April 05, 2019
March 21, 2019
February 28, 2019
December 19, 2018
September 13, 2018
August 23, 2018
July 06, 2018
There’s a problem occurring in most bars: a fly in the ointment (literally) and we need to address it. Yes, it’s time to tackle the elephant in the room… the indecent exposure of your bottles behind the bar.
December 04, 2017
Imagine that really bad hire, the one refusing to pick up their game, is consistently late, sloppy, unhygienic and worst of all doesn’t care about waste or your business!
For most managers the decision is an easy one…fire the “ass” out of that guy!
Ok, we mostly agree that that’s the solution for a human being, so should it be different with bar tools guilty of the same transgressions as a really bad hire?
Many believe so, as anything that can potentially reduce quality, efficiency, consistency, speed, accuracy and profitability cannot be good for business!
One industry stalwart routinely re-buying generic speed pourers says: “I wouldn’t keep a bartender that fails regularly…so why wouldn’t l get rid of speed pourers for doing the same thing!”
A trade tool that occasionally fails, is bad luck, however when bad luck happens weekly and monthly then its time for management to step in!
Any failure to perform is bad for business potentially impacting, morale, quality and ultimately the guest experience.
If you’re continuously replacing your speed pourers maybe it’s time to fire the ASS out of them!
November 24, 2017
Anyone can pour liquor right.
What's not to know.. pick up a liquor bottle, pour into a jigger, serve into a glass of some sort...yawn.. it's so easy.. a child can do it?
Pouring alcohol consistently, without spilling or wasting a drop takes lots of skill, whilst it may appear so easy, yet many of us know intuitively the simpler something appears the more difficult it’s likely to be.
Ironically when children play games, it takes practice, practice and more practice before mastery is attained.
To prove have you taken: A series of deceptively easy tests (or are they?) to challenge:
1. TEST WASTE: Pick up a liquor bottle, pour alcohol into a jigger, tin or glass without spilling a drop.
2. TEST ACCURACY: Pour an exact shot of alcohol - i.e 1 oz, 30 ml etc. repeat (3 times)..then measure each portion to check for accurate measurement.
3. TEST CONSISTENCY: Prepare the same cocktail 3 times ensuring it LOOKS and TASTES the same.
4. TEST SPEED: Prepare 3 cocktails in quick succession, just like a real bar situation, except don’t waste a drop, serve each drink accurately and consistently!
Did you complete each test without failing any test?
Odds are that most people will fail some if not all the above? Why?
Possibly the answer may lay with bar managers not really understanding the impacts and consequences of pouring failure.
From experience people don’t treasure what’s not valued.
The impact of inconsistently made cocktails affects the bottom line, reducing Spend Per Guest, increasing costs as liquor is over-poured or just wasted.
Once drink inconsistency is identified as an issue, one can then start looking at impacts on business outcomes such as provided guest value for money, quality and ultimately guest satisfaction!
Bars wanting to sustain profitability long term need to get the Pour Challenge right, there's nothing childish about disappointing guests...it's not a game!
October 23, 2017
Last week we talked about the six early signs that indicate liquor waste in a bar (see here).
The largest contributor to liquor loss comes from poor quality jiggers and pourers.
Here’s a quick overview to see whether your bar is at risk:
July 17, 2017
It's surprising how many people think it's cool to have a bubble or lens (meniscus) form at the very top of a jigger pour prior to serving alcohol into a glass. Sorry to be the bringer of bad news: the bubble creates BIG trouble... the Why, What and Cost (see below).
A bubble or lens for most bars is a fact of life affecting almost every design of jigger on the planet! Liquor control experts such as Barmetrix acknowledge that the bubble can add 3-5mL or 1/10-1/6 Oz. on every 30 mL/1 Oz served! If you own or manage a bar, the added cost of the bubble can cripple business.
Flip this around to the other side of the counter: imagine a guest who enjoys a well-balanced cocktail experience, if their drink has been over-portioned the drink could potentially taste too strong, too sweet, too sour or just plain weird.
Drinking and driving? Get pulled over and breath tested… then good luck finding an understanding "Your Honour." Could end up getting a very different type of serve!
Why it happens
All jiggers and shot glasses except one, are round! Once a pour reaches the top edges of a jigger or shot glass, nature takes over, exerting surface tension, pushing liquid inwards and towards the midpoint of the jigger, thereby forming a bubble.
Once the surface tension reaches a tipping point, the bubble will break, particularly when energy or motion is exerted by a bartender... the result, alcohol cascading down the sides of a jigger creating waste.
To some a fraction of an Oz or those extra pesky mL's don't seem much but during a brisk night's trade the bubble can increase the cost of a fairly basic speed rail drink by $0.05-$0.15 cents per shot….potentially more if serving back bar booze. Ouchhhh if you’re making lots of Long Island Ice teas or serving expensive cocktails!
Thankfully to stop being Bubble Dumb, the answer is simple and CHEAP... it’s just a question of looking for the right tool to do the job, something like the ProJig™,ProBarJig™, ProBarBone™ or ProMegJig™ specifically designed to Flat Pour (no bubble).
The Über Bar Tools™ flat pour jiggers
July 10, 2017
Why is Free-Pouring so entwined in bartending mythology?
