You have heard the phrase “A Perfect Pour” before. What makes a perfect pour, you ask? Okay, no one is asking. But in my very humble opinion, it is when the bartender is so good that they make your drink in just the right combination that when it is poured in your glass, you look forward to drinking it just the way it is. And, you are satisfied with the size of the portion. That second part is the tricky part. Most bartenders and establishments tend to lean toward smaller portions to make sure they are not over-serving. I agree with that thinking: I do not want to be responsible for someone having too much alcohol.
As a customer, I also want to get my dollars’ worth for each drink. Understandably, I am ordering a glass of wine for $8 when I am fully aware that the bottle of the same wine can be bought down the street for $12. That is just the way it is. With a cocktail, it is hard to pay $10 for a rum and coke, in a small glass with very little rum in it.
When I am out, I watch to see which drinks are the most popular. Whether it is an oversized wine glass that is consistently filled with 6 ounces, or a pint glass with a healthy dose of Captain Morgan and soda, every customer wants to enjoy a drink without breaking the bank.
I live in Massachusetts, and the laws are pretty strict about over-serving, so it is wise to be cautious bartender. And a cautious drinker. Most restaurants try to get five glasses out of a bottle of wine. Some pour a little more and get four glasses. Then you have other restaurants that offer to give you “more” as a serving and a half or so.
One chain restaurant here is Bertucci’s. I do not work for them or know anyone that does, just for the record. I do like their wine pours: Glass, Little More, Half Carafe, Carafe. So smart! I grew up just north of Boston, and the 99 Restaurant chain is a staple there. They offer a glass of wine, or a quartino: a quarter of a liter. Roughly 8 and a half ounces. It makes sense to me… I might want only one large glass of wine to have with dinner and may switch to coffee after dinner.
Pay attention to the glasses that the restaurant uses. I love nice wine glasses. It is my one splurge at home to have Riedel (pronounced Reed-el) glasses. They help to make even the lease expensive wine taste better. If you are at a nice restaurant, they may be using better glasses and that is something to be thankful for. The shape of the glass influences the pour line for the wine. The size of the pour is reflected in the price per glass. You can always order the whole bottle and bring any still in the bottle home with you. Hey! It is in the realm of possibility.
The same is true for the glassware they use for highballs, beer, margaritas, port, and martinis. Even the way that a cappuccino or Irish coffee is served varies from place to place. I love a large mug so you only need one or two cups. If you are dining at a new place, it is always okay to ask about the size of a drink if you do not see it being served.
I like a French Martini. Anywhere. Any place. I have had them at a The Cheesecake Factory, at Neptune Oyster in the North End, and at the dive bar down the street. A French Martini never disappoints. But the prices and the sizes of the pour can be markedly different. Just keep your eyes open. And sometimes your wallet, too.
So there you have it. I like to know beforehand the amount to expect of what I am ordering; I consider what it is poured into, and the way in which it is presented to me; and how much I can expect to pay for it.
If you have had a “Perfect Pour” and would like to share details, please e-mail me and I will post! Cheers.