It's that time of week when we answer the questions you're to drunk or shy to ask...This question comes from Bucky, and I'm just going to assume that's an alias:
Is $9 too much to pay for a cocktail? Just read some idjit calling Anchovies & Olives "douchebaggy" because he had two drinks for $17.50 and the price made his jaw drop.
Then he doesn't get out much, or he usually drinks at the Canterbury. $8.75 might just be the average for a cocktail in most downtown restaurants. I almost breathed fire at an $11 very simple half-dry and half-sweet vermouth on the rocks I had from Cremant, roughly the cost of a bottle of the red and a bottle of the white, but didn't notice until I saw the bill the next day. I feel your pain, and I have an extremely hard time paying for a drink closing in on $10 right now. Tell me who doesn't...
You can prepare for or avoid this by asking to see a drink menu. Caveat imbibor and all. If the cocktails on the cocktail menu are $9, then most drinks you will order, of any degree of complexity, will fall right around that price point. Even a margarita made with lowly Cuervo. Expect a basic Absolut and soda or rum and Coke (this is a "call" brand) to be two bucks less than the cocktails. You can always get used to drinking well; that's the house brand of spirits when someone just orders a "gin and tonic," usually the bottom shelf dwellers from the liquor store. Or you can drink beer. Other than that, I don't know what to tell you.
I can say that I wish bars would make drinks smaller and charge less. This would benefit everyone, but don't get me started. I can also say that I wouldn't be embarrassed to ask how much a drink costs right now. A warm butt in a seat should be plenty welcome to any bar. (here's my rant from a year ago...)