The choices in glassware can be a bit haphazard for amateur bartenders. It is easy to tell the difference between a wineglass and a champagne flute, but once you get into more subtle distinctions, it is hard to know what you are getting at. We’ve already thrown a cosmopolitan in a tumbler before we realize it. Did you know that there is a method to this madness?
The aroma is the most important thing about wine. Gizmodo explained that if you can’t put your nose into the glass, it’s probably not good. Red wine glasses are larger and more round than white wine glasses. That’s because red wines are bolder and require more room–a larger bowl–for their flavors and aromas to be fully enjoyed. And that long, delicate stem is there for temperature control–keeping your hand away from the wine and preserving your drink’s chilled nature.
You don’t have to feel guilty about spilling your drink every time you order it. The flat cone shape was made for this purpose. Supposedly, this glass was originally created so people in the ’20s could easily toss their drinks when the police arrived to bust a party. The stem, just like the wine glass, helps keep the drink chilled. However, some bartenders such as Brooklyn’s Ivy Mix believe that the large top surface is the opposite. Do you want a change? Mix suggests swapping your martini glass for a Nick and Nora, which will preserve the temperature and help you keep your drink in its glass.
The champagne flute is designed for one thing and one thing alone: temperature control. Once your drink is warm, the bubbles will flatten, which is not good for anyone. Because champagne doesn’t have the same aromatic strengths as wine, the size of the mouth can be smaller. After all, no one is trying to smell their Canard Duchene.
Rocks Glass – Old Fashioned
This one’s pretty straightforward: The collins glasses are designed to hold large cubes of ice. Its slim and lightweight design makes it easy to achieve this goal. Plus, the steep sides and open mouth make it perfect for stirring. The purpose of the rocks glasses is obscured by thinner or more curvy glasses. In this instance, simplicity is best.
Mojito (Collins/Highball Glass)
These glasses are used to serve cocktails with soda water. So, like the champagne flute, the long narrow shape is all about temperature control and bubble preservation. The simple shape also makes stirring easier, which is important when all the alcohol settles at the bottom and the mixer rises to the top, as they are apt to do.
As with many other glasses, the copper cup used to create the perfect Moscow Mule helps control the drink’s temperature. Some believe the copper enhances the flavors of ginger beer, vodka, and lime, as well. Do we really care about it? It’s not as bad as drinking alcohol out of a copper cup.
The coupe glass was supposedly modeled after Marie Antoinette’s breast, giving it a romantic appeal. It is perfect for Sonambula drinks, which are just as delicious as they are pink. Mix says she’s seen many men shy away from this glass out of the fear that they look too feminine, but as far as she’s concerned, it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. “I think your masculinity can handle it,” she says.
A dessert wine is a sweeter and less aromatic than a standard one, so the glass can afford to be smaller with a narrower mouth. The stem, like many other glasses, keeps your hands from the bowl and helps you heat up your dessert wine.
The reason behind the small size of the Grappa glass is simple: Those drinks are powerful, and you don’t want to have too much at once. Plus the semi-wide mouth allows you to catch the aroma of the more interesting Grappas, though that’s not a priority with everyone.