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Those of you who have read some of my previous reviews will be familiar with the fact that a fair few of them are as a direct result of some of the many peculiar purchases my dear old Nan has made over the years, and this one is no exception Let me introduce you to the new addition in our family . The Bar Butler (or, "one of those things they've got on Eastenders", as my Nan describes it)!!
Nan presented us with this rather tasteful and sophisticated household gadget the other week, after one of her weekly jaunts out with her friend Ruby. She'd telephoned dad to ask him to collect her from the coach station (she'd been on a day trip to York). When he'd left the house he was moaning on about why it was "always him" who had to do the running around, why was it always him who had to be the taxi driver for our family and (worst of all) he was going to miss the match on the telly!! Mum gently reminded him that as he is the only member of our family who can actually drive, then unfortunately he had no choice!
Considering dad was in such a foul mood when he left the house, we were all a little surprised when he came back home, with Nan in tow, beaming like a Cheshire cat!! Nan sat down in our kitchen, pushed her shoes off, laid down her bags and dad shot off into the living room with what looked like a large box, but we couldn't see what it contained at first.
I followed him into the other room and dad was grinning from ear to ear as he removed what looked like a Victorian instrument of torture from its container. Dad told me it was a Bar Butler and that Nan had given it to him in the car during her return journey from the coach station. Apparently, Nan had bought it from a second hand shop (where else?) whilst she was out for the day and at the 'bargain price' of only £4.50, she just wasn't able to resist!!
I must admit, although it seemed to me to be a bit of an ugly-looking gadget, I was intrigued as to how it would work. Mum wasn't too impressed and she said there was no way she was having that "god-awful" thing in her living room, but dad suggested that she see how it worked before making up her mind. The only positive mum could think of was that it would help dad to know exactly how much booze he was drinking if it was accurately measured out, like in a pub!!
Dad removed it from its box and set to work in putting the bits together, which didn't take long at all. It has a solid metal rod in the middle and a very heavy-duty base, so there's no chance of it tipping over, even if you only put in one bottle of booze at a time. It's not too bulky - it is 520mm high and 260mm in diameter. It holds up to four bottles of alcohol (up to 1 litre in size) and the best bit about it is that it revolves!! Tacky, I know, but I like to spin it round so that the bottle at the back comes to me at the front. The bottles are really easy to insert, you just take off the bottle top, plug in the Bar Butler stopper and then pop it into the dispenser . it's that easy. The dispensers are also leak proof, so no mess on the table or bar top!!
After dad had set it up with the various bottles of booze, we all sat around it holding out our glasses waiting for our "turn". You just put your glass under the booze of your choice, press back slightly, and hey presto, out comes your measure!! Nan and dad had whisky and I had a measure of gin (mum had nothing). Our measures actually looked quite generous and when we had a closer look at the instruction manual, we were a bit confused as to why it was giving us a 45ml measure, as this is neither a double nor a single. Dad said that single measures are meant to be 25ml and a double is meant to be 50ml. This machine gives you somewhere in between, so if you are using it to make sure you're not going over the limit, you have to make sure you can do the maths (or have a calculator handy).
Dad stopped at two, but Nan kept having another go, then another!! Afterwards, Nan slept for an hour or so and then mum decided to try it out! Fortunately, I think the novelty of this little gadget has now finally worn off in our family, otherwise we would all end up alcoholics. I reckon Nan probably did nab a bargain though, as I've seen it selling on line at Amazon for about £20.00, so she didn't do too badly.
I have to agree with mum, though, it isn't a particularly attractive looking contraption and it is something which would be more suited to Del Boy's living room, but, I quite like it. My mates were really impressed the first time they saw it and they've all had a go! Nan thinks it's the height of sophistication and has told mum that when we are finished with it she wants it for herself. We're not so sure about that .
All in all, a very good purchase by Nan once again . Cheers!!