Gouge Away


We don’t care if it’s made with aged whiskey or house-infused vodka, we don’t care if it’s been muddled with a rare, medicinal herb harvested by the bartender’s personal yogi: Paying over $13 for a drink is madness. If an upscale restaurant like WD-50 doesn’t feel a need to charge an exorbitant amount for their cocktails, neither should some of these bars. Sure, these establishments magnanimously include some relatively cheaper beer/wine/well-drink options, but to even pop an over-$13 drink anywhere on the menu smacks of gluttonous, feed-me-Seymour hubris. That said, we introduce our Overpriced Cocktail Hall of Shame, with these inaugural entries.

  • The Double Seven From the owners of Lotus comes The Double 7, a swank Meatpacking District lounge whose cocktail menu includes a $16 old fashioned.
  • Obivia Opened in the last year, this velvet-pillowed lounge next to La Esquina in Soho offers a $16 Sidecar (Courvoisier, Cointreau, and orange, lemon twist), a $16 Basil Grande with Grey Goose and muddled strawberries and basil, the $16 Dirty Sage Martini with Hendrick’s gin and sage, and the $16 Wet Cosmo with Beefeater gin, triple sec, and cranberry juice.
  • Underbar Rande Gerber’s underground lounge in the W Union Square is well-known for the outrageously-priced drinks served up by its genetically-gifted, black-clad waitstaff. The Ultimate Margarita may be spiked with Patron, but to pay $16 for it is still ludicrous. The classic red bull-and-vodka is made with Ketel One, for $15. And naturally, there is a Sex and the City-coined Flirtini, with Grey Goose, for $16.
  • Church Lounge Church Lounge loves to throw little hipster DJ parties but still holds on to that list of cocktails only a well-compensated banker can swing. Even FDR, our President behind the lift-up-the-little-man New Deal (though he could well afford a high-priced beverage himself), would balk at what Church Lounge charges for “The FDR.” This dirty martini goes for a whopping $14.
  • At some point, we ran out of money in our meager Voice budget to drop on $15 cosmos, so we’re asking you. Email us at [email protected] what bars should be added to the Hall of Shame, and we’ll print some of the answers here.