Glassware & Cocktails – Choose the right pairing.
When reading a cocktail recipe, it often suggests a style of glassware used for that drink.
There are certain un-written rules within the World of Mixology, and every Cocktail recipe made, is designed for a specific Cocktail glass, to get the “correct experience” and fully take advantage of the creation in hand.
Why is this even important you might ask? With this Guide you will hopefully see why it indeed is important.
SHOP YOUR OWN GLASSWARE
I love to shop and find new glassware – the more vintage the better. Don’t be afraid to buy it second-hand; this if often where all the gems are located.
The first tip; Don’t buy very thin glasses – these will most likely break at one time or another, while hand washing them, and you will instantly regret losing one of your favorite glasses this way.
After washing your priceless glassware, dry them immediately to avoid water spots – sipping from a crystal clear glass is part of the Cocktail Experience.
THE ESSENTIAL GLASSWARES
The Martini Glass
This conical shaped glass is often used for serving Martinis – so this glass is simply referred to as a “Martini Glass”, but the correct term is actually a “Cocktail glass”.
Use this glass for any kind of Martini variation (like my favorite one; Espresso Martini) or any short drink. The drinks enjoyed with this kind of glass, is often “served up” (without ice). I do however enjoy a large block of clear ice in mine – to keep it chilled for longer, and for its beauty.
The Coupe Glass
This broad-bowled shaped glass, is often used for the same purpose as a Martini glass, and is often seen to even replace the Martini glass.
Use this glass for cocktails that are served “up” (no ice), like the Manhattan (Bourbon/Rye, Sweet vermouth, bitters) or Gimlet (Gin, Lime juice and Simple syrup).
I often serve my cocktails made in a Coupe glass, with a large block of ice. I do this because I enjoy that the drink is nicely chilled from start until end. By using a large block of ice, it won’t dilute the drink too much either.
The Old Fashioned Glass.
This short tumbler of a glass, is often used for serving short mixed drinks or straight pour of liquor served over a large block of ice.
Often referred to as a “lowball” or “Rocks Glass”, this is one of my absolute favorite glasses (partly because one of my favorite cocktails, The Old Fashioned, is made using a glass of this type.
My favorite Old Fashioned variation contains Rum, Maple Syrup, Chocolate bitters and a dehydrated orange wheel – stirred with great patience and to perfection.
The Highball Glass
This tall glass, shaped like a chimney, is often used for serving mixed drinks filled with plenty of quality ice.
The recipes are often build directly in the glass itself, by pouring the ingredients directly over the ice finished by a wee stir.
The most classic cocktail using this type of glass is for sure the “Screwdriver” (Vodka, orange juice and plenty of ice) or the Legendary “Gin & Tonic”.
When ready for it, I recommend you try serving a “Dark & Stormy” (Dark rum, lime juice, topped with lime wedges and ginger beer) or the “Cuba Libre” (Rum, lime juice, topped with lime wedges and cola).
The Margarita Glass.
This bowl shaped glass, is often used for serving margaritas, either on the rocks or frozen.
These glasses often comes with a wide rim, making it easy to add sugar and/or salt.
Want to share with good friends? Don’t worry, these type of glasses can easily be found in really large sizes, containing up to 60oz/180cl of liquid.
My all-time favorite Margarita, must be the “Strawberry Margarita”; Light rum, Triple sec, lime juice, sugar and plenty of strawberries, blended with ice.
The Champagne Glass.
This tall, thin glass, is often used for serving Cocktails containing Champagne.
This type of glass is designed, on purpose, to keep the Champagne’s bubbles in the glass longer.
My favorite Champagne Cocktail must be the “French 75”; Gin, Lemon juice, Simple Sugar Syrup, topped with Champagne (or prosecco), and garnished with a lemon peel.
THE NEXT STEP
Now that you got the Basic’s all done, why not take it a wee step further?
THE TIKI MUG.
These kitschy ceramic mugs, often formed as various animals or Polynesian Gods, invites you to create funky-fresh cocktails.
I recommend that you try the “Grog” (Dark rum, lime juice, Demerara syrup and water, filled with plenty ice, garnished with plenty of flowers and fresh citrus fruits).
THE COPPER MUG.
These metallic mugs will keep your cocktails super cold and chilled (or so myth has it), and is a pleasant sight for sure.
The mug quickly takes on the Cocktails icy temperature, therefore turning the whole mug into a super icy and frosty vessel.
Don’t deny yourself a nice and fresh “Moscow Mule” (Vodka, Lime juice, topped with ginger beer, garnished with lime wedges and fresh lemon thyme).
THE PUNCH BOWL.
Not really a “glass” as one knows it, but rather a bowl perfectly for serving many guests at a time, and can be made ready before the guests arrive, making it very practical as well as festive.
I definitely recommend the always crowd-pleasing “Fish House Punch” (Dark rum, Cognac, Peach Brandy, Black Tea, Lemon juice, Simple syrup, Fresh lemon wheels and plenty of ice).
With these types of glasses stocked in your own very Home Bar, you are all set to enter the wonderful World of Mixology.
Don’t be afraid to experiment, and don’t be afraid to “break the rules” – only through “Trial & Error” can you really perfect your own Cocktail Creations.
Be sure to check out some of my favorite Bar Tools.
TWO PLAYFUL CREATIONS
3 cl Fifty Pounds Gin
3 cl Yellow Chartreuse
3 cl Elderflower liqueur
2 Dashes Aromatic Bitters
Stir all ingredients directly in a champagne glass with plenty of ice
Top with Classic Tonic
2.5 cl Fifty Pounds Gin
2.5 cl Rosé Vermouth
2 cl Violet Liqueur
Stir all ingredients with plenty of ice
Strain into a chilled old fashioned glass over a large ice block
Garnish with a dehydrated lime wheel and a wee Rose flower
ENJOY & SKÅL