Screaming Eagle Aruba
While Screaming Eagle in Aruba seems to be a popular destination for food, I would not go back there for the cocktails. The menu does not seem all that exciting, especially when a portobello mushroom entree starts at $28. Prices from there go up all the way to $50 for anything including fish, lobster or steak. Yes, there are cheaper options but even if I had $30 for a mushroom, I can’t really see spending $13 for a cocktail which may look very attractive, but is basically a mix of ingredients which really just taste like any generic island drink. I forgot the 2nd set of drinks we got (I was with my fianceé) and we order one each, taste, then order a 2nd set. But these tasted like cocktails I would have been drinking in the 1980s which is not a good thing in this sense. Flavored rums and spirits with that artificial taste is almost as bad as sweet and sour mix.
What caught me by surprise is that the drinks are listed by an asterisk * or asterisks **. There are up to 4 asterisks **** and those would be the most expensive drinks. Shots are only one asterisk, while some drinks, even on the rocks are 4 asterisks. Instead of listing the actual price next to each cocktail, its like you have to be informed and educated enough to look at the key to see what your cocktail costs. In such a dim lit place its often hard to tell the difference between 2-4 asterisks because they are so small. At the time the price range was between $8 to $13. I am sure those prices have changed from 3 years ago. Maybe they thought this was hip, chic and clever, but in all honesty, I generally not selecting my cocktails by the price, but if someone is, there should be a numeric price next to the item on the menu. For example, a “Frozen Sangria” is $12 and is simply fruit sorbet, lime juice, wine and mixed berries. So, basically you are paying $12 for some generic red wine and a scoop of fruit sorbet. If you need another example, visit their website, and you will see basically a few different cocktails made with flavored vodka and fruit juice at higher than premium prices.
This was not a cocktail worthy experience. Four drinks and almost $60 later, I walked out perhaps slightly buzzed, but still straight enough to know I had just left a fancy tourist trap.
If these places want to charge premium prices for cocktails based on an engineered mixology program, every shift working should know how to prepare one, and it does not involve free pouring spirits without measuring into a glass consisting mostly of ice. Pretty drinks, but not very tasty or satisfying.