Aesthetics are not drills

Artender Blog

look at the pour cuts in the sequence:

It’s called a Bump cut, and it’s a specific way to finish pouring from a bottle with a pourer. The “bump-cut” is one pouring cut from a variety of pouring cuts. There’s also an “inside cut,” “outside cut” and “bumps between pours”.

These pouring cuts are related to our bottles grips, which are also diverse (open hand, close hand, two fingers), the holding hand, the shape of the bottle, the type of distillate, the amount of liquid the bottle contains, the tool im pouring into: shaker, jigger, glass. In addition there’s also pours with without a pourer.

“Pouring” is probably the most basic action required from a bartender. A bartender “pours” like a soccer player “kicks” or like a pianist “plays.” There’s no way to bartend without pouring, the product is achieved by pouring. You can’t serve a cold draft beer without pouring it, just like you can’t mix a cocktail without pouring the ingredients.

we pour!

So why is the “pour cut,” hardly ever demonstrated by actual bartenders?

The answer is simple:
It requires consistent practice, and it’s not as simple as it seems. Clean and sharp pouring cuts are actually a skill that is quite difficult to acquire, it doesn’t happen by itself. The way to perfect pouring cuts passes through consistent practice. “Pouring” is not considered in people’s imaginations as an a drill, one that can be done with a shaker/jigger/spoon, “pouring” is basic, it must happen. It is “boring”. But if we think about it, it’s completely technical and it can be beautiful and eye catching, just as it can be bland and dull.

The training on pour-cuts are not easy, it requires some kind of infrastructure (stand, bottle, tap, sink and a pourer.) in contrast to a jigger, spoon or shaker which do not require such an infrastructure. The demand on the infrastructure makes training difficult, and it’s a shame. Not only that, but also that the training is frustrating at first, splashing in every direction, getting your hands wet, and worst of all, boring. Like a 10 minute warm-up on the treadmill at the gym, before starting work on the sets… those 10 minutes that 99% of the people skip on.

Our ability to pour beautifully adds a lot of “easy points” to our work routine, and it obviously doesn’t take more time because the pouring is done anyway. Beautiful pour, is beautiful body language. And beautiful, flowless body language is the product of stable and regular practice. A beautiful, tall pour, which the bottle is like painting with a brush, it’s not easy to do, and its ending, cutting the pour, is accompanied by the “price” of inaccuracy if not done well.

The idea of working in an aesthetic, precise, “dancing” way, in such a way that attracts the eye, which corresponds to show in the sense of “non-controlling,” such an idea cannot pass over an action like pouring. It must always be present. The “exercises” are the fingertips of the language, like the mushroom sticking out of the grass, it’s just the tip of an underground branched network.
Operations such as pouring, emptying, putting in ice, moving to the other side of the jigger, mixing and shaking, basic operations performed by the hundreds and thousands in the work routine behind the bar, these can and should have some aesthetic expression during work.
“Beautiful” does not mean “exercise.” It’s is possible to “succeed” in an exercise that’s ugly within the sequence of the work if its timing is wrong.

ARTENDER training starts with a bank of exercises, vocabulary, but to understand them in depth –
you need to speak the language. Add words to sentences, sentences to paragraphs.
In this metaphor, which I use a lot, basic actions like “pouring” and others, when done nicely, and without “exercise” are the punctuation marks. They are necessary for the language as they set the tone. Our uniqueness in the wild world is directly related to language, and I will pour a thousands more words onto it.. But that’s for another post

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