Thankfully, You’re Not Actually Being Charged for Ice in Your Drink
One travel writer got to the bottom of what an "ice surcharge" really means
If you see an ice charge on your drinks order, relax — nothing nefarious is going on.
That’s the conclusion reached by Chris Carley of the travel site Eye of the Flyer. After noticing the charge at two different venues — one in Vegas and one in New York — he made a few queries and did a little research, discovering that the charge probably reflects an additional pour of whiskey. In other words, you’re most likely getting a 1.5 oz pour if you order something “neat” but 2 oz. if you get something on the rocks. So you’re paying for the slightly extra amount of booze.
As Vital Vegas explained a little while back: “One of the motivations for this practice is 1.5 ounces of liquor doesn’t look like very much alcohol when poured into a rocks glass. Those in the bartending field say customers who order drinks on the rocks are well aware they’ll get a larger pour, and customers tend to feel they’re actually getting a decent deal because they’re getting a third more hooch for a nominal charge.”
It could also mean any number of other things, according to one Twitter user:
This is certainly not to excuse other surcharges being added to your food and drink bill — just be sure to notice if those “temporary” charges disappear when the price of gas drops or the supply chain improves.
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