Inventory for August 13th, 2017
Welcome back friends: it’s August, we’re deep in summer (have you had your fill of Frosés yet?) and we’ve got the weekly industry news for you. Enjoy! This week Liquor.com takes on the importance of bottle shapes, a cafe in Australia adds a 18% “man tax” to draw attention to the gender wage gap, copper mugs might be poisoning your Moscow Mule, and in the States artisanal ice is sweeping the nation. Cheers!
Hiii bartender pals! Are there things you always wish your customers knew but you were too afraid to tell them? Well, don’t worry: Buzzfeed has got your back. The listicle site just published a list of 18 Secrets Bartenders Want You To Know. Those secrets include: it pays to be a regular (ha!), if you’re in a crowded bar, do not order a martini (that one’s fair enough), and don’t flirt with the bartender, for the love of God (also true). Any more tips you’d like to add to this?
The Importance of Bottle Shapes
The shape that your favorite hooch comes in isn’t just an arbitrary thing that some marketing execs decided on. Nope, there’s method to this madness. Last week, Liquor.com broke it down: “If the bottle has a gentle curve in the body, that makes it easy to grab off high shelves. If you have it in your well, the beveled neck allows your fingers a resting point to grab and invert the bottles without fumbling it. To have the bottle balanced on the back of your hand, between your fingers, getting eye level to the pour, is one of the most natural feelings you can get behind the bar.” Rounded shapes are common among rum, whiskey, and cognac bottles where “showmanship is a hallmark.”
Neck design is paramount when it comes to speedy pouring, and several bartenders name their favorite bottles. Aki Wang of Taipei’s Indulge Experimental Bistro likes the Bacardi Carta Blanca best, as do many others. Karl Too of Omakase + Appreciate adds Tanqueray No. 10, Fernet-Branca, and Cointreau to the list. The beverage director of LA’s Skylight Gardens praises The 86’s Co’s Fords Gin “In this revived age of bartending, bartenders are pushed to the limits to produce beautiful, multicomponent cocktails in the shortest time possible. It is imperative that the design of the bottle both houses a quality ingredient and is easy to handle.” The trend, generally, is headed towards more user-friendly bottles that are simple, clean, and easy to use.
Restaurant Adds 18% “Man Tax” to Offset Wage Gap
Handsome Her is a new vegan cafe that recently opened in Australia. Its tagline is “by women for women.” This translates into men being charged an 18% premium to reflect the gender pay gap. “Eighteen percent is how much lower the average Australian woman’s salary was in 2016, so owner Alex O’Brien decided that’d be an appropriate amount for her tax.” Men are asked if they want to pay before they are charged, though. It’s an interesting concept and has surely done its part in raising awareness on the gender wage gap, but in terms of equality this isn’t really a step in the right direction. Another house rule is the fact that women have “priority seating” which again seems superfluous.
Then again, owner Alex O’Brien does say that these rules are meant to be tongue in cheek and will only be in effect one week per month (what?). Maybe not the direct path to equality but there’s noise being made around the issue and that is never a bad thing.
Copper Cocktail Mugs May Be Poisonous
Hold on to your Moscow Mules, new research shows that everyone’s favorite vessel for drinks like the Mint Julep might not be so great for your health. The Spirits Business reports: “The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division examined the relationship between copper and food, and concluded that serving any food or liquid with a pH balance below 6, including vinegar and fruit juice, could result in copper poisoning – which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice and low blood pressure.”
Yikes and no thank you. However, copper mugs lined with nickel or stainless steel are perfectly fine. Even with the pH of a classic Moscow Mule usually well below six. What about all those copper pans fancy people love to cook in, though?
The New Business of Big Ice
“A new age for ice providers is taking cubes to the next level at bars and retail outlets,” SevenFiftyDaily reports. Definitely news we can get behind. In 2011, Richard Boccato founded Hundredweight Ice to cut and deliver ice to bars in New York City. “Since then, craft ice delivery businesses have popped up in just about every major city to provide big cubes to small cocktail bars.” This is a very American perspective, not sure this is happening across Europe yet, but it’s definitely encouraging news! The article ends on a positive note for more ice: “We should expect to see even more providers, and more new products being launched, in the coming years. The business landscape for big ice is changing rapidly, and this should ultimately provide more clear ice options at lower prices for both bars and home consumers.”