It was Tuesday that we read the horror story of the glass of whiskey that cost more than a bottle of that whiskey, served at — surprise, surprise — Rebar at Trump Tower. For reals: a whiskey that’s $41.99 per bottle at Sam’s Wine was a whopping $57 at le bar du Trump.
It was only this morning, however, that we remembered what this reminded us of: Eater’s Johnnie Walker Blue Index. Developed by William Tigertt, proprietor of NY hipster hotspot Freemans, the index is quite simple: you can measure the precise location in the stratosphere of the markup rate of any given establishment simply by dividing the wholesale price of the portion of Blue Label by the list price at your bar or lounge.
So we decided to turn our eyes away from the glare of the computer screen and actually pick up the phone. A very helpful Angela answered the phone at Rebar, and happily gave us the cost of a glass of Blue Label as $42 — a price that’s corroborated by their online cocktail menu, which we should have looked for in the first place.
A quick search of Sam’s Wine inventory tells us that a 750ml bottle of Blue Label is $209.99, and a case of 6 is a discounted $1,139.94. (6 x 209.99 = 1259.94 — decent savings!)
Let’s assume Trump buys smartly, by the case instead of a single bottle, which puts one of those six at $189.99. Considering a 2oz pour, of which there are about 12 per 750ml bottle, that’s a wholesale cost of just about $15.83 per glass. Since they’re charging $42, that gives us a markup of 265%, meaning a JWBI for Rebar of 2.65 — not that bad, actually.
Compare this to the $3.50 per two-ounce serving it cost Trump to give the friend of Gapers Block his Glenrothes, for which he was charged $57. That, friends, is a one thousand, six hundred and twenty-eight percent markup. An equivalently marked up glass of Johnnie Walker Blue Label would run $257.80. And kids, that’s before tax and tip.
[Photo: Johnnie Walker Blue, via tristanstephenson’s Flickr]