Spouting Off About Spouts
They go by many names: Speed Pourers, Chromes, Pour Spouts, Plastics.
They are made of many materials and rank in quality.
They range in efficiency and effectiveness.
But every bar uses them.
I have bought these for bars my entire career, and though I feel they are important, I honestly knew very little about them. I have worked with just about every kind one can buy, and I have my opinions about each.
The most standard is metal either stainless steel or chrome, and tapered which are my favorites. The wide mouths (called Goosenecks) are primarily for nightclubs where speed is priority. The little plastic ones are not for bartenders but cheap managers, along with the ones with ball bearings inside that cut the pour “accurately’ so the manager thinks all is well and pour cost will be dead on every month. Still another (and very ingenious and accurate) is the Cap-On which fits underneath the cap of bottles so fruit flies can’t invade and die drunk (kind of an issue with bottles that come with corks unfortunately).
As I said I have bought and used spouts my entire career, but I knew little about them. Recently I picked up a couple dozen at the local restaurant supply place here in Santa Fe, and low and behold I got an education by the package these were sold in! 26 years of tending and I never knew this?? Well, everyday is a new opportunity:
There are some struggles that bartenders have with these little pieces. First one is getting them in and out of the bottle and here was Lesson No. 1: before putting the spout in the bottle, lube it up with a little H2O. This makes it easier to get in and out of the bottle. Cool, huh? Also, having a V-Rod Bar Blade (that’s a bottle opener BTW) is handy as well. This particular blade is deigned with a spout remover that helps pry the spouts out without breaking the bottle, and is still fun to twirl on your finger.
Over time spouts wear out as the fins bend up and don’t fit standard bottles anymore. Enter Lesson No. 2: to fix the fins, run the spout under hot water for 20-30 seconds then immediately under cold water for about the same time. POOF, they pop back into place! Brilliant!
So, once again this old dawg continues to find new things.