Seattle Bartenders Put Aside Spirits in Favor of Vermouth and Sherry in Fortified Wine Cocktails


Is this "trend" due in part to the escalating cost of spirits, post-privatization? You're lowering your costs dramatically by removing base spirits.

It seems absurd to continue to charge $9-$13 for a "cocktail" / fortified wine mixer when you've just taken out the most expensive and heavily taxed component, the base spirit.
@1 To expand on that thought... Most consumer consumables are packaged smaller and smaller to maintain margins for the manufacturer. But you can't really shrink a drink-- so hollow it out instead. My guess is that the fancier mixers/aperitif spirits are a compromise-- less expensive for the house, but "higher quality" (subjective!) for the customer, in order to maintain the aura of a $9-13 value and, more importantly, those margins. $15+ still feels like the realm of hotel bars, nightclubs with bottle service and all that bullshit, and a tiny number of joints that actually earn it.

All that said, there are many factors at work, and I don't doubt that there's also growing consumer awareness of/preference for lower alcohol content.
Vodka's not a beverage; it's a solvent, and it doesn't belong in any respectable drink, especially not a martini.