Why Cocktails Cost So Much

A signature cocktail at fine dining gem The Grill in New York City will set you back $18 to $25, while an experimental concoction at The Aviary in Chicago (and now NYC), can run you as high as $85 when ordering à la carte, or $65 a head for a three-course cocktail-tasting menu. If these prices are giving you sticker shock, you’re not alone — how in the world does a cocktail end up costing just as much as (or even more than) a full meal?

When it comes to craft cocktails, there are two major factors to consider: the cost of doing business and the overall drinking experience.

The complex cocktails crafted by talented mixologists and the swanky dens they’re served in are enabled by a cocktail culture that has developed rapidly over the past 10 years, with social media further fueling the movement as a way for bartenders to share their creations with a global audience.

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