There is a shortage of this in NYC!! Ack!
The SF Gate did a story about bartenders using higher proof spirits in their drinks. I have to agree on this point. The drinks we are mixing up these days can be complex and complicated with or more ingredients, including a flavor adding garnish. But you never want to lose the the flavor of the base spirit or some of the main modifiers (like brandy, bitters or herbal liqueurs such as Chartreuse or Benedictine). There is nothing worse than spending $15 on a cocktail and then just tasting lime and some weak coconut liqueur. Of course a mouth full of strong booze is not for everyone either, unless they ordered a Zombie with 151 proof rum in the straw like they have at Zombie Hut in Brooklyn.
Tastes differ and you do need to know your audience. But my personal motto is "Drink Better, Drink Less". My bank statement and body demands that I limit my intake of expensive cocktails. So, yes please barkeep, use the high proof good stuff in my complex tasty cocktails. I can take it.
"Using Alcohol: The Proof is in the Taste"
[San Francisco Gate]