glass half full

Why is it that, with liquor, the bartender (or your host) will usually fill your glass about to the halfway mark. Let the liquor “breathe”? Pure cheapness?

What makes you think it should be filled to the edge? Make it easier to spill and waste? Do you fill everything like that? A glass of water? A soup bowl? A bathtub?

I was at this bar one time and ordered a brandy. The bartender must not have had brandy ordered very often because he filled the glass up as apposed to the shot on the bottom of the glass you usually get so I got about 4 drinks for the price of one.

In general drinks has about the same amount of alcohol. When you get a shot of wiskey you don’t get a 12 ounce glass of wiskey like you do when you get beer.

Not to the edge, but yeah, you do fill substantially more than halfway.

sailor seems to be implying that the reason is so it doesn’t spill. I don’t buy that. But I haven’t had too much experience with the phenomena the OP is talking about, so I’m going to leave my own speculation out of it.

How about the economies of scale when running a restaurant or bar?

Drinks come in different amounts. Drinks that concentrate on mixing alcohol (Manhattans) can require 2 - 4 ounces of fluid while drinks that concentrate on mixing in pop or juices can require 4 - 8 ounces of fluid and drinks of a single liquor might use on 1 - 2 ounces. (Then there are the “specialty” drinks that might use up to 12 ounces.) In addition, the drinks may or may not include additional ice. (Manhattans, for example can be served with or without.)

So how many varieties of glasses should the bar stock? The easiest way to buy glasses that will hold the widely variable amounts of fluid is to stay with shot glasses, Old Fashioned glasses, high-ball glasses, and tall specialty glasses. Every drink that is too large for the next smaller glass will look short in the next size up. (If you think they’re being stingy, order doubles: they’ll be happy to oblige you.)

(From your description, I’d say they’re giving you a couple of good ounces in an Old Fashioned glass. (This gives them room to add ice if the patron suddenly remembers that s/he wants it on the rocks.) Cheer up! They could sell you a shot at a time.)

Some see the glass as half full, some as half empty. I see it as the glass is twice as big as it needs to be

You pay for a certain amount of beverage; now, do you prefer it in a glass that will be filled to the edge or in one with some space to spare? Just tell the bartender your preference. What you are paying for is the contents.

Cereal boxes come with a warning that “product is sold by weight, not volume, some settling may occur etc” which seemed quite unnecessary to me but now I think maybe bar glasses should have a warning: “Alcoholic beverages are sold by volume regardless of the size of the glass”.

I guess this mentality also explains that in soutjern Europe coffee cups are tiny and always filled to the brim. You cannot walk three steps without spilling a substantial portion of the coffee on to the saucer. I always wondered why they didn’t pour the same amount of coffee in a larger cup but I guess the reason is they all have the same mentality as the OP and would feel cheated. Better give them a tiny cup and fill it until it spills.

Also, certain brandy glasses and wine glasses have that special shape so you can pour some in the bottom and the aroma will concentrate in the narrow opening. Brandy glasses are made so wide so you can warm the brandy in your hand or over a flame.

sailor: My “pure cheapness” was in pure…jest. No, I don’t feel cheated. The ratio alcohol:nothingness just seemed a bit odd. Strangely enough, this doesn’t seem to apply to champagne, for example. Your champagne glass/cup isn’t filled to the rim, but it certainly isn’t half filled either. Same for wine, where between half and three quarters seems more the norm, doesn’t it? That, despite the fact that, yes, you do occasionally spill champagne and wine. (Some people NEVER learn)

As far as European coffee is concerned, you get more for your buck in that tiny cup than you would in five cups of American coffee:). And have you ordered espresso lately? Isn’t exactly filled to the rim, is it?

As for this “settling” business, that’s pure crap from the product makers. The $0.05 bags of chips I bought when I was young were filled right up to the top. Nobody seemed to have been aware of this “settling” phenomenon in the good ole days. Makes you wonder…

Qadgop: I like your perspective!:smiley:

Tom: good points (as usual).

first of, we aren’t talking about inflation here.

second, what was the weight of this bag of chips compared to the one you’d buy today?

the weight is the important thing. that’s what you’re paying for. not how much of the container is occupied, as sailor pointed out.

Trust me when I say that it weighed about one and a half times to twice as much.


I threw the $0.05 in just as an aside. As for inflation, I don’t think it’s just in the price…:slight_smile:

And I say, “Hey! Who drank half of my glass of water?”