Pour spouts are the small yet sturdy backbone of the bar industry. And while they’re often overlooked, they’re crucial to any bartender’s success. Sometimes called liquor pourers, speed pourers, or bottle pourers, pour spouts are the unsung heroes behind every cocktail!
Ready to learn everything you never knew you needed to know about pour spouts? Read on to learn more about what pour spouts do, the different kinds of pour spouts, and how we’ve finally perfected them.
What are pour spouts and why do they exist?
Walk behind a bar and take a good look at the liquor bottles. They probably all have pour spouts on them. That’s because any bar owner or bartender worth their salt (rim) knows that pour spouts help you pour precisely, quickly, and without any mess.
How exactly do these little wonders work? The spout works to streamline and direct the liquid leaving the bottle. That means faster pours, more control over where the liquid goes, and less spills. When you’re trying to pour liquor into a jigger or shot glass, you want to fill it without wasting anything. The right pour spout can actually get your more cocktails per liquor bottle. Plus, quicker pours and less waste mean more profit!
Different Types of Pour Spouts
You might be wondering, what’s the best type of pour spout?
Well, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to that question. An intimate cocktail bar and a nightclub will have different operational needs and preferences when it comes to pour spouts.
Generally speaking, there are 3 main types of pour spouts, each with different pour speeds, precision, and durability.
The angled pourer, also known as a tapered spout, is a popular choice for many bars. It has a long, slim spout that helps bartenders pour liquor precisely and quickly. The tapered pour spout is accurate and allows consistent, high-flow rate pours. It’s easy to clean, but the open spout means this style is susceptible to fruit flies and other such nuisances.
Worried about fruit flies and no-see-ums getting drunk on your dime? Then a screened pourer is for you. A tiny screen inside the pourer prevents any unwanted guests in your liquor bottle, so it’s a must-have for outdoor bars. One thing to note--they’re not ideal for frequent flyer bottles or creamy liquors.
Free Flow/Standard Pourers
Free flow pourers are a busy bartender’s best friend. While other spouts have ball bearings or systems to control the flow of liquid, a free flow pourer lets the liquid flow smoothly and quickly. Get those cocktails to your thirsty patrons as fast as possible!
Measured pourers are engineered with a mechanical ball bearing system to control consistency, prevent over-pouring, and keep bartenders honest. These pourers work like valves; opening to allow a certain amount of alcohol to pass through (depending on the pourer) and then shutting off to prevent overpouring. Measured pourers are popular in ultra-high-volume venues (think nightclubs and sports stadiums) where consistent pouring and profit margins are vital.
The downside to these "smart pourers" is that they limit the creative control of the bar staff. Craft cocktails (for lack of a better term) call for specific measurements — a quarter ounce here, a half an ounce there — making the measured pourer a hindrance in a cocktail environment. Not to mention the acclaimed "dealer's choice" in which a guest gives their bartender carte blanche to create a custom drink of their choosing.
The Evolution of Pour Spouts
Bars have been around in America for a long time--since 1634, to be exact. But pour spouts as we know them are actually relatively new on the scene. In fact, inventor John J. Daly applied for the patent in 1963.
So, what did bars before that do? They simply kept the lids on the bottles, of course.
For the most part, this was sufficient. Bars in the 1950s and early 60s weren’t as crowded or busy as they are now because only half of the population could frequent them. While men and women drank together (in secret) during the Prohibition era, after alcohol was legalized once again laws were passed to “protect” women from the dangers of alcohol. It took until 1973 for most drinking establishments to be co-ed--just in time for pour spouts to find their way into nearly every bar in America.
The first patent for pour spouts was for a plastic, free flow prototype. These days, you have a few more options. You can opt for plastic or metal, and many spouts have 2 or 3 ball bearings inside the pourer to regulate liquid flow.
The Final Frontier of Pour Spouts
Since 1963, pour spouts have failed to evolve to meet the changing demands of the bar industry. Our Pour Boy® Pour Spout was developed by industry-leading bartenders to strike the perfect balance between form and function. It’s the most modern and innovative pour spout on the market, and it takes John Daly’s design to the ultimate level.
What sets our Pour Boy® Pour Spout apart from the rest?
- Durability: Never worry about your pour spout falling apart when being removed the bottle ever again. The Pour Boy spout is ultra-durable, and can handle even the toughest wear and tear.
- Color-coding: Available in an array of complimentary colors, Pour Boy® Pour Spouts function as a color-coded labeling system to help bartenders stay organized, recognize ingredients on the fly and increase their overall speed of service.
- Adaptability: The greatest pour spout in the world doesn’t help you if it doesn’t fit your bottles. The Pour Boy® Pour Spout works with more bottle sizes than any of our competitors.
- Ease of cleaning: Nothing is more important than maintaining a squeaky clean environment when working behind a bar. Bar tools should always be well-groomed, especially those that come in contact with drink ingredients. That’s why we incorporated an innovative over-molded design, which prevents bacteria from building up in small crevices.
- Perfect flow-rate: Not to brag, but we really nailed this one. The Pour Boy® was designed by seasoned bartenders who tested and tweaked it until they got the perfect rate-of-flow for high-volume craft cocktail bartending.