Glasses and Their Effect on a Drink

Whether at a public bar or private party, the average drinker may not see the need for the abundance of styles and sizes of drinking glasses; however, a connoisseur appreciates the use of specific stemware or glassware that exposes the aromas and flavours to enhance the tasting experience.
Presentation is everything when preparing a cocktail. What would a Margarita be without the salted rim? The wide rimmed cocktail glass is perfect for adding salt for a Margarita or sugar for a Lemon Drop Martini. The larger highball cocktail glass is perfect for providing the space needed for mixing cocktails that require a larger proportion of mixer to alcohol, such as a Bloody Mary. The highball is also appropriate for drinks requiring ice or layers of ingredients.

Serving champagne in just any glass would result in the bubbles dissipating, resulting in a flat taste. The long and narrow body of the champagne flute captures the bubbles, maintaining the fizzy characteristics of the sparkling white wine.

A snifter is made with a short stem so that the glass lies in the palm of the hand. This warms the liqueur which enhances the aroma. The snifter is perfect for those desiring a warm fragrant after-dinner brandy or cognac.

There are two basic wine glass styles. White wine is typically served in the more narrow wine glass. It is shaped this way so that the white wine hits the tongue in specific areas to enhance the taste. Red wine should be served in a wine glass with a wide bowl so that the liquid can be swirled around to aerate. The more modern stemless wine glasses should be designated for red wine instead of white. Without the stem, the hand warms the bowl which in turn warms the wine.

While the names of the various stemware and glassware imply their uses, the shapes and sizes serve a purpose in providing a heightened enjoyment for the senses. Mixed drinks and cold beverages are usually served in a larger glass while the stronger liqueurs are served in smaller glasses with shorter stems so that the hand warms the liquid. Properly coupling the right drink with the right glass will reflect a sophisticated party atmosphere for your next gathering.


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Bartender's top tip

Make a show of it! Part of the fun of cocktails is the preparation. So prepare cocktails in front of guests and friends to share and enjoy the whole experience.

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