Money for ice? That's nothing new

For a cutting-edge city and a jump-on-the-fad newspaper, the latest mini-flap in New York City's drinking world is really old news.

Here's the opening salvo in a NY Daily News report:

"The case of a trendy Manhattan eatery and bar charging extra for ice is becoming a tempest in a shot glass.

"The drama began at downtown hotspot The Darby after a patron noticed a $2 surcharge added to the already hefty price tag on his $13 Grey Goose. The receipt, with the charge 'Rocks: $2' was then published on the food blog Eater, which called the tab an outrageous rip-off."

This, however, is nothing new. Way back in July 2006, I mentioned in a restaurant review of a riverside restaurant in Upstate New York:

"When we prepared to settle the bill, I noticed an oddity.

"I have enjoyed adult beverages in more than a dozen countries and in more than several dozen states, have a website and a nationally distributed weekly column all devoted to the world of alcoholic beverages, yet I have never run across the drink-pricing practices of the Lighthouse: Order a cocktail 'up'' rather than on the rocks and you're charged an extra $1 per drink.

"I consulted several colleagues, checked local sources and conducted a quickie e-mail poll of food editors in other states. Everyone involved expressed amazement at the practice. Next time I may simply order a cocktail on the rocks plus a spoon to scoop out the ice, assuming there is no spoonage surcharge."

The more I received comments from food and beverage writers, restaurateurs and mixologists around the country, the more I got into the topic. After writing about it in a column distributed nationally by the Hearst News Service and the New York Times News Service, I was interviewed by several national radio and TV shows and the topic become a mini-craze. Until, of course, it quickly dissipated as more important things caught the attention of the all-consuming media -- like war, famine and finance.

To Dowd's Wine Notebook latest entry.
To Dowd's Tasting Notes latest entry.
Back to Dowd On Drinks home page.

No comments: