Monday, 27 December 2010

Which Glassware?

There was a time when spirits like Scotch whisky, vodka and gin were mostly served in French-style, red wine glasses. You know, the ones with stems. This type of glass was commonplace during the seventies and eighties, at least. Furthermore, there was sufficient space for ice-cubes and a wedge of lemon. I wonder if any readers know of an establishment which still serves spirits in these glasses? I salute that establishment.

The only glasses used these days, in the majority of hotels and bars, appear to be the cheap, high-ball type: tall and narrow with enough room for a half-pint of liquor. These glasses are so prosaic, egalitarian and banal. They have absolutely no character whatsoever, do they? Which begs the question: Does it really matter what type of glass a drink is served in? What kind of glass is appropriate for certain drinks?

The advantage of a glass with a stem is that there is less chance of condensation dripping directly off it, unlike a high-ball. I always consider that an establishment which serves drinks in more distinctive glasses shows a touch of individuality, character and taste. The widespread use of highball glasses, however, betrays a One-Size-Fits-All culture; cheapness and cheerfulness; and ostensibly more durable, I imagine.

To name one admirable example of individuality, the Bushmills Inn Hotel served gin-and-tonic in a glass with a stem when we visited it last year. I used to have crystal gin glasses which were almost oval in shape and had small stems, though I've since accidentally broken them. The next time I order a drink at a bar I'm minded to ask it to be served in a non-high-ball.

Vive La Différence!

First published in May, 2009.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

I totally agree..... the glass, to my mind maketh the drink... I have to say I DO have 'glass snobbery' if I go somewhere for a particular drink other than a wine... (and sometimes even wine, they serve the wrong glass i.e. red wine in a white wine glass when they have larger wine glasses...)I always search their glass store before they serve me.... then I either ask for the glass I require or if they are on their way to a glass shelf and its a high ball... i have to again direct them to the glass.... I have been to many bars that serve a lady a whisky in a mans short tumbler...... instead of a stem glass ..... I have in the past sent a drink back for it not being served in the right glass.... this is primarily because I ran a bar for many years and was particular about glasses.... as i say.... a 'glass snobbery' on my part... but a drink tastes better when in a nice glass.... why do you think the likes of baileys give bars lovely glasses to drink out of.... as you know what i mean ... with the glass pic I send you about my misdemeanour hehe
lol thanks for the rant! lol LOL J. xx