Perry's Steakhouse, which I praised in last week's Dish column, isn't typically associated with dainty portions. On Fridays, when mammoth pork chops are sold for just $10.95, the exiting crowds, armed with giant rope-handled leftover bags, look like successful shoe shoppers.
But Perry's has brilliantly downsized its cocktails, a move I wish more mixology-minded bars would make. Don't worry: Nobody's mussing with your gin martini. But the steakhouse is serving mini versions of three summery vodka drinks. The three drinks can be ordered individually or as a trio for $12. During the 4 p.m.-6:30 p.m. "social hour" -- I guess happiness can't be guaranteed during the ongoing recession -- the threesome's $6.
I credit the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's John Kessler with introducing me to two-sip cocktails. While dining with friends at Atlanta's Floataway Cafe during the recent Southern Foodways Alliance field trip, he suggested we ask for an heirloom tomato cocktail split four ways. We weren't being cheap or prudish about the alcohol. Rather, we wanted to savor the flavor of a fantastic seasonal drink. Since artisanal cocktails are crafted with the same precision and care most chefs lavish on their amuse bouches, it makes sense not to guzzle them. And petite cocktails are also perfect for sampling: With so many inspired cocktails on most serious bar menus, it seems silly to keep sipping the same drink.
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As Perry's rightly recognized, a shot's the perfect size. I'll have another, waiter -- and make it a one-fourth.