January 09, 2017

Transparency in Liquor Serves: The jig is up

Giving a customer exactly what they’ve ordered by spirit volume is what every consumer guest expects, similar to going to a gas/petrol station and expecting the volume amount showing on the gauge has been delivered.

In the wild west of bar tending circa 2012 to 1920 the poor guest was diddled out of spirit quality and volume by bar owners and bartenders wanting to make more money at their customer’s expense.

Leaving to one side the lunacy of using unscrupulous business practices here are some notable bartender/house under-pour tricks:

1. Placing coins inside a non-transparent jigger to give the appearance to a guest that they’ve received a full measure or correct portion of liquor.

2. Using multi level jiggers, non-transparent whereby liquor up to 60ml or 2oz is poured into a lined or step jigger where the guest cannot see the actual measure of alcohol poured. Who knows whether what’s delivered is what’s poured?

3. Liquor bottle swap – recycling branded liquor bottles re-filling with cheaper spirits

4. Free-pouring (short pouring)

A guest is entitled to know and trust the person dispensing Alcohol – when we buy food or bottles of booze, labelling assures us of the quality and volume of what’s been purchased or soon consumed.

The growing practice of using concealed measures, whilst in itself not illegal, does throw into question whether a true and fair measure of alcohol is being provided to the guest.

Here are some examples of non-transparent multi-volume jiggers that may give rise to under/over serve volume measures.

1. Lined Jiggers

2. Stepped Jiggers

With competition for lips on glass – at an all-time high – not taking accurate liquor serves seriously may play towards undermining quality, transparency and a bars reputation.

Using authorised or accredited jiggers or measures, goes a long way to providing a guest with the assurance that they are getting what they’ve paid for. For those not using or investing in tools of assurance, the Jig is Up.