There will always be the inevitable party foul. Regardless of where you enjoy your drinks Ė at a party or in a bar, there will always be someone who will spill or break their drinks. Luckily, there are some things you can do before and during the party to ensure that you can get it cleaned up without taking up too much time.
This sounds a little too simple, but itís true. Weíve all seen a cocktail server tip-toeing to our table because a bartender poured the glass too full. What happens when the server sets the drink on the table? It sloshes over the edge and we all lean back in our chairs to avoid getting any on us.
Either buy larger glasses or pour about 2 inches below the rim. This will ensure you donít have as many spills as would otherwise happen.
When youíve got a lot of people in a small area, there are going to be broken glasses. The best way to avoid broken glass, however, is to not have it around. When people go to a party or even a crowded bar, they expect plastic. Go into a party store on the cup aisle. Youíll see why they are expecting plastic. A plastic cup isnít just a cup anymore. You can get wine goblets, martini glasses, champagne flutes, margarita glasses, shot glasses and everything else you can possibly imagine.
Plastic cups wonít shatter and will be less likely to cut someone if they do break. Best of all, theyíre disposable, which means cleaning up after the party just got a whole lot easier.
If you think plastic cups will be too expensive, think again. How much did you pay for the glasses in your cabinets that you were thinking of using? Now think of having to replace at least 25% of those glasses because of breakage.
If you always have plenty of napkins around, you wonít hear about the spills because people will take care of them on their own. Plenty of tables will give people somewhere to set their drink. This way theyíre not talking with their hands and pouring a drink sideways as they try to explain something. Trash cans are another thing that is common sense. If you have plenty of trash cans around, people wonít have to ask you where to throw something out. Having a party at home doesnít require going out and buying trash cans. A few double bagged, brown paper bags from the grocery store work great. If you donít like the look of them, have your kids paint them. A broom and dust pan placed inconspicuously in the corner of a party can be a lifesaver. It will prevent you from leaving your own party to go in search of one and if someone else spots it, you may not even be responsible for cleaning up the mess!
A bartender is responsible for making the drinks, regardless of whether itís a home party or at a restaurant. The last thing you want, however, is a bartender that doesnít know how to keep things clean. He or she will be handling your glass and your garnishes, so you want to know that what they hand you is safe to drink.
Many think that alcohol is self cleansing, but what about the fruit, the rums of your glasses and the fruit juice? Hygiene and safety just became a lot more important.
Cutting garnishes can be sticky business. Before moving on to fixing drinks, wash your hands. This may seem like a given, but itís really not. Especially when you are at an outdoor bar, the bartender will most likely wipe his or her hands on her apron and move on to making drinks.
If thereís a sink present, though, theyíll likely wash their hands first. There are portable sinks you can buy or rent, so donít get mad at a bartender if they donít have the right supplies for them. Otherwise, a box of latex gloves can be a savior.
No one wants to be served a drink in a dirty glass. But beyond that, a clean glass should also be sanitized. That way the lips of the person who last drank from the glass is completely removed and itís like getting a brand new glass. If you donít have dishwashers or a 3-compartment sink to do this in, youíve only got one choice: Disposable. Disposable or plastic glasses are perfectly acceptable and many people would prefer this to taking the chance on a non-sanitized glass.
Broken glass:If youíve got broken glass near ice, dump ketchup in it until it can get cleaned up. Itís a proven way to make sure no one goes in for ice.
Blenders: Take them apart for cleaning but always keep an eye out for the blades. Never drop them in soapy water for someone else to find them.
Knives: Unless youíre cutting open watermelon for drinks, you only need a small paring knife behind the bar for cutting your lemons, limes and maybe oranges. The larger the knife, the bigger the safety risk.
Have spare bottle openers: The worst thing you can do for your hands is try to get a bottle cap off if it doesnít want to come off. Have spare openers around so you can always find one.
Bartenders have been known to add flair as they are bartending for a crowd. Twirling bottles, throwing them up in the air, setting a drink on fire and so on can be a great show. For the experienced. If you, as a bartender, donít know how to do these things, donít start now. Take some empty bottles and cover them in duct tape (so they donít shatter) and practice at home. Not in front of a crowd. It will end badly and someone will get cut, burnt, or both.