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The War to End Mini Bottles in S. Carolina


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Well, that is a jigger for your venues then!

I guess the places I go are very cocktail recipe - bartender - centric. It's less about me, I am sure. I know, though, that if the recipe calls for 1.5 oz of this and 3/4 oz of that, that is what they'll pour - and if asked to pour a jigger, that's 1.5 oz in those places. Of course most of them DO take off running if they see ME come in.

You made me smile to think of the 1 oz clip joints and their sham-based shots- usually strong enough because they serve their drinks in Delmonico glasses. (For those of you not so well steeped -looky, a pun- in arcane glassware, that is about the size of a diner breakfast juice glass.)

--Doc.

Perhaps I best elaborate to clarify and dispell the "its about me" perspective. Cleveburg is small enough that bartenders nearly know every other bartender in the biz, or at least where they work. And we generally, as a group of friends out for cocktails, tend to visit other bartender friends in their place of employ -- hence more of the hook up whether we are at the homey comforts of the beer pubHarbor Inn or the cocktail serious and beautiful crowds at Liquid/Fusion.

Regarding the two places that 1 ounce was the standard pour, the standard Libbey Gibralter tumblers were prevalent, but I understand the visual effect of glassware. Knowing both owners of those once employing establishments sham was not the goal, but cheapness for one ( :biggrin: ), and that's what he grew up accustomed to as a pour in the bars he once frequented as a young fella.

I can see both sides of this 1.7 ounce being viewed as either large or small.

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For those not in the know, I should also clarify the term "sham". It is not derogatory in this sense. A sham shot is a heavy bottom and sided glass that looks like it holds more than it does, but it is a real and recognized style of shot glass. Picture the outside of the shot glass just looking like a big shot glass, but the inside comes to a cone point (like a jigger). The displaced area is clear glass and a pour gives an illusion of a pretty big dose. It looks like 2 oz but takes a 1 oz. volume, like magic!

--Doc.

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  • 1 year later...

Just researching some of my old posts today and came upon this thread... Today the new law comes into effect, so minibottles are finally seeing their ending days in South Carolina...

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The first time I heard of this, I thought:  That's crazy!  At first I feigned disbelief, then mystified.  The resounding Why? still clearly resounds in this bartender and liquor consumer's mind.  :biggrin:

Here's a colourful Tri-Valley Herald article on the quirky liquor law in South Carolina requiring that liquor be sold and served from the cutesy mini bottle.

The big bottles have tried to muscle in for years.

:laugh:

However, there are several more serious issues at hand. And quite apparently, this is going to be a money/revenue war. (Doesn't it always?)

Burris makes an economic argument in defense of minibottles. The state collects 25 cents on each minibottle the minute it leaves one of South Carolina's four wholesalers and is sent to the 58 or so liquor stores, such as Burris', that have licenses to sell directly to bars and restaurants. Without the minibottles, he says, the tax would be collected on bar sales, and it would be easier for bar owners to cheat the taxman and fool their customers with short drinks poured from tall bottles.

But legislators are concerned with other issues: landfill clogging waste of millions of these little bottles and the serving of large volumes of liquor, a possible contributor to drunk driving related deaths.

You see, as it turns out -- and on this the minibottle lovers and haters agree -- the minibottle is not so small, after all. A minibottle holds 1.7 ounces of liquor, and bartenders must pour all 1.7 ounces -- no more, no less. It may not look like much, but compared with the average drink size around the country -- which is 1 to 1.25 ounces of liquor -- it packs a wallop.

This will be interesting to see how this all works out.

And, I learnt a bit more bar trivia -- "Blind Tiger Bars."

Interesting article. :cool:

TYPOS! :angry:

I ran a bar in Charleston for about a year. Yep, the mini bottles are about tax revenue.

We had to serve pitchers of Long Island Iced Tea when someone ordered one. We even had a weekly special on the pitchers, along with 10 cent wings.

I guess you can tell how long it has been since I worked in the business...

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