Thursday, December 23, 2010

Robbery in Chains

I’m not too highbrow to admit that I enjoy dinner at chain restaurants every now and then. Sometimes a girl just needs that giant plate of fried [your favorite vegetable here], accompanied by a giant [ your favorite cocktail here]. But I swear to God- if one more PF Changs or Cheesecake Factory waters down another drink, I’m calling New York Times Food . Or the police. Or the manager. Or whoever can expose the fact that my cocktail is way too close to a mocktail, and explain why a considerable amount of a free tasteless substance has poured itself into my drink.

A martini tastes one way: strong. There’s one ingredient: Vodka (old-schoolers- forgive my omission of Vermouth- but it’s history). And no matter how many hundreds one has consumed, the initial sip will never fail to stir up internal conversations as it passes from the lips to the mouth to the throat and to the belly. So when a restaurant tries to cut corners and stretch the dollar by adding water to the liquor, it gets noticed.

I’m sure these corporations will condescendingly explain that, “Sometimes ice melts in the shaker if the drink is left on the service bar too long, causing a slight diffusion of the ingredients.” Or, “Some bartenders will thoroughly shake the drink to ensure an optimum chill factor, causing excessive ice particles to infiltrate the beverage and eventually melt.” I don’t buy it. To justify the amount of water in my drinks at these places, the shaker would have had to be left in the kitchen under a heat lamp, and any extensive shaking would have caused bartender bodily harm.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who has noticed this crime. Yes, it’s a crime! False advertisement sounds softer but it’s the same thing. When a person orders a Cosmo, she assumes she’s getting vodka, triple sec, cranberry and lime juice. Not a splash or a dab or an ounce of water. That’s robbery. If you must add water, make note of your “creativity” in your drink menu and charge me six bucks instead of eleven. Otherwise it’s just insulting to those of us who take our libations seriously. Not to mention it’s prohibiting your bartender from making a better tip on additional drinks.

Chain restaurants- I’ll continue testing out your drinks to see if things change. But be advised: This Girl is onto you!


  1. Totally agree. If you take your trade seriously don't water down your drinks! Whatever the boss tells you!