Is there math or science behind the bigger story to counter the heart felt passion of Free-Pouring!
Whichever side of the debate you’re on... it’s fair to say that Free Pouring involves passion and heart whereas Jiggering (figuring) is more a discussion confined to the library of the mind!
So putting this aside let’s look at some of the why before we get into the math and science!
Free Pouring Passion
There’s something riveting watching a bartender doing their thing... almost the equivalent of a martial arts “pouring carta” or “liquid tai chi “ ; connecting mixologist and guest in a sublime moment of magic!
The magic comprises 3 distinct elements:
Mastery/Respect: Like a London cabbie passes the “Knowledge”; bartenders demonstrate mastery through bottles via liquids.
Dexterity: Conductors lead orchestras: so bartenders twirl the wrist, execute bottle cuts and bottle bounce to affirm their nuanced control over the “flow de vie”.
Ring Mastery: Step right up... watch the show… see the bartender defy gravity, be amazed by the control of flame, unbridled ice taming, shaking and writhing … delivering to you, the thirsty guest, a liquid exception in a glass!
When Free-Pouring is considered within this context it’s hard for science to compete!
So what’s the central tenant anchoring the Free-Pouring thought process?
The answer comes down to a simple number 3.
The magic of 3, or the 3 seconds taken to pour 1 shot (nip or serve) of alcohol via a traditional speed pourer!
The science is a combination of gravity, airflow and liquid to create a form of mathematical absolutism... or so we’re lead to believe!
Based on the 3 count system, let’s break time into discrete volume equivalents.
|.5 Second||5 mL or ⅙ Oz|
|1 Seconds||10 mL or ⅓ Oz|
|2 Seconds||20 mL or ⅔ Oz|
|3 Seconds||30 mL or 1 Oz|
Observation: As 3 is an odd number, not divisible by any other number other than itself or 1, we will see some rather weird fractional times to equate to discrete dispensing amounts.
Question: How do the above times relate to what constitutes a shot or serve of alcohol?
Answer: Doesn't that depend on one’s country or jurisdiction?
Legislative Pouring Volumes
There are different accepted international serves, it’s quite staggering!
See below via geographic area, standard pouring volumes with arising time equivalents. (Based on the 3 second count)
|Country||Standard Serve||Pouring Time (Seconds)|
|United Kingdom||25 mL||2.5|
|United Kingdom||35 mL||3.5|
|United Kingdom||50 mL||5|
|USA / Canada||½ Oz||1.5|
|USA / Canada||¾ Oz||1.75|
|USA / Canada||1 Oz||3|
|USA / Canada||1¼ Oz||3.75|
|USA / Canada||1½ Oz||4.5|
|Australia / New Zealand / Asia||15 mL||1.5|
|Australia / New Zealand / Asia||30 mL||3|
OK, now let’s focus on how we can track or count time?
Bartenders hone their 1, 2 and 3 second pouring via practice. Interestingly there’s a correlation within the bartending community of Free-Pouring accuracy and sexual prowess. At a guess maybe it’s like liquid succumbing to mastery... Please add your own thoughts here.
Some of the widely accredited techniques for maintaining Free-Poring accuracy.
- Counting according to internal syncopation... varies from person to person.
- Muscle memory... Training repeatedly using a bartender pour test kit (BarCheck™)... where one feels the time to mentally imagine a pouring volume.
This all makes sense, right... except what happens to accuracy when a bartender is momentarily distracted or tired? Based on the figures above, doesn’t a blink of the eye, representing a part of 1 second, equate to pouring 5 mL or ⅙ Oz of alcohol! If this volume is then over-poured could this become somewhat problematic, particularly when replicated by hundreds of drinks a night!
Viscosity: is the notion that volume flow rates change when a spirit or liquid is less runny than say the consistency of vodka... due to:
2. Cream or milk content
Viscosity is also affected by factors such as heat and cold... the warmer a liquid the runnier it is, the colder a liquid the slower it runs!
Wouldn't this suggest that one’s Free-Poring calculations must change to accommodate for the differences of viscosity? Is there a formula or technique to precisely work this out?
If there is, it’s probably safer to call it guessing!
Timing works if the speed which liquid traverses through a speed pourer (see below) is uniform. What happens to liquid flow rates when a bottle is tilted, does the flow rate alter by the remaining volume of liquid and/or air left in a bottle? Does, air pressure and gravity impact pour flow, what about temperature and altitude?
Speed Pourers are the tools to pour alcohol from a bottle into some sort of receiving or serving vessel. And like every other multi-dimensional aspect to Free-Pouring they’re made in different factories with different manufacturing techniques, material variations, dimensions. Each variation changing the speed of liquid flow rates!
Check out some of the examples below… pretty easy to see how the pour out points or mouths vary in diameter.
Its all too Confusing... Better use a Jigger and a better Speed Pourer
It’s unbelievable how many related and unrelated variables there are to dispensing alcohol consistency!
There’s too much at stake to focus on trying to be consistently accurate by imagining the outcome desired.
To save a whole lot of pain, over-pouring, second guessing, compliance issues... just invest in an accurate better tools.
Yes, using a jigger is really boring... however if the desired outcome is a guest re-ordering another drink, game over!
Go Figure with a Jigger!