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Added 13 February, 2014

Are cocktails too large? Now they are shrinking

They say that in the 1950s, businessmen (and they were all men) used to have three-martini lunches. What they don't tell you, however, is that each one of those drinks was far smaller than they are served today. Portion size of cocktails has grown commensurate with the portion size of food, which is why many people today are fatter and drink more than their counterparts did decades ago. Today, martinis and other cocktails are routinely served in glasses that can measure 10 ounces or more. By contrast, in the 1950s the standard pour was a mere 2 or 4 ounces. In short, the last 50 years has seen cocktails grow to fishbowl proportions. But change is coming our way as bartenders in the United States and elsewhere start pouring smaller drinks in portions that won't get warm by the time your half way through. Bartenders have been aware of this issue for some time now, but have felt it necessary to serve drinks in proportions that customers expect. In response, we are seeing lots of novelty glassware that obscures the drinks' volume. Some bartenders are having it both ways by serving drinks in small glassware, then serving another "dividend" bit on ice in a little carafe on the side. Once again times they are a-changin'.
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