3 MISCONCEPTIONS AROUND THE PERFECT SERVE
Crafting the perfect serve is important to impress customers and ensure consistency in your service; here, we dive into 3 of the biggest misconceptions around mixed drinks to clarify the best practices for mastering the drink and keep your guests happy.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE PERFECT SERVE
Getting a drink right is integral to keeping your guests happy and keeping faces coming through the venue doors, old and new. Mastering a perfect serve maximises sales, generates profit and ensures customer satisfaction.
As customers aren’t generally informed to the amount of preparation that goes into drinks – even before a shift – perfecting serves allows for a little theatre: mastering drinks, and customer expectations, communicates your craft, ability and efforts to the provide an excellent experience.
So, how to guarantee this?
PERFECTING THE SERVE
Mastering the basics is a great, neigh the only, place to start.
Conquering the fundamentals of a serve ensures consistency across time in both appearance and taste. This is important to drive home a bartender’s or bar’s reputation to new customers, existing customers and to those who have yet to visit (word of mouth). For you are only as good as your last serve.
However, in perfecting these serves, there are some common misconceptions that can act as obstacles to impressing your guest with a masterful serve. Let’s explore 3 prominent myths that surround tall mixed drinks:
1. THE LESS ICE, THE BETTER
A popular belief with long mixed drinks is ‘the less ice, the better’. There’s a school of thought that claims using more ice can ‘water down’ or over dilute the drink, but, due to the laws of physics, using more ice actually:
- -cools the drink
- -reduces dilution
- -enhances the visual appeal
Using more ice in drinks allows for the drink to cool as it’s built, with a more consistent temperature change delivering more predictable results for taste and texture.
Using more ice is contrary to the ‘watering down’ belief; more ice encourages a slower dilution of the drink, as larger surface area (more cubes/ crushed) will keep the ice frozen for longer.
Additionally, using more ice in drinks is visual stimulating for customers – especially if they are witness to the drink being built. The theatre of constructing the drink looks infinitely more impressive, and professional, over a lot of ice.
2. ADD SPIRITS BEFORE ICE
So, when to add all this ice? Whilst there’s certain exceptions to the rule, there’s a popular fallacy that adding spirits before ice will allow the liquids to cool quicker. However, whilst this can be useful to control dilution when making multiple drinks, adding ice to a glass before other components brings several benefits:
- -It chills the glass
- -Creates an appealing serve
- -Reduces wastage
Adding the ice allows the glass to chill and reduces the fluctuation between temperatures of the liquids being used in the recipe. Depending on how chilled you want the glass, this can be added long before the drink is built and added to a fridge/ freezer to ‘frost’ it.
On top of this, there’s a visual element to pouring spirits over ice that is more appealing to guests. Or anyone watching, for that matter. The liquid cascading over ice looks a lot better than dropping loose ice into a pool of spirit/ mixer.
Furthermore, adding the ice first will reduce unwanted spillage and allow for more accurate measurement. This ensures consistency in your drinks and less time spent on cleaning up after shift.
3. FREE POURING IS A GOOD THING
It’s tough not to. Especially after watching Tom Cruise in ‘Cocktail’. But free pouring is, put simply, never a good thing; unless it’s a ‘layback’ for a fellow bartender, free pouring doesn’t belong in the bar. Primarily, free pouring drinks can:
- -Increase wastage
- -Breed inconsistency
- -Unsafe measures
- -Less accuracy
- -Lessens customer experience
There are a few who preach about “feeling out the drink”, but this simply doesn’t compare to the precision of using jiggers or other forms of measurement afforded to us today. There is a little more spectacle to free pouring, but would you want your hairdresser telling you they weren’t intending on using a comb or brush to cut your hair because it had ‘more theatre to it’?
Aside from mismeasurement making it difficult for consistent and accurate recipes, it can be dangerous for overserving guests and keeping tabs on how much customers have consumed in a sitting. This inaccuracy, coupled with lesser tasting drinks, is unsafe and lessens guests’ experience in your professional care.
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