The folks at Zagat just dropped a survey covering the cocktail-drinking habits of more than 1,000 people. Sadly, the “mixology survey” doesn’t ask whether people are ready to retire the word mixology once and for all. But it does offer a few interesting insights into how the craft-cocktail movement is continuing to influence the average drinker.
Here are a few of our own takeaways from the results:
- The notion of value in cocktails is still skewed. The survey says, “Fifteen dollars seems to be the cutoff between ‘worth it’ and ‘way too expensive.'” First things first: That’s got to be a lot higher than most people were previously comfortable with, so it seems like the notion that well-made cocktails warrant a serious price tag is catching on. But we’d argue that the “value” distinction is flawed: There’s no precise cutoff for when a drink suddenly becomes “worth it” or not. There are certain spots in NYC where we’d spend $17-20 on a drink—for example, the Library Bar at the NoMad—because the atmosphere and level of detail makes the experience special. The real problem is the creeping up of prices across the board—a phenomenon that is very familiar to beer drinkers, who are struggling to get used to the $8 pint in Manhattan.
- People have finally figured out how to tip a cocktail bartender…almost. The survey finds that “when going out for cocktail, the average tip is 18.9%.” We’d argue the minimum should be 20%, and it should go up from there based on exceptional service. But hey, at least these people are not part of the “31% [who] say they leave a flat amount per beverage.” As tempting as it is, leaving a buck on your $14 Negroni is just not a good look.
- The three-martini lunch is long gone. “Only 8% of respondents say that they enjoy cocktails at lunch (and a truly hard-core 2% of voters say that they will have a drink or two with breakfast).” This move used to be par for the course in the publishing world. Thanks, Internet, for ruining yet another great thing!
- But the boozy brunch is on the rise. If you are about that bottomless Bloody Mary and Eggs Benedict life, we can’t help you.
- The Manhattan continues to surge. It’s now tied with the martini as the most popular cocktail. Good to see people getting comfortable with their brown spirits.