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Post subject: For bartenders, short glasses add up to longer pours  PostPosted: Jul 12, 2006 - 08:50 PM

Sergeant Major
If you'd like an extra kick in your cocktail, ask the bartender to pour it into a short glass. Odds are, he'll overpour by 20 percent to 30 percent.

It comes down to an optical illusion, says Koert van Ittersum, an assistant professor of marketing at the Georgia Tech College of Management.

"People focus their attention on the height of the liquid they are pouring and insufficiently compensate for its width," van Ittersum says.

Of two glasses with about the same volume, a short glass with a wide mouth looks smaller than a taller glass, van Ittersum explains. We will unintentionally pour more into the short glass because we see the level of the liquid as too low.

And it's not a trivial matter.

On the consumer's side, overpouring can result in an unexpected hangover - or DUI - for an incautious drinker. For a bar or restaurant, it can result in added operating costs.

Van Ittersum and Cornell University marketing professor Brian Wansink confirmed this phenomenon by experiments with 198 students - of legal drinking age - at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and 82 bartenders in Philadelphia, who averaged more than 6 years of bartending experience.

Van Ittersum says he also conducts the experiment with his students at Georgia Tech, using mock mixed drinks from liquor bottles filled with water or tea.

Van Ittersum says educating people about the tendency to overpour and encouraging them to be careful doesn't eliminate it.

But there are two easy solutions, he says: "Either use tall glasses or glasses with alcohol-level marks etched on them, as is done in some European countries."

Down A Pint Down A Pint Cheese Rastafarian

Cook, or be cooked. Have a nice day. Smile
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