Customer calls out cocktail menus that start at $18

@amandatwell/TikTok Ievgenii Meyer/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘Price yourself accordingly’: Customer calls out cocktail menus that start at $18

'You are not on the top 100 world bars list.'


Nina Hernandez


Posted on Apr 8, 2024   Updated on Apr 8, 2024, 4:08 pm CDT

A customer is calling out cocktail menus with drinks that start at $18.

TikTok user Amanda (@amandatwell) recorded her thoughts on the matter while preparing to go out for “overpriced cocktails” two days ago. “I just need to know when it became the norm for cocktails to just like start at $18,” she says. “I live in Dallas, and there’s a lot of new restaurants and cocktail bars and just places that I wanted to try.”

She says she was preparing to go out for drinks the other night when this occurred to her. “We picked a spot. I go and look at the menu in advance, because I’m one of those people. Every single cocktail on their menu—$18. And it’s not like these are like insane, creative cocktails. It’s like their French 77. Their espresso martini. Their cosmopolitan.”

An $18 drink should be a spectacle, in Amanda’s opinion. “If I’m paying $18 for a cocktail, I want it to spit fire at me. I want it to blow bubbles. I want it to do something,” she says. 

“I get it, things are getting more expensive. I don’t like in a cheap city, but like this isn’t New York. Who do we think we are? This is just a random bar in Dallas. It’s not a fancy steakhouse. It’s not a super elite experience, cocktail mixology bar. It’s just a normal bar,” Amanda says. 

Amanda says she doesn’t mind paying top dollar for a good drink, but there are principles to consider. “I can validate $12-$15 for a cocktail. It’s still a bit expensive. But when I could buy two bowls at Chipotle for how much you are charging me for an espresso martini? I find that to be a problem. And we wonder why Gen Z just is not going out anymore. It’s because it’s not sustainable,” she says.

“When I got out of college, I go to the bar, my vodka soda was $4. Granted I lived in Amarillo, Texas. But still. I would go out in Fort Worth. My vodka soda? $6-$8,” she says. “At these places, you can get something that’s not on the main cocktail menu. But I can’t validate $15 for a Tito’s and soda, just like I can’t validate $18 for an espresso martini,” she says. “I get it, there’s art that goes into a good craft cocktail. But every single place that opens, I’m sorry, you are not on the top 100 world bars list for craft cocktails. Price yourself accordingly.”

@amandatwell Created as im getting ready to go drink overpriced cocktails #dallas #cocktails ♬ original sound – Amanda Atwell

The video has amassed 14,000 views as of Monday afternoon. In the comments, users weighed in on rising cocktail prices.

“It’s insane. And a beer is $8 or $9. Like, WHAT?!,” wrote one user.

A second user wrote, “We never order drinks out anymore. It’s ridiculous.”

A third user agreed, “i live in vegas and was once charged $25 for a vodka redbull.”

However, some users said that price point is a steal where they live.

“When I lived in nyc I would get SO excited to see an $18 martini,” wrote one user.

“The worst part is how little alcohol they put in the drinks. If they made it well then one $18 drink MIGHT be worth it but it’s like drinking juice,” another user wrote.

According to Bon Appetit, the $20 price tag on good cocktails likely isn’t going away any time soon. That’s attributable to inflation, which makes everything—especially alcohol—more expensive. It’s unlikely the increases are going directly to the bars and restaurants, which notoriously run on thin profit margins.

The Daily Dot reached out to Amanda via email for comment.

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*First Published: Apr 8, 2024, 9:00 pm CDT