Cleaning and Maintaining Cocktail on Tap Lines

Cocktails on tap are revolutionizing the way people drink and how bars, pool bars and nightclubs operate. Many bartenders will attest to the fact that cocktails, like the Manhattan, get better with age; making them perfect for batching and serving on tap. However, with the high demand for more complicated multi-ingredient fresh and craft cocktails comes the reality of struggles with consistency, timing and execution.

Cleaning and Maintaining Cocktails on Tap Lines
Kevin Diedritch changes a keg at Jasper's - photo by Lance Ivarson

One key component that can affect the quality and taste of your cocktails on tap is cleaning and maintenance of the tap system. Here are four of helpful cleaning and maintenance hints from Kathy Casey of Liquid Kitchen on how to keep your tap cocktails tasting great.

1.       Keep the keg lines clear - Citrus cells should not affect the pour or clog up the keg lines, but large particles in a cocktail should be strained out to keep blockage to a minimum.

2.       Wash thoroughly - Keg and keg line should be washed thoroughly after use to clear out any residual flavor, residue from liquid, citrus cells, or sugar left in keg and line.

3.       Rinse the Keg - Rinsing the inside of the keg with hot water for about 15 minutes is the best method.

4.       Clean the outside  - Wipe down the outside of keg with a light bleach water (1 gallon hot water + 1 Tbsp. bleach) to prevent mold growth and keep it looking presentable.

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