012 04:09 PM

                                    you said it all in your post, bartenders use measured pours for complex concoctions. Most of Julian Cox's drinks are complex.

                                    Thus, if you buy mixed drinks you will see measured pours. If you don't buy mixed drinks you won't (or shouldn't).

                                    1. re: josephnl
                                      l
                                      linus RE: josephnl Sep 21, 2012 04:29 PM

                                      well, we're talking in circles now. to each their own. i can't remember, in any high or medium end restaurant, ever feeling hard done by by the size of the drinks. i just want them to taste good, and be a reasonable value in tune with the rest of the menu.

                                      1. re: josephnl
                                        c
                                        cacio e pepe RE: josephnl Sep 21, 2012 04:59 PM

                                        That trend you speak of is truly dying. A 3:1 or even 2:1 ratio martini is de rigueur at any bar worth it's salt, these days.

                                        1. re: cacio e pepe
                                          j
                                          josephnl RE: cacio e pepe Sep 21, 2012 05:20 PM

                                          Thank goodness, if it is indeed dying...I personally like to taste the vermouth in a martini. I must say however, that in southern CA where I reside, I have never, ever seen a 2:1 or even a 3:1 ratio in a martini. The classic recipe is, I believe, 4:1 but in most restaurants I go to, much less or even no vermouth is used. At home, I put a healthy splash into my Bombay Sapphire.

                                          1. re: josephnl
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                                            cacio e pepe RE: josephnl Sep 21, 2012 05:28 PM

                                            Me too! Believe it or not, the earliest known Martini recipes are 1:1. I do a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio with a dash of orange bitters. But the days of the "glance at the bottle of vermouth from across the room" martinis truly seem to be going away. I'm with you. Good riddance.

                                            1. re: cacio e pepe
                                              j
                                              josephnl RE: cacio e pepe Sep 21, 2012 08:33 PM

                                              Totally agree. It's the vermouth that makes the martini. Without vermouth, it's simple gin!! Curious to know what others like, but for me it's pretty much always French Noilly Prat with Bombay Sapphire with either a twist or one olive. I don't get this dirty martini bit...putting olive flavored brine into good gin seems weird to me!

                                              1. re: josephnl
                                                l
                                                linus RE: josephnl Sep 22, 2012 05:37 AM

                                                this is a discussion for another board, but there's a whole world of gin out there beyond bombay sapphire and and alternatives to noilly prat as well.
                                                i like an olive, but the dirty martini thing is lost on me, too. i'll bet most of those are made with vodka, anyway.

                                              2. re: cacio e pepe
                                                l
                                                linus RE: cacio e pepe Sep 22, 2012 05:39 AM

                                                i'm fairly sure david embury, a much admired author of a classic cocktail book from the last century, puts his ratios at six or seven to one.

                                                1. re: linus
                                                  c
                                                  cacio e pepe RE: linus Sep 22, 2012 10:32 AM

                                                  Linus, that sounds about right for the time. HIs book was first published post WWII. By that time, cocktails, and the Martini in particular, had really transitioned to the drink we probably grew up with. Namely, cold gin with so little vermouth as to be undetectable to most palates. Frankly, once you get to 8:1 it's too little vermouth to notice much at all.

                                                  Take a look through David Wonrich's _Imbibe_. He's got quite a bit of evidence that the earliest martini iterations were 1:1 ratios and there are other classic books that place it at 2:1 or 3:1 as the drink gained some traction in the US.

                                                  1. re: cacio e pepe
                                                    l
                                                    linus RE: cacio e pepe Sep 22, 2012 04:56 PM

                                                    big fan of the imbibe magazine website. also have been enjoying the drinks section of seriouseats lately.

                                                    1. re: linus
                                                      c
                                                      cacio e pepe RE: linus Sep 22, 2012 06:10 PM

                                                      The magazine is awesome, but there is a book called _Imbibe_ that I'd recommend for any amateur cocktail historians.

                                                      Serious Eats has not been on my radar much these days. I'll have to check it out! Thanks.

