You're Paying More for Booze at Bars

New research breaks down where we buy our booze, and for how much

You know you're already paying big bucks at the bar (and New Yorkers have finally gotten used to those $20 cocktails). But we may finally understand why: NPR breaks down new statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find that Americans are not only paying much higher prices at the bar, but they also tend to buy more drinks there than at the store. 

Comparing stats from 1982 to 2011, NPR determined that the amount Americans are spending on booze has stayed about the same: about $1 for every $100 spent (which seems surprisingly low). But since 1982, Americans spend more on drinks at the bar rather than full bottles from the liquor store. 

And the price of the booze you buy at the store has gone way down in comparison to the booze you buy at the bar. The reason for those expensive drinks, it says, is because of lagging productivity: "Over time, you expect productivity gains and falling prices in manufactured goods. But a bartender today can't make drinks any faster than a bartender 30 years ago." 

So if you're one of the few still hitting up the liquor store to imbibe at home, what are you drinking? The stats show you're drinking way more beer and wine than the hard liquor. Study up on those cocktails, guys: you'll stand out in a world of beer and wine bottles.