Back in the day, I remember when the state of South Carolina used to require all bars to pour mixed drinks from miniature airplane bottles to ensure that pour sizes were uniform and that all taxes were being collected. The SC legislature finally dragged itself into the 20th century and allowed bartenders to free-pour, so now about the only place you see miniature bottles is on airplanes or in pockets and purses at football games.
But apparently there’s still a pretty good volume of airplane bottles being consumed, enough so that a team of 18 airport employees at JFK in New York were able to rip off over 100,000 miniature bottles in a theft ring that was finally broken up after a 9-month investigation called “Operation Last Call.” That’s a crap-ton of 50 ml bottles! Not to mention anything about the stellar inventory management and accounting processes of the airport managers at what is by far my least favorite airport in the world, (I spent a couple of nights there…don’t ask) but apparently there is still a market for the mini bottles.
Do you take advantage of display of tiny bottles by the front door of your favorite liquor store? They are placed near the register not just to promote the impulse buy like the Tic Tacs at Kroger, but also to encourage shoppers to try something new without having to invest in a $25 bottle.
The next time you’re shopping for booze or wine, grab yourself a handful of a few different bottles that catch your eye. Throw some Fireball bottles in your tailgate picnic or a shot of Prichard’s Flavored Rum in your lunchbox. (As long as you don’t get fired or operate heavy machinery.) If you’re going to a party, don’t buy a bottle of the second cheapest wine, put together a potpourri of Jim Beam Bourbon, Herradura Tequila, Skyy Vodka and Dewar’s Scotch as a host gift. Or the next time you’re the host, put out a bucket of minis and let your guests experiment while they mix their own drinks.
That’ll give you more time to catch folks peeking in your medicine cabinets.