                                      2. re: josephnl
                                        c
                                        cacio e pepe RE: josephnl Sep 21, 2012 04:55 PM

                                        We're just not talking about the same thing and I don't think we ever will.

                                        Your interpretation of "measured" as meaning "small" is taking some poetic license, I think. I own those coupes they use at Sotto. They hold 4 oz. with plenty of room to spare. That's the right size for a cocktail. And Ciao Bob's comment is a matter of interpretation.

                                        And here is mine in short:

                                        Cocktails had been growing in size and shrinking in complexity since prohibition ended. In the past decade (yes, it's been going on that long), bartenders have been reversing that trend by looking in historical bartending books. And American bars haven't been this good in generations.

                                        I can tell you that while I may not have the same pedigree of fine dining that you have (and believe me, I've really enjoyed your reviews and comments over the years), I'd put my pedigree of fine drinking up against most anyone. And Sotto very much represents the changes to the American bar scene that have come to pass in the last 10 years.

                                        I have no doubt that, in your experience, fine restaurants usually have bartenders that pour by eye. Fine bars used to do the same. But just as bars have changed, the bar program at restaurants are changing, too. Look at the better, yet newish, restaurants in LA. Son of a Gun, Sotto, Red Medicine, Tasting Kitchen, Picca, Campanile, Providence, Drago Centro, even Umamicatessen. All of them have state-of-the-art bar programs that measure their pours and serve 4-5 oz. drinks.

                                        All this is to say, I hear what you're saying. However, I disagree that it speaks poorly of the restaurant, but rather that your taste is more traditional than what the restaurant is doing. And that I think you'll be very disappointed in the coming years with your drinks at fine restaurants because those restaurants are slowly catching up to what fine bars have been doing for awhile now.

                                        1. re: cacio e pepe
                                          n
                                          ns1 RE: cacio e pepe Sep 21, 2012 04:59 PM

                                          Measured can mean small or big right? Measuring infers accuracy only, not size (imho). I can pour a measured drink and make it huge and stiff lol

                                          1. re: ns1
                                            m
                                            mc michael RE: ns1 Sep 21, 2012 09:11 PM

                                            I like the way you drink.

                                            1. re: ns1
                                              z
                                              zin1953 RE: ns1 Sep 22, 2012 09:51 PM

                                              >>> Measuring infers accuracy only, not size (imho). <<<
                                              Indeed!

                                            2. re: cacio e pepe
                                              Servorg RE: cacio e pepe Sep 21, 2012 05:03 PM

                                              And then the pendulum swings too far - and someone breaks away from the herd and starts serving "old school" cocktails, poured by hand with no measuring device in sight, and all the trendoids flock there and blog about it...and before you can say Stoli three times fast all the other places in town are jumping on the "what's old is new again" bandwagon...until the pendulum swings too far and...

                                              1. re: Servorg
                                                c
                                                cacio e pepe RE: Servorg Sep 21, 2012 05:19 PM

                                                Perhaps, Servorg. But these have been some s . . . l . . . o . . . w swings of the pendulum. My father first knew a martini as drink that is essentially cold gin. It's only been since the early oughts that the craft cocktail scene has had any traction. That's leaves what, 50 years of cocktail dark ages? May this latest "trend" last 50 years, too!

                                                And some things aren't so much trends. Are the tenets of California cuisine trends? Maybe, but they've been around for awhile now and actually seem to be gaining steam.

                                                I'll say this, I've never in my lifetime had so many options to have mind blowing cocktails. I don't need to try hard to find a place that serves these exceptional cocktails. And now you're telling me I can get these kinds of drinks at some of my favorite restaurants? I'll drink to that!

                                              2. re: cacio e pepe
                                                j
                                                josephnl RE: cacio e pepe Sep 21, 2012 05:28 PM

                                                I'll never complain about a 4 oz. cocktail. I've not been to Sotto, but if they pour even a 3 oz. cocktail, measured or not, I'd be a happy camper. I guess I need to go to Sotto and make my own decision...and yes, the food is more important than the drink!

