In the world of cocktails, not all glasses are created equal.
Each glass has a unique purpose and is designed to make each drink experience better- to bring out the aroma, temperature, color and flavor of the spirits and to preserve the temperature of the drink.
The season of patio drinking is upon us. You are no doubt feverishly stocking up your bar cart to prepare and may have noticed that there are a gazillion different cocktail glass options out there which can be really confusing. Because you are a discerning and fashionable cocktail drinker that may have visited some captivating speakeasy’s and were charmed by their GORGEOUS drinks, you know that you can’t just toss a carefully crafted cocktail into any old glass. But which cocktail glasses do you REALLY need for your home? Certainly you don’t need them ALL!
To figure out where you should splurge, where you should save, and what types of cocktail glasses you really need at home, I spoke with the experts on all things “chill” at Tommy Bahama at Fashion Show and they spilled the tea on the FIVE types of cocktail glasses you need to create your own little speakeasy right at home.
Red Wine Glass
Wine is all about the aroma. If you can’t stick your nose in the glass, it’s probably not a good glass. A red wine glass should have a stem and have a large mouth to release the aroma. Red wines require a large bowl for their flavors and aromas to be fully enjoyed. That long, delicate stem is there for temperature control, keeping your hand away from the wine and preventing you from heating it and changing the flavor with your body temperature.
A friend once told me you should always have a bottle of champagne in the fridge so that you are ready to celebrate. The same is true with always having a champagne flute at the ready. Champagne flutes are designed for one thing and one thing alone: temperature control. The moment your drink gets warm, the bubbles go flat, and that’s no fun for anyone. Keep the bubbles bubbly!
Stemless Wine Glass
Since their arrival on the cocktail scene, stemless wine glasses have created quite the debate. People either love them or can’t understand them, and there are some compelling reasons for both. The stemless supporters find these glasses easier to handle. While red wine aficionados hate them because you have no temperature control. The reason they are a home bar must have is that they serve infinite purposes. Not only can they be used for wine (I recommend them for rose and white wine), but also for fun cocktails like sangria and frose.
Double Old-Fashioned Glass
A double rocks glass, also called a double Old Fashioned is the go-to glass for tons of different cocktails including this yummy “Pain Killer” made famous by Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar (recipe at end of post). Super versatile, this powerhouse of a glass is primarily used to serve spirits over ice, as well as distilled spirits and sweet drinks that are overwhelming in large quantities, oftentimes, the drinks served from rocks glasses are built directly inside so they need to have a good thick bottom to stand up to the muddling of fruit and spice that may precede the pour.
A Double Old Fashioned is larger (taller) than a single old fashioned which is historically used for serving drinks “neat” i.e. without ice but there really is no need to have a both, a Double Old Fashioned is far more versatile and can handle both types of pours. You could also serve margaritas in these glasses, instead of getting a dedicated margarita glass. That’s why, if you’re only going to get one type of Old-Fashioned glass, the Double Old Fashioned is generally more versatile — just remember when serving a drink neat don’t fill it to the very top- unless that’s how you roll, lol.
While it’s a popular rumor that the shape of the coupe was modeled after Marie Antoinette’s breasts, it’s totally false. The coupe was originally designed specifically to serve champagne in 17th century England, about a hundred years before Marie was born. However, champagne aficionados quickly learned that they make for a pretty awful way to drink anything bubbly. Due to the large amount of surface area, champagne loses its chill and carbonation way too quickly.
In most modern cocktail bars, the coupe glass has dethroned the V-shaped Martini glass as the go-to cocktail glass, in part because Martini glasses are awful! They are awkward and spill all over the place. The coupe glass is a bit more forgiving, generally smaller and easier to handle, coupes have one of the largest surface areas of any cocktail glass which makes them perfect for cocktails served “up,” meaning it’s been shaken or stirred with ice and then served chilled, without ice — like a Martini. The stem ensures you don’t heat up the cocktail with your hand as you sip it plus you look totally fancy when drinking from one. It’s definitely a glass that impresses.
*All Glassware is available at Tommy Bahama Fashion Show
This post was created in partnership with Fashion Show. All thoughts and opinions are my own.