"Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."
I've found that the generous tip is oh so much more productive than the judicious tip.
But of course this is if we're talking independent joints here. No matter how cool and receptive a bartender may be, if you're at Chilis or Bennigans, you should probably tip the standard.
Grain on the Brain
I was pleasantly surprised to find all domestics (excluding Sam Adams) 12 oz. bottle or 16 oz. draught on sale for 1.00 at my choice for supper. I know several bars that run Pabst products at 1.00 a bottle (even though .65 would be over-paying for Old Milwaukee and I don't know if it comes in bottles). The cheapest I have seen well drinks (usually Old Crow, Kessler, or Mattingly & Moore) is 1.50. Many of the bars get about 20 shots out of a L. bottle and of course a case of beer is 12. To use even figures lets say well whiskey costs the bar 11.00, so 11/20 gives them a cost of .55 a shot. Suppose a case of beer is 8.00, so 8/12 gives them a cost of .66 a beer. With these figures the liquor mark-up is obviously much higher.
Liquor mark up in restaurants is more highly variable than beer, I worked in one place that only tried to make about the same amount of money per bottle of liquor, so a more expensive liquor was actually a better deal by the shot, but the beer was a standard percentage per bottle. Other places were percentage across the board.
2010 Bourbonian of the Year
As long as you have good whiskey you're not "unemployed", you're "Funemployed!!!"
I'm no Pappyophile
Also, remember, beer mark-ups for non-macro brews are pretty high. If you're buying Bud, you can find dollar drafts. Not so w/most micro/craft brews (except, occasionally, for the bigger ones: Samuel Adams, Sierra Nevada, etc.). So, the markup comparison doesn't work for places that only (or mostly) serve craft beer.
My numbers work because I gave the price for a 12-pack. Lets say a full case (24) costs 15.00. Then the cost goes down to .63 a beer; a slightly higher mark-up but not double. If micro-brews are to be examined, the comparison should be with reserve or high proof spirits. I'm not prepared to work up numbers on that.