Saturday, July 10, 2010

Drink of the day

The Bluberry crush
1.25oz Blueberry stoli vodka

serve on the rocks

Don't fruit the beer

Don’t Fruit the Beer.
The saying don’t fruit the beer has been made popular in the last few years because of the ever so popular super bowl commercials produced by a certain beer company. If asked, almost any bartender in the world will tell you that breaking a man law is not the only reason that one shouldn’t fruit their beer. Working in the bar and restaurant industry for the past 15 years I could give a dozen reasons on why a person should not order fruit in their beer at a bar. In fact I would never order fruit in any drink ordered at a bar, not even the Mohijto.
One should know that in most bars and restaurants, and in every bar and restaurant that I have had the pleasure of working in over the last decade, the day bartender is the person responsible for cutting the fruit that is served with drinks in a bar. The only exception to this rule is when the night bartenders run out of fruit they then cut more fruit to replenish the stock. The fruit cut by the night bartender is much worse for the customer than the fruit that is cut during the day. The fruit is usually cut on a cutting board behind the bar while the bartender is doing the rest of their cleaning and stocking duties for the day. The day bartenders are watched more closely than the night bartenders, they are usually required to wear gloves and have a clean fruit cutting environment. Night bartenders however cut the fruit on the “fly”, and most of the time they cut the fruit with dirty bar hands.
A dirty bartender hand is not the only reason fruit should not be ordered with a beverage at the bar, here are a few more:
1. The fruit is usually only changed out every couple of days.
2. The fruit is not always rotated leaving the fruit in the bottom of the tray for sometimes as long as a week.
3. Bartenders cut their hands all of the time when cut fruit... while this is usually cleaned up, I have experienced first hand that it is not always the case.
4. Olives, cherries, oranges, limes, and lemons are usually stored together cross contaminating one another. There is always olive juice in the cherry container.
5. When the fruit is stored at night it is stored in the fruit tray, not in separate containers or covered well.
6. Fruit flies breed in the fruit trays in any hot, humid, or outdoor bar.
7. The bartenders/servers handling the fruit use their hands to put it on the drink… no gloves or pokers.
I once worked in a bar where a bartender cut the tip of her finger off and had to leave and get stitches in the middle of a Saturday night. In all of the madness with trying to get her off to the hospital we forgot to change the fruit out.
I once worked with a server who handled the fruit after cutting incident and a few months later we found out that she had hepatitis. We all went and got vaccinated, the customers never knew.
I have seen fruit get dropped on a dirty bar mat, picked up and put in the drink. It was the last orange and the customer really wanted it. So it was covered in the entire overspill from drinks served that night.
I once worked with a girl who had a skin disease on her hands; she usually had us put the fruit in her drinks for her. When in a hurry this server would dip her fleshy hands right in the lemons and serve em' up to the customers.
I personally have cut over 5,000 (guess-ta-ment) lemons and limes while bartending, I have only worn gloves maybe 3 times.
I have worked in bars where I have served fruit all evening, at close cleaned out the tray to discover bugs and/or mold in the containers.
Some bars do not have dishwashers and sink wash all glassware and fruit trays. The fruit trays are never fully clean.
I have also worked with some very dirty bartender… need I say more.
I will say that while for the most part I would never order fruit with an alcoholic beverage at the bar. I have eaten my share of fruit from the trays. I am not a germaphobe and I take my chances all of the time. However, I do know the risks that I am taking when I eat a fruit cocktail concoction from the tray. So before ordering a drink: buyer beware, the fruit is not always as refreshing as it appears to be