kusaka logo, boston terrier

The Guide for the Novice Bartender

bartender-glasses-guide, cocktails at the bar,

The Guide for the Novice Bartender

Or how to use the right glasses for cocktails

One doesn’t have to be a bartender to know when to use one or another glass or cup. We decided to look into the types of glasses that one will need to properly serve cocktails, wine, beer and other beverages.

1. Martini Glass

Martini glass is a stemmed glass with an inverted cone bowl. This shape allows the drinker to hold the glass by the stem, without affecting the temperature of the chilled drinks, and the wide bowl places the surface of the drink directly under the lucky drinker’s nose.

Oftentimes, all the cocktail glasses of this form are called martini glasses, but they have differences: the cocktail glass bowl is smaller and narrower, with rounded or flat bottom, while martini glass has a larger and deeper bowl which is fully conical at the bottom.

2. Old Fashioned Glass, Lowball Glass or Rocks Glass

It’s a short tumbler with thick brim and base, so that non-liquid cocktail ingredients can be mashed using a muddler before the liquid ingredients are added. The glass is used for serving alcoholic drinks with ice («on the rocks») and some cocktails, such as Old Fashioned, from which it receives its name.

3. Highball Glass

A highball glass is taller than an Old Fashioned glass and is used to serve simple cocktails with a high ratio of mixer to alcohol: Whiskey & Coke, Bloody Mary, Tequila Sunrise, Long Island Iced Tea, etc. Basically, this glass may be replaced by Collins, which comes next.

4. Collins Glass

A Collins glass is cylindrical in shape and taller and narrower than a highball glass. It is used for cocktails, especially, Tom Collins.

5. Coupe or Champagne Coupe

Legend has it that the shape of the glass was modeled on the breast of the French Empress Marie Antoinette, but in fact, it had been created in England nearly a century before the Empress was born. The coupe was in vogue in France, from its introduction there in the beginning of the 18th century until the 1970s, and in the United States from the 1930s to the 1980s. The coupe was very fashionable at American weddings in the 1920s where the champagne towers made of coupes were created. The coupe was widely used to serve champagne, but was later replaced by a more suitable flute. However, the pyramids of champagne are still being built of the coupes.

As for cocktails, when they first came into vogue, they were served in the coupe glasses, while the so-called martini glass became popular only in the middle of the XX century. However, the coupe is much more practical: thanks to the shape of the glass, its contents are difficult to spill, and smooth bend shows the color and shine of the drink. For instance, it is still used for Daiquiris. James Bond also used the coupe glass for the Vesper cocktail in “Casino Royale.”

6. Flute or Champagne Flute

Used for champagne and cocktails based on champagne. As with other stemware, the stem allows the drinker to hold the glass without affecting the temperature of the beverage. Narrow and deep bowl reduces the exposed surface of the drink, thus longer retains its original carbonation and enhances the visual effect of rising bubbles.

7. Cordial Glass

Typically, it’s a small glass, reminiscent of a wine glass that may have short stem, with or without a handle. The size of the glass suggests that the contents should be savored and sipped, as opposed to be drunk in one gulp. Typically, this glass is used to serve drinks after a meal, for example, liquor or dessert wine.

8. Wine Glass

Red wine glasses are usually slightly higher and have a much wider bowl than white wine glasses. Larger surface area means higher air exposure to provide more oxidation for the red wine flavors to expand.

Top image by Didricks on flickr.com