At the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge in Manhattan, several cocktails are seriously high octane.
There’s the disco ball (meant for a party of 15), the popcorn bowl, compete with silly straw for 8, and the mini gas pump for 6.
“We’re seeing it everywhere. I think everyone wants to be known for something,” said Beverage Director Nikki McCutcheon.
At the Polynesian, also in Manhattan, Brian Miller takes his attire as seriously as his unique creations. One is served in a conch shell. There’s the treasure chest, and the fish bowl with rubber ducky.
“The name of the drink is the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a,” he said. “It’s the state fish of Hawaii.”
The photogenic drinks known as large format in the industry often end up on social media.
“Everyone’s just posting, posting, posting. So the cooler and more unique and special offerings you have, the more presence you’re going to have on those type of media,” said McCutcheon.
Large format cocktails are hardly new. Punch dates back to the 1600s. Usually containing 5 ingredients.
Some cocktails like this fiery concoction at Yvonne’s in Boston and these at Beatnik in Chicago in vintage crystal come in oversized but more traditional containers.
At The Seville in New York City, the large drinks are the biggest sellers, including one in a copper pineapple.
“It stands out. You can’t not take a picture of it,” said Taylor Howard, a customer.
But Miller says don’t lose sight of the big picture.
“No matter how beautiful the drink looks, it’s basically what’s in that vessel that matters the most,” he said.
The drinks are offering revelers a supersized toast.