Martini Social Club Martini Recipes and Martini Gifts

posted by on Sep 21

As any good bartender knows, choosing the correct glass is just as important as the alcohol that goes into it. In today’s cocktail society, glassware can make or break a drinking or dining experience.

There is a multitude of glassware and glassware manufacturers.  Some of the prices for these glasses can get quite expensive.  In building your home bar, you have many options to choose from.

Most are accustomed to using thick rimmed or “rolled rim” glasses.  Often these are choosen  because they are less likely to break. One argument against a rolled rim glass is that it can direct the drink onto the sides of the tongue where the true essence of your drink can not be appreciated. 

Other glasses are shaped to allow the aromas to become concentrated so that the drinker is able to appreciate the true character of the particular drink.  As a bartender, becoming familiar with which glass belongs to what drink is beneficiary to both you and the customer. They receive a higher caliber drink, which in turn reflects back on your bartending skills.

Glasses, like people, have personalities – swank, elegant, sexy and delicate and they are nearly as important as their contents. While a glass’s shape has the ability to influence the actual taste of a drink, its style can subconsciously enhance the experience, thus making form and function equally important.

There is some difference between the barware used in a public bar verses the cocktail glasses you might use at home. Public bars go through lots of stemware due to the high volume there is more glass breakage. So typically a public bar will carry thicker less expensive drinkware that will hold up and is easily replaced. At home however breaking cocktail glasses should be a rarity. So you can use thinner more expensive glassware for the home.

A thinner piece of glass at the rim where you drink allows the cocktail to flow smoothly onto the tongue. A thicker rounded glass rim can promote a harshness that is less desirable. The bottom of the glass should be thick, sturdy, and of significant weight to help keep the chill in the glass and to make the glass less fragile.

Glassware can actually give you a much better cocktail experience. Using the right glass for the right drink can accentuate the smell, texture, and flavor of the cocktail. For example, in the use of a Collins glass for a Tom Collins.

The Collins glass is a tall skinny glass and when serving a Tom Collins in it and drinking from a straw your nose is closer to the garnish as you drink. The flavor and smell come together to make a different drink. The Gin Fizz has the exact same ingredients except it is served in a Highball glass, but it tastes different due to the garnish and glass.

All glasses have been designed for a specific task, for example:

Beer Mug – the typical mug with a handle can be used for beer, all beer based cocktails, most frozen cocktails, and coffee based cocktails. Beer Mugs usually hold about 12 to 16 ounces.

Champagne Coupe – champagne saucer is the saucer-shaped stem glass once used for serving champagne, but now more commonly used for certain cocktails such as daiquiris, creamy after-dinner style drinks or toasts.

Cocktail – (also known as a Martini glass) is the icon glass of mixed drinks. The Cocktail glass cannot really be used in place of any other glass, but many, many drinks are served in it. Cocktail glasses are used for short, sharp, or stronger drinks. The stem of the glass has been designed so you may hold it, leaving the bowl free of fingerprints and not take the chill off the glass. All cocktail glasses should be kept in a refrigerator or chilled with ice and water while you prepare the drink.

Coffee Mug – is not a coffee cup. This glass looks similar to a Parfait or Pousse-Café but it has a handle on it as well. This glass is heat tempered and used for coffee based cocktails.

Collins – A collins glass is a glass tumbler which typically will contain 10 to 14 fluid ounces. It is used to serve mixed drinks, especially Tom Collins cocktails. It is cylindrical in shape and narrower than a highball glass. Whatever beverage is served in this glass is intended to have a straw in it with aromatic garnishes. It is popular to serve Mojitos in this glass as well.

Cordial – think shot glass with a stem. They are small and stemmed glasses used for serving small portions of your favourite liquors or liqueurs at times such as after a meal. A Cordial glass is about 1.5 to 2 ounces in size.

Flute – is for the bubbly. The slender shape is intended to concentrate the bubbles that come from Champagne. This glass is good for any Champagne based cocktail, but not much else.

Highball – this essential piece of glassware looks like a taller version of the Rocks glass. This glass is used for most of your tall and cool refreshing drinks that use juices and mixers. It is typically between 8 to 12 ounces.

Hurricane – this specialty glass was put into popular use by Pat O’Brian’s in New Orleans serving up their Hurricane cocktail of the same name. As the story goes the proprietor of the bar was given a case or two of these very strange glasses and he challenged his bartenders to develop a drink to serve in it. As it turned out the drink and the glass were a hit. Any frozen or tropical cocktail can be served in this glass but it does hold quite a lot of liquid.

Margarita – are easy to distinguish from your other glassware. It is actually a Mexican sombrero turned upside down. Beyond the Margarita this glass can be used for just about any frozen cocktail.

Martini Glasses – are the most recognized of the cocktail glasses.  Generally, this is a stemmed glass which has a cone-shaped bowl placed upon a stem above a flat base.  Its form derives from the fact that all cocktails are traditionally served chilled and contain an aromatic element. Thus, the stem allows the drinkers to hold the martini glass without affecting the temperature of the drink, and the wide bowl places the surface of the drink directly under the drinker’s nose, ensuring that the aromatic element has the desired effect.  Martini glasses denotes an era of elegance to many.

Parfait/Pousse-Café – these two glasses look fairly similar and are used for layered cocktails and dessert cocktails. These glasses have square bases, short stems and a narrow bowl.

Pilsner glass – is a glass used to serve many types of light beers, but is intended for its namesake, the pilsner. Pilsner glasses are generally smaller than pint glasses. They tend to have a short neck at the bottom, followed by a rounded taper to a slightly bulged area that forms the glass.

Red Wine – the larger bowl allows red wine to breathe more and express its aroma. In a pinch the Red Wine glass can be used in the same way as the White Wine glass. This glass also comes in many different sizes.,

Rocks – also known as lowball and old fashioned glass. These glasses are usually reserved for an unmixed drink served over ice or with cocktails having few ingredients. Most commonly you will find Double Rocks glasses in public bars, which holds 8 to 10 ounces. Shot – the shooter is a popular drink type and the Shot glass is made for it. The Shot glass can be short and squatty or taller and skinny, but can hold 1 or 2 ounces. Mostly straight liquors or liqueurs are served in it.

Shot Glass - Originally a bar measuring tool, ( and still used as one) , the shot glass has become the choice for “shots” of spirits. The shot glass holds between 1oz – 2ozs.

Snifter – the Snifter, sometimes called a Brandy Snifter, has a very large bowl and is a fairly short glass. This glass is used for sipping aged liquor. The large bowl allows the liquor to breathe, but then it’s smaller at the top to concentrate the aroma to the nose when you are sipping. Only a small amount of liquor is poured into a Snifter. Because they are all different sizes the best way to fill a Snifter is to lay it on its side and pour the liquor in until it is just about to spill out of the glass. Once you set it straight you will have the perfect amount poured.

Sour – more of the specialty glassware. The Sour glass is a shorter more pointed shaped White Wine glass. This glass is specifically used for the Sours family of cocktails (Whisky Sour, Amaretto Sour, etc…). In a pinch this glass can be used in the same way as the White Wine glass.

White Wine – the white wine glass is actually a very versatile piece of glass. In a pinch it can used in place of the Cocktail, Cordial, Shot, Red Wine, Flute, Sour, and Snifter. There is a wide variety of sizes in this glass.

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