Fatherhood has taught me several invaluable life lessons; I learn something new on a near-daily basis. It’s taught me the limits of my psychological strength, and the interesting effects sleep deprivation has on motor skills and decision-making abilities. It’s taught me the importance of planning and has encouraged some particularly field expedient and innovative problem solving. And it’s taught me the infinite power of love, for my child and wife; patience, on the other hand, well, let’s just call that a work-in-progress.
Along the way, I’ve learned a few less-important lessons as well, lessons a bit more applicable to my world of drinking. Specifically, I was amazed what a small three dollar purchase at Target has done for my barware. I’m talking of the simple baby bottle brush.
For the uninitiated (and I use that word purposefully: the early days of parenthood are indeed a most grueling initiation), the baby bottle brush is used to clean baby bottles as well as the associated caps and nipples. At the time, we chose – for reasons that escape me now – the Munchkin brand brush (pictured above). It’s topped with a sponge and contains a smaller brush within the handle for truly small crevices.
It’s been awhile since my child has used bottles, having graduated to sippy cups and open plastic cups. Yet I still continue buying new bottle brushes every month or so. Although I occasionally hand wash those cups and glasses with it, the brush gets more use from cleaning my barware, everything from the cocktail shaker, to the wine and martini glasses, even the decanters. If it’s fragile and meant to be hand-washed, out comes the bottle brush.
The brush’s sponge works wonders in the tight spaces of my jigger, strainer, and shot glasses. It gently cleans specialty items like pastis and scotch glasses – whose logos and inscriptions would quickly erode following a few dishwasher cycles. In addition to my barware, the brush expertly cleans small espresso machine components, or special espresso cups and coffee mugs; really, any kitchen item that carries sentimental value.
Whether or not you have a child of your own makes no difference. Take my advice, from my own dumb luck experience: a few dollars here will go far in keeping your bar’s prized possessions lasting for generations to come.