While Ohio imbibers might enjoy Cherry Heering in their tiki drink at Porco, they’re not picking up a bottle to store in their liquor cabinets at home. Slow-moving products can stay on the shelf for up to two years. And when these products are ordered in cases the same size as Jack Daniel’s, it makes for bad business. Most liquor store owners, whom Roelle says make “terrible margins,” are not going to take the time to try and market esoteric bottles when the name-brand products are steady sellers.
Who, then, is going to push strange spirits on the budding epicureans of Ohio? Joe DeLuca, a bar consultant considered by many to be a founding member of Cleveland’s cocktail scene, says the responsibility falls on bars and restaurants.
“About half of Americans don’t drink,” he says. “A lot who do just drink beer. And those that drink liquor mostly drink vodka.” And vodka, a mostly flavorless spirit, is generally not placed in high esteem among modern mixologists. So consumers of the new cocktail revolution are, in this way, not so different than the privileged Gatsby set enjoying all the good booze in Prohibition-era New York (or that Friday's in Michigan).