Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Glass With Class


Hey, there, part-time weekend mixologist!

Sure, you know the difference between a shot glass and a beer mug, dontcha?

Of course you do!

But do you know the difference between a coupe and a flute? Or even what the heck the purpose of a nosing glass is, for that matter?

Fear not, O cocktail rookie! Because this here very blog post will serve to straighten out all of this for you! If you're still serving your cocktails in Solo plastic cups, then it may be time for you to put on your big boy pants and start presenting them to your guests properly.  Today’s post will talk about using the right glass for the right drink – as well as exactly what makes it the right glass in the first place.

Why are the different types of glasses so important? Well, for one thing, the right glass for the proper cocktail tends to show off particular drinks to their best advantage – whether to display color, garnishes or other attributes. But often, it can be more than mere looks alone – some have actual practical reasons, such as to maintain the drink’s temperature or to enhance its aroma.


Let’s start with the generically-named cocktail glass – which you might know better as a martini glass. These glasses generally tend to hold anywhere from four to six ounces or so, although I’ve seen some much larger. According to the Web site Best Coctail Recipes, “The shape of the glass helps keep ingredients from separating, and the stem allows the drink to stay cool while holding.”


OK, now here’s a question for you: if you’re going to serve either Champagne or sparkling wine to your guests, would you pour it into a flute (left) or in a coupe (right)? Well, of course, either one is correct, but the coupe is the old style Champagne glass that has been replaced by the flute. As you can see by the picture, flutes tend to be tall and narrow and generally hold anywhere from 7 – 10 ounces of the bubbly. The site Best Coctail Recipes states that the purpose of the flute is to help “preserve the carbonation of champagne, while the stem helps keep it chilled”. While it has been believed that the coupe glass was patterned after Marie Antoinette’s breast, the Web site Tim’s Wine Blog completely shoots down that theory. He states that the popularity of the coupe was instead due to the fact that given its broad, shallow bowl-like shape, it was simply easy to make.


The Nosing Glass – also known as The Glencairn Glass – is perfect for sipping drams of whiskey, especially Scotch. Due to its tapered mouth, the glass makes it both easy to sip and appreciate the bouquet of different kinds of whiskeys. The shape of the glass almost looks like an old incandescent light bulb; the design with a wide bowl at the bottom exists to have a larger area for the whiskey to spread out so that its aroma can rise as well as provide an opportunity to examine the spirit’s usual amber color.

Have any other cocktail glasses you want more information about? Leave a comment and let us know – maybe they’ll get covered in a future post.

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