The Ultimate Guide to Cocktail Glassware for the Royal Home Bar
A rose by any other name may smell just as sweet, but a cocktail in just any other glass is far from complete.
The most thoughtful thing that can be universally offered and understood is a well-mixed classic cocktail. Unlike food, the recipes are reasonably consistent no matter where we venture. When entertaining, if we disagree on the canapes, the beverage choices almost always result in consensus enjoyment.
When outfitting the home bar, I attest that proper, elegant glassware is essential for enjoying adult beverages. No matter how well a recipe is followed, a drink in an improper glass simply won’t be as magical. Magic, after all, is what we are after. The cocktail is taken in our active repose and recreation moments, most often with those we cherish. Too often, we sell ourselves short on the home front and pick up any nonporous vessel to hold our libations of leisure. This is the ultimate guide to outfitting the home bar with proper, pleasing, and practical glasses!
I have listed the gin cocktails that every host should be ready to serve and have sourced glassware options from Glassique Cadeau. These artisans have produced glassware steeped in cocktail culture, expert workmanship, and magnificent appointments. You can’t do much better from the box they arrive in to the bead of the glasses than an entire glass arsenal from Glassique Cadeau.
Drinks served “up”- shaken, stirred, and strained off the ice. This covers a wide swath of drinks perfect for entertainment and benefits most from proper glassware selection. Body heat is kept from the beverage by holding this glass by its stem.
The Crystal Art Deco Cocktail Coupe
This style of cocktail is shaken vigorously and strained off the ice. It’s citrus backbone and bracing acidity do best in a glass with a shallow bowl and wide mouth. The classic coupe was long associated with champagne, but the best drink minds teach us that it is best suited for our shaken cocktails.
This Crystal Art Deco Cocktail Coupe is a majestic marriage of fashion and function. The style of glass from which this evolved was introduced at The Paris Expedition in 1925 (where the term Art Deco originated), so you can’t get much more authentic. The style of glass lends it to shaken cocktails, especially with a froth or a foam that rises just above the meniscus. If you enjoy your sours with egg white (and I hope you will), this vessel will be nothing short of a work of art crowned with a layer of noble foam.
Nick and Nora Glass
The martini is a less voluminous (and much stronger) drink than the sour and needs less real estate. The stirring introduces less dilution and aeration to the beverage, and something smaller does well to deliver aromatics properly. The extra-large conical glass of Yore belongs in a museum at this point unless you have an 80’s theme party—a proper martini at home benefits from the Nick and Nora glass.
While the uninitiated may balk at this small but mighty vessel, Nick and Nora is as technically sound as it is pleasing to the eyes. This was popularized at the start of the Great Cocktail Revival by Dale Degroff (also known as King Cocktail) during the grand reopening of the Rainbow Room and later at the uber-legendary Bemelman’s bar in the Carlyle Hotel. They were known as “small martini” glasses in the 1920s, and their name is from an iconic movie couple from the classic film “The Thin Man.”
Mykonos Highball Glass
In the survival of the fittest highball, The G&T sits comfortably at the top of the food chain. It’s a lovely quaffing beverage that is universally loved. The Tom Collins is a summertime darling that breathes life into the Mykonos Highball glass. Its perfect symphony of gin, lemon, simple syrup, and soda is what citrus dreams are made of.
These cocktails benefit from feather-light cylindrical glassware. Space for soda and a “wash line” lets the bubbles breathe. While very simple, the perfectly served gin and tonic is a pleasure that’s hard to match, and this tapered bottom glass with clean lines shines brightly when full of clean carbonated beverages.
The Noble is Highclere Castle Gin’s signature. It’s the truest way to enjoy the gin’s body, botanicals, mouthfeel, and finish. Served simply on the rocks with a sprig of rosemary and a twist of orange, it’s a sipping experience that ends an evening beautifully. We are seeking a short lowball glass with class and flare; go with the Speakeasy Lowball with a heavy base that feels full in the hands and can handle large format ice cubes.
The Negroni, another cocktail in the gin canon and great for entertaining will shine in this ribbed speakeasy rocks glass. The tapered top is a unique style that’s eye-catching and functionally correct.
With these selections (and the many others available at Glassique Cadeau), you now have the necessary accouterments to prepare the entire canon of classic gin cocktails. The discerning drinker drinks with their eyes, and you can sate every palate with this most royal glassware lineup.