                                                I could care less if a bartender uses a measure, but I don't want to feel cheated with a small drink (<2-3 oz.) if I'm paying $15 for a martini, which is often the case where I dine.

                                      3. z
                                        zin1953 RE: josephnl Sep 22, 2012 09:50 PM

                                        >>> I enjoy a nice martini before dinner and am really turned off by restaurants that present a martini in a larger glass which is 2/3 filled and charge $15 for it <<<

                                        Would you be happier if they used a smaller Martini glass, and filled it to the rim? And what about the part the cocktail waitress spills as she's carrying a full tray of six drinks to your table? I'm not talking about spilling one-third of the drink, or getting hit by a customer who stands up and didn't see her -- but the small sip (or two) and slides out of the Martini glass from bartender to table when it's filled to the rim . . .

                                        Just curious.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: zin1953
                                          j
                                          josephnl RE: zin1953 Sep 22, 2012 10:51 PM

                                          Absolutely! I personally (and perhaps I'm alone in this)...think that a martini or a Manhattan looks best when poured to ~1/2" or so of the rim. Of course filling a glass to the rim is ridiculous if a server is expected to carry it to a table. I'm happy with a 2 or 3 oz. martini (although I prefer a 3 or 4 oz. martini) when served in a proper glass. Yes, I think it looks ridiculous when a bar serves a 2-3 oz. martini in a 6 oz. or even larger glass as seems to be the case at some restaurants. The glass should be properly sized for the drink IMHO...because I think it looks better that way!

                                          Yes, I think a drink should look good...and sure when I pay $15 for a martini which is pretty common at better restaurants, I expect that the drink should not only look good, but should be of reasonable size (at least 2 or 3 oz.)

                                          1. re: josephnl
                                            k
                                            khuzdul RE: josephnl Sep 23, 2012 04:08 PM

                                            I would like to point out that if the typical pour for an establishment is 1.5oz, then the bartender doing a 2oz pour is increasing cost/loss of the establishment on raw materials by 33.33%. That is not an insignificant increase. Yes, the establishment could just establish a 2oz pour as their standard and increase their prices accordingly, but that would not alter the price/value ratio to the customer - it is just doing a "supersize me" job on the drink and the prices to trick the consumer.

                                            If a place is doing small drinks/high prices that a customer does not believe represents a good value ratio, then them doing large pours/even higher prices won't fix things!

                                            1. re: khuzdul
                                              Servorg RE: khuzdul Sep 23, 2012 05:24 PM

                                              " Yes, the establishment could just establish a 2oz pour as their standard and increase their prices accordingly, but that would not alter the price/value ratio to the customer - it is just doing a "supersize me" job on the drink and the prices to trick the consumer."

                                              That's not the case for me, and I'm sure many others too. If the drink size is larger (and even if it costs a few dollars more) it keeps me from buying a second cocktail most of the time. And that saves me a lot more money, even considering the extra cost for the larger pour.

                                              1. re: Servorg
                                                k
                                                khuzdul RE: Servorg Sep 23, 2012 08:55 PM

                                                That may be true, but that is a very individually subjective law of diminishing returns. Using that argument, one could also argue that to accommodate the widest diversity of subjective "perfect" drink sizes, instead of making their drinks larger, that they make their standard pour smaller, charge less, and allow people to order multiples (doubles, triples...). Then many more people can hit the exact amount of alcohol that maximizes the area under their utility curve.

                                                To confound the issue more (entirely unrelated points to what I posted earlier), for what it is worth, pretty much all DMVs use 1.5oz of 80 proof liquor for their rules of thumb for BAC. Utah only raised their legal shot size from 1oz to 1.5oz as of March 2008. As well, Weight Watchers "Points Plus" system allocates 4 points for 1.5oz of hard liquor...

                                                1. re: Servorg
                                                  j
                                                  josephnl RE: Servorg Sep 23, 2012 09:06 PM

                                                  I agree Servorg. All I ever want is one drink...but I'd like it to be of decent size (2-3 oz.), and charge what they need to.

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