A $15 drink is expensive for a reason. Mixologist Jim Meehan traces the cost back to hand-carved ice and leather (not pleather) seats.
In explaining the $15 cocktail, it's natural to look for the answer in the glass: Is this liquor worth it? But the value of the alcohol is just a small part of the cost. The truth is, you have to look outside the glass to understand the price of what's in it.
First, there's what I call the price of doing business—like rent. It's unavoidable and can vary quite a bit from place to place; a drink is going to cost more in a high-rent neighborhood like South Beach than Downtown Miami.