Mike Parker

The Right Glass for the Right Drink

Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 1:33 PM
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Choosing the correct stemware for a particular drink isn’t just a snooty affectation for the hoity-toity set. There really good reasons for the serving a particular cocktail, spirit or brew in a particular kind of glass. The vessel’s construction has a direct impact on such factors as the drink’s aroma, taste and longevity. For example, red wine profits from being served in a Red Wine Glass, with its large, round bowl which makes it easier to aerate the wine by swirling, while the White Wine Glass utilizes a smaller mouth resulting in less surface area which keeps the typically lighter, more delicate accents of white wine from suffering from too rapid oxidation.

But don’t even think of drinking champagne or other sparkling wines from a regular wine glass. The broad surface area will rob the bubbles from the bubbly, and where’s the fun in that? Instead, serve effervescent drinks like champagne in a Champagne Flute to keep the party going longer.

The classic Cocktail Glass, sometimes called a Coupe Glass, is great for a variety of mixed drinks, because the wide mouth allows the drinker’s nose to get really close to the interesting variety of aromas inherent in this fascinating concoctions.

The Lowball Glass, sometimes called a Rocks Glass or Old Fashioned Glass, is a short tumbler with a heavy base, making it perfect for muddled drinks, such as an Old Fashioned. The short stature fits in your hand and allows the drink to warm slowly, creating subtle shifts in the flavor. The Lowball’s taller cousin, the Highball Glass, is a better choice for drinks with a high proportion of mixers served over ice, such as a Moscow Mule, Gin & Tonic or Jack & Coke.

If you want to savor a fine Kentucky bourbon, or single malt Scotch whiskey, do yourself a favor and pour it into a Glencairn Glass. This specialty stemware was created specifically with a wide bowl and tapered mouth which shows off the liquor’s color, funnels its aromas, and allows for comfortable drinking.

If your taste runs to an evening brandy, the only truly acceptable choice is a snifter. This glass’s large bowl was designed to be held in the hand, allowing the drink to be warmed and swirled to encourage the release of brandy’s trademark aromas, and it boasts a shorter mouth which traps those aromas and provides a more prominent smell as the brandy is sipped.