Any Italian restaurant worth its salt isn’t making Bolognese sauce from scratch 100 times over during each night of service. Its chefs will make their entire day’s supply around noon, keep it in a massive pot, and pour a ladle’s worth on each order. This isn’t a shortcut, but rather a necessary form of prep work that ensures quality during service.
But unlike cooking, bartending is a customer-facing practice, and with that transparency comes an expected level of performance. Of course, prepping ingredients before service is essential in cocktail bars, and it has been for quite some time. You just can’t efficiently juice a few limes on the spot every time someone orders a Daiquiri or clarify a milk punch in real time. But at some point, the line of what is and isn’t acceptable to pre-batch has become blurred. If a bartender simply dumps a concoction out of a bottle into a glass filled with ice, customers may start to wonder what they’re paying — and tipping — for.
On this episode of the “VinePair Podcast,” Joanna and Zach discuss a recent VinePair piece about the collision between rising cocktail prices and the increasing use of pre-batched cocktails in prestigious bars — and why, despite its potential to provide faster service and more consistent drinks, the practice may very well be turning bar patrons off. Tune in for more.