So. You’ve bought your high-quality gin (flavoured, check, London Dry, check), you've stocked up on plenty of ice and garnishes and you’ve got your shaker cleaned and ready to go. Your coolest and most interesting friends are on their way and you’ve even managed to put out a few nibbles. Do not, under any circumstance, fall at the final hurdle and serve your gin cocktails in any old glass.
Make some space in your cabinet Neat and Shakers, because we’ve detailed the ideal glasses you need for making your gin drinks go from zero to hero in no time.
Why Do We Need Different Types of Gin Glasses?
First of all, does it really matter out of which glass you drink your gin? Well actually, you’re damn right it does. You might think it’s all about the Copa, but we’re here to tell you to think again. There are many functional reasons for the different shapes and sizes of your gin glasses, with each of them designed to enhance the ginlicious cocktail within.
However, choosing the right glass for your gin isn’t as easy as it sounds. Depending on preference and occasion, you can use everything from the above mentioned Copa (balloon) glasses to the highball to tumblers and goblets. Depending on the type of cocktail, the “right” glass can sometimes be completely wrong.
Different cocktails are served in different glasses for a reason. A Tom Collins needs lots of ice cubes, so a tall glass is best. Gin Martinis are served shaken, not stirred (obviously) so the triangular shape of the Martini glass works best. And the Champagne bubbles in a French 75 would fizz away into the ether if they weren’t harnessed by the tall, thin sides of a flute.
We want whatever glassware on our bar to look as good as the drink inside tastes. The best glasses balance these very practical concerns with our almost equally important demand for something that looks (and feels) good when you’re holding it. If you can manage to get a glass that is the right shape plus looks like a million bucks, then you’re golden.
Martini glasses are the epitome of timeless sophistication. There is something so very iconic about this glass: Whether it’s the straight edges, the seductive silhouette, the beautiful, long stem or the legions of fans (Mr Bond, anyone?) who knows. But one thing is for sure - this glass maketh the drink. The quintessential design is not just for aesthetic purposes. That sexy stem means it is comfortable to hold it below the bowl, so the drink won’t warm up from the heat in your hand, keeping your drink nice and cold without needing any ice. The wide opening allows greater exposure to air, which helps the spirits to open up, while the steep sides are so the flavours of the cocktail, notably the vermouth and the gin for the eponymous drink, don’t separate. And the toothpick of olives looks pretty good too! Added bonus: Anything in a Martini glass