Kiss my glassware.

You’re gonna need some glasses to put your cocktails in. The good news is that you can easily get away with just three types – and you might already have some of them. Start with about four of each of these but increase that if you intend to hold the odd cocktail party depending on the expected number of guests. In general, thin glass or crystal glasses look and feel classy but thick glass is far more durable – the choice is yours.

Champagne coupes.

Stem Glass.

OK here’s the truth. The classic V shaped “cocktail” or “martini” glass is rubbish. It spills very easily and is, frankly a bit boring. A much better choice is a champagne coupé glass. It’s prettier and its more vertical sides keep your floor drier. While a few years ago these were painfully difficult to find new they are quite common now.

DOF glasses. Hobstar on right.

Double Old Fashioned glass.

So called because it’s bigger than an old fashioned glass. Also known as a large rocks/whisky glass. It should be straight sided and hold 350 – 400ml. One particular glass has become somewhat ubiquitous – the Libbey Hobstar. It’s practical, durable and attractive so by all means get a few but frankly I’m kind of sick of the sight of them – you can do better. There are plenty of choices in this style so just pick something you like. It should look fairly classy.

Collins style glasses.

Long glass.

AKA chimney glass, zombie glass, Collins glass. Easy peasy; you probably have some of these already but try finding something unusual – especially for your Tiki drinks. I like these bamboo shaped ones and there are plenty of other interesting variations to be found.

Brandy snifters and tulip glasses.

Optional extras.

Some large brandy snifters or more elongated tulip glasses can make a nice change. These work especially well with crushed ice drinks.

By all means try and find some antique glasses but if buying online be aware that very old glasses tend to be a bit small for most modern cocktails. Fleamarkets, charity shops and yard sales can be an excellent source of inexpensive vintage glassware.

Glass care.

I advise you not to put your most valued cocktail glasses in the dishwasher, as much to avoid breakage as anything else. You can use your dishwasher at a cocktail party but load only glasses and don’t put any detergent/tablets in. Otherwise wash glasses one at a time by hand and dry them with a soft cotton (or bamboo fibre) towel that is only used for glasses. Then you’ll have crystal clear hygienic glassware for your guests.


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