We’ve compiled a list of the ten dirtiest things behind every bar, and unfortunately we’re not talking about martinis. Though the cleanliness of each establishment varies from place to place, there are some components behind every bar that are harder to clean, and therefore, easier to neglect. The argument can be made that alcohol is, in fact, a disinfectant, but there are still some things to be aware of when ordering your beverage. But reader, beware: your order may begin to sound something like: “I’d like a martini, stirred with no ice, hold the olives… and can I have a straw?”
Bars have been given a bit more slack when it comes to the customer’s awareness of acceptable cleanliness. When there is no food involved, many patrons have lower standards, and have come to expect bars to be less immaculate than restaurants (though there are still health codes, of course). Yet no matter where you go, no matter how upscale the lounge, you may want to think twice about squeezing the citrus, or ordering that spirit double on the rocks; and, should you opt for a dive bar, you just might want to order bottled beer instead of tap.
We’ve hit the streets, visited a wide range of bars, and spoke to the women and men behind the counters who divulged their pet peeves, observations, and professional issues regarding cleanliness. We wanted to know, what do bartenders look for when they go to a bar? We found overwhelmingly that most look behind the bar itself. Is it a mess or is it neat and organized? Does it look clean? While waiting to order their drink, they watch another being made and decide from there. One bartender even had these parting words of wisdom, “it’s not the bar, it’s the bartender.”
Lemon/Lime Wedges and Other Fruit
Most restaurant/bar establishments, unfortunately, do not wash the fruit. To make matters even worse, most bartenders use their bare hands to grab these garnishes; even the containers on the bar rarely get a cleaning.
Rims of Glasses
Who stores glasses upside down? Many bars do to save space, and they stack them on an infrequently washed/sanitized surface. BYOG.