Any one who is taking an online cocktail making class will soon begin to realise that different types of drinks require different types of glassware. At first, it might not seem to matter that much what shape of glass the drink is served in, but there is a logical reason for selecting the appropriate glass. Here’s a closer look at cocktail glassware.
The main reason cocktail glasses are different shapes is because the shape can affect the temperature of the drink, and also influences the aroma. There is a visual element at play as well; brightly coloured and garnished drinks look even better in an attractively shaped glass.
When visualising a cocktail, most people will think of the iconic martini glass, which has a long slender stem and a funnel shaped bowl. The drinks served in this glass are pre-chilled during the shaking or stirring process, so the glass is not designed to hold ice, but rather the drink is strained into the glass.
The narrower bottom holds the flavours of the drink together and keeps it cool, while the wide surface area allows the aromas to rise and enhance the enjoyment of the drink.
There is another explanation for the shape of the martini glass, which originates from the illicit drinking parties during prohibition era America. Legend has it that the wide shallow bowls were deliberately designed to make alcoholic drinks easier to throw away during a police raid.
This glass is a short heavy bottomed tumbler, which is designed to hold drinks served with ice cubes, or ‘on the rocks’, as it is known in the bartending trade. Other names for a rocks glass include an Old Fashioned or a lowball glass. It has straight and sturdy sides that make it easy to stir the drink and distribute the temperature and flavour evenly.
This is a tall glass with a flat base and narrow straight sides, also called a highball glass. It is used to serve drinks which contain a mixer, such as soda or tonic water, so they can easily be stirred and can hold ice cubes. The narrow opening helps to keep the bubbles flowing for longer and helps to keep the drink cool.
The coupe glass is said to be modelled on Marie Antoinette’s feminine shape, and it is often used to serve pink coloured drinks such as the Sonambula. It’s a broad shallow bowl with a long stem, and is sometimes used as an alternative to a martini glass because it is less prone to spilling.
They are also sometimes used to serve desserts such as ice cream, because of the spacious bowl and attractive shape, which looks very elegant on the dinner table.
The hurricane glass
This glass has a short stem, a broad bottom and a flared rim, and is so called because it resembles the shape of a hurricane lamp. It takes its name from the red hurricane cocktail, and it is thought that the tall curved shape is designed to show off the colour of the drink.