28 May 2013

Pulling the old "switcheroo"

State authorities this morning raided 29 bars and restaurants across New Jersey on suspicion that they have been re-filling empty bottles of their most expensive liquors with cheaper alcohol.

Dubbed "Operation Swill," the year-long investigation found the establishments fooled customers so they could charge higher prices and bolster their profits...
The raided establishments included famous names, including TGI Friday, Ruby Tuesday, and Applebee's (list at the link).

This struck a chord with me because three of my college roommates worked their way through school as bartenders, and at least in that era (Boston, 1960s), bartenders were sometimes allowed to take home the almost-empties as a tip.   As a consequence our dorm room had Johnny Walker Black Label and Maker's Mark bottles on the shelf - which we of course filled and refilled with the cheapest available generic substitutes.

We enjoyed having schoolmates come to parties and compliment us by saying "You know, you can really tell fine liquor."  Sure....

1 comment:

  1. While I was studying, I worked in a fine dining restaurant which served sorbet between entree and main courses. The sorbet was served in a cocktail glass and champagne was poured over the sorbet at the table. A bottle of very expensive champagne was used ... except that the bottle was continually topped up with very cheap champagne. It was only used for the sorbets, but it still gave a false impression of what was being served.


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