We have all seen the spouts on bottles in a bar, also known as pour spouts or speed pourers. The bartender picks up the bottle and pours a perfect measure every time. So effortless, so quick and it just looks so cool. It is no wonder then, that home bartenders want in on the action. However, can I leave pourers on my liquor bottles long term?
This is the question, because unlike a busy bar where a bottle of vodka may only last a few hours. In contrast, my bottle of vodka could last a few weeks, or even months. So if I leave a bottle on my bar shelf with a pourer, would any problems arise?
Can I Leave Pourers On My Liquor Bottles Long Term?
It is not a good idea, there are some problems that may end with your vodka or other liquor being spoiled. Dust accumulating around the pour spout could make for bad hygiene. Oxidation can occur, as well as evaporation. Finally the dreaded fruit fly will attack, the sweeter the liquor the more likely this will happen. If that hasn’t put your off using pourers, fear not, there are ways to overcome these problems.
How do the problems mentioned actually affect my liquor?
An Open Bottle Of Liquor Is A Spoilt Liquor
If we leave a standard pourer on a bottle over a period of time then bad things will happen to the contents. Hygiene can be a problem, as well as degradation of the liquor and infestation. None of these things are what we want for our favorite tipple.
Pour Spouts And Hygiene
Dust and other airborne particles will land on any surface, a pouring spout is no exception. Especially as the spout will have remnants of the drink contained inside the bottle. Dust will be attracted to this and the sweeter the drink the more sticky the spout would be.
Dust particles can also make their way into the bottle itself, contaminating the expensive liquor within.
There Is Air In My Liquor
Light and temperature can affect alcoholic drinks, but air can kill a drink over time. As soon as we open a bottle of our favorite plonk we expose it to air. This starts the oxidation process, but we then replace the lid, which will slow down that process.
This why an unopened bottle of liquor will have a long shelf life. Whereas an opened bottle of liquor has a limited shelf life. A standard pour spout will allow air to continue to affect the contents. This will result in loss of flavor and even a bad taste, basically it will go bad.
Where Has My Liquor Gone?
Just as the oxidation process starts as soon as a bottle is open, so does evaporation. Again resealing slows this down, But as the liquid in the bottle goes down from consuming, the liquid left is exposed to more air. This speeds up the processes.
A bottle with a constant stream of air from a pour spout will let this process continue at its most rapid rate. Left for a period of time will not only affect taste, but the alcohol content. That beautiful vodka may be alcohol free now.
Why Is My Pour Spout Moving?
Imagine picking your favorite bottle of beverage up only to find the spout with a mass of black moving insects. The pesky fruit fly is on the attack and they gather in their hundreds, feed and lay eggs, only to continue to reproduce.
They will bring bacteria and who knows what else. An open bottle of liquor will almost certainly attract them, like an invitation to a party.
I’ve Gone Right Off Pourers
To be honest I don’t blame you, but hold your horses, there are solutions. If you rushed out an bought some standard pourers, then don’t throw them in the trash just yet. There are a few things we can do to protect our valuable liquor from spoiling or getting invaded.
First, to avoid the sticky problems we have already highlighted, simply remove the pourer after use and wash it. Replace the cap and know your liquor is safe. A bit of a faff I know, but you can still use your pourers when you have friends round and look ultra cool. Just clean up at the end of the night and remove your pour spouts and replace the lids.
Second, cover your spouts and close off the air supply and keep them clean and free from attack. This can be done with a little cling film, it doesn’t look good, but it works.
Third, buy some caps for your spouts, works the same as cling film but looks much better. Also it is less messing around, no tearing off small pieces of film.
There Is A Better Way
However, the better solution if you are still intent on pour spouts for your home bar is an alternative spout. The standard pour spout still has its place commercially, it is not an issue for a busy bar. Also many bars will remove and clean pour spouts at the end of the night.
The new improved pour spout coming soon to a retail outlet near you.
These are nothing new, but they are a definite improvement on the old standard pourers. Starting with the least effective and ending in the best pourers, lets take a look.
Siamese Dust Cap Pourer
Pretty much the same as buying a dust cap for your standard pourer, but with one difference. It is easy to misplace a small dust cap when you remove it from the spout. Small and light, they regularly go on the missing list.
These caps stay attached to the spout when you remove them, being slightly more convenient than a standard dust cover. The durable rubber cork is suitable for a 3/4 inch (1.9 cm) neck diameter.
Gravity Lid Pour Spout
Okay, so these pour spouts have a built in lid, problem solved. However, does it solve all the problems associated with pourers?
The lid is weighted, which is neat because as you tilt the bottle to pour, it opens, and closes when you bring the bottle back upright. That is cool and it will certainly guard against dust and other particles. Yet I am not sure it will protect air from getting into the bottle.
I am not convince that the metal on metal lid actually shuts off the air supply. As much as I like the gravity lid, they wouldn’t be my choice.
Click Seal Speed Pourer
Now we are talking, click and seal are music to my ears. At last a pourer that will deal with all the pour spout problems. These little beauties have a lid that actually clicks shut and is give 24/7 contamination protection. Can still pour with one hand, with the hand near the neck, use your thumb to click open the lid and pour.
Click shut the same way and seals tight to prevent barfly and evaporation problems. This is a real solution to the problems associated with pour spouts. On top of all that, they look really cool too.
Cap On Free Flow Pourer
Could this one be the ultimate pourer? Solving the same problems as the previous one, but with the best of both worlds. A pour that lets the bottle keep its own screw top lid. ‘WHAT’, I hear you say.
I know, amazing, but its true. A simple little pourer that will fit most 750ml bottles and free flow like any pourer. It doesn’t have a spout, but it doesn’t need one, its the same, but sits flush in the top of the bottle. Just push the plastic cork into the bottle head and pour, when you have finished replace the original lid.
Just one thing though, they are not designed to come out again. They are designed to be thrown away with the bottle. Just as well they are less than a dollar a pop and come in a pack of twelve. A truly great design, a favorite for me.
That was a bit of a journey, first we find out it is not a good idea to leave pourers on our liquor bottles. Then we find out there are several solutions. Having said that, there are only two that are effective in dealing with all four problems mentioned.
The click seal speed pourer is the right answer if you really want the spout as part of your pourer. However if you are not worried about the spout and just want an efficient pourer, then the cap on free flow pourer is the one.
So it turns out then, we can leave our pourers on our liquor bottles. providing we buy the right type. May be that has changed your home bar life, share your thoughts below with your own pour spout stories.
Rob is a passionate home bar and pub shed enthusiast with a passion for craft beer. With hands-on experience in designing and building his own home bar, Rob shares his knowledge, tips, and inspiration to help fellow enthusiasts create their own perfect space. Alongside the world of home bars and pub sheds, Rob also explores the diverse and exciting realm of craft beer, providing honest reviews to help you discover your next favorite brew. Join Rob on a journey of flavor, design, and craftsmanship right here on Home Bar Kit.