When someone as suave as James Bond comes into your bar and requests a martini that is “shaken, not stirred,” you better make sure you have the equipment to get the drink made correctly. Drink preparation not only involves the foresight of skilled bartenders, it requires the proper tools, condiments and glassware to make sure that finished product keeps them coming back for more. After all, a Bloody Mary isn’t the same without even just one of the many ingredients that make it beloved.
In making complex drinks such as a Long Island Iced Tea, where many types of liquor combine to make a potent concoction, precision is a necessity. That is where jiggers and liquid pourers come into play. Both determine the volume of liquor needed for the drink, but in different ways. Jiggers act as a measuring cup for shots with different liquid capacities on each side of the hourglass-shaped utensil. Bartenders can use each side depending on what the drink recipe calls for. Liquid pourers are attached to liquor bottles to ensure that the proper shot of alcohol is dispersed into each drink.
The more sophisticated the drink, the more accoutrements necessary to accompany the beverage. Gin and tonics need lime; martinis need olives and many Belgian style beers are brewed to be matched with an orange slice. Keeping these additions handy is an integral part of making a great drink the right way. Condiment holders are a must for any bar dedicated to pouring beverages with the proper pairings. Bartenders can have easy access to fruits, vegetables and anything necessary to pull the drink together. Cleanliness is a must when assembling a spirit, so it is best to grab the condiment with tongs. Glass rimmers assist in lining drinks such as margaritas with the salt needed to balance the strong taste of tequila.
When someone requests their drink shaken or stirred, you can bet they know the difference in taste. Cocktail shakers come equipped with or without tops and in a variety of sizes. For those who prefer their drinks stirred, a bar spoon is a simple tool used to mix together all the components of a fine beverage into a glass of perfection. Summer favorites such as daiquiris and pina coladas may call for a blender to infuse ice into the mixture to offset sweltering heat. Ice is also a big part of many year round favorites. Higher end whiskeys are so pristine that patrons may ask for them by themselves on the rocks. Knowing the right proportion of ice to liquor goes a long way in helping the customer enjoy the art that went into distilling the alcohol.
Accessories such as sword picks and straws are also often added depending on the drink and the bar. Trendy and flashier restaurants and bars may use more embellishment to help them stand out and make a name for themselves. More traditional bars often stick to barebones drink and glass. For bars which use an abundance of accessories, a bar caddy is beneficial. The caddy will keep picks, straws, napkins, and other utensils together in one place for the bartender’s convenience. The proper glassware is also necessary in providing the customer with the total package. It is integral for wine, spirits and even beer.
Why is preparation so important? It all comes down to the finished product. People often enjoy spirits and beer in the company of friends and family. For some, a nice drink signifies the end of a long work week and the beginning of a short period of relaxation. The last thing a patron wants is to be underwhelmed by a poorly mixed drink which lacks the proper condiments. Customer satisfaction is key and the bar industry is no different. A proper spirit which feels and tastes like it should will keep the customer in their seat instead of scurrying to other nearby establishments. Bars need many things to go their way to set them apart from others. There is no better first impression than a perfectly concocted drink.
Some drinks can be complicated and some require minimal expertise, but preparation is a must for any spirit. From stirrers to shot glasses, Serv-U has everything needed to turn an ordinary drink into a spirit that will keep the customer satisfied.