Choosing The Right Glass For The Right Drink

July 27, 2021

My Dad liked a Rob Roy as his cocktail of choice. If you haven’t ever had one (and not being a Scotch-lover, I’m not exactly recommending it), it’s a Scotch and dry vermouth cocktail shaken over ice, poured into a cocktail glass and served with a twist of lemon. As he got older and a little less steady with his hands, he’d ask to have this cocktail in a brandy snifter instead of a cocktail glass, because he was way-less-likely to tip it over. It “wasn’t the appropriate glass,” he’d always explain to the server, but it “was the one (he) could manage.” My point in telling you this little story is that there aren’t always hard-and-fast rules about what glass is used for what type of drink – we aren’t living at Downton Abbey, for goodness’ sake. So the following are just some glass guidelines for cocktails and wine – follow them – ignore them – make your own – after all – it’s all good – because it is cocktail time.

“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.” –W.C. Fields

W.C. Fields

Would You Like Red or White With That?

Many people choose to have one basic wine glass type in their cupboard for everyday wine consumption, but there’s actually a pretty good reason to have at least two – one for whites and one for reds. There are two types of white wine glasses: one for chardonnay and one for all other non-sparkling whites. The chardonnay white is wider at the top; the all-other-white (for lack of a better term) is more tulip-shaped. The primary thing to remember with white wine glasses is that they are meant for you to hold the stem and keep your hand off the bowl of the wine glass, as not to warm it with your body temperature. Red wine glasses, of which there are many varieties, are exactly the opposite. The bowl of all red wine glasses are meant to be held and warmed by your hand – so they tend to be rounder bowls. Whether you choose a well-rounded hock or a tulip-shaped pinot noir glass, make sure the stem is short enough and the bowl comfortable enough to be held in your hand. And just a P.S.: given all this info, the stemless wine glasses that have become very popular in the last 10-15 years are great for red wine, but not practical for white.

Cocktails Anyone?

I am a martini girl at heart, when it comes to cocktails. I like my Cosmopolitans and my Cantaloupe martinis. Most people will serve these cocktails in the traditional V-shaped cocktail glass (often called a martini glass). These cocktails, however, are also equally attractive and tasty when served in what would have been considered a champagne glass in the 1920’2-1960’s that’s called a coupe. These flatter champagnes are actually much better cocktail glasses than they were ever champagne glasses, as their shape make the bubbles of champagne dissipate faster – and who wants to lose the bubbles in their champagne? This isn’t an issue when using these glasses for cocktails, however – and it allows you to search out some pretty good looking vintage options in which to serve your cocktails.

Are We On The Rocks?

My son, Joe, likes his whiskey (on ice, with Coke or ginger beer) and ‘rocks” glasses (sometimes called low-balls) are perfect for any of these spirits or spirts with a mixer options. Rocks glasses are generally straight like a juice glass, but wider to accommodate ice. Sometimes rocks glasses are footed, sometimes they are slightly v-shaped, but the most important thing about a rocks glass is that it can hold a decent pour and ice, if desired.

I Love Your Sparkling Personality

Champagne, sparkling Rose and Prosecco are best served in a champagne flute, which is a narrow, taped glass with an elongated stem that you can hold whilst drinking. The tapered top keeps the carbonation in the champagne longer and makes it more enjoyable. There are styles out there where the stem is also part of the bowl and champagne, etc. goes right down to the base of the glass. Although these glasses are pretty, their functionality is poor because your hand ends up warming the drink when it should remain cool and bubbly. The same can be said for the stemless variety – they just don’t work well for the drink they are serving.

What Else Is Good About A Cocktail Glass Selection?

I hope you have enjoyed this little bit about choosing the right glass. Have fun with it – there are endless choices. And remember – interesting (and practical) cocktail glasses ups your game at your next social gathering – and who doesn’t like that?

Now For A Little Music Before We Go….

“There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne.” 

Bette Davis

1 Comment

  • Reply
    July 30, 2021 at 9:07 pm

    I’ll take care of it. No worries.

Leave a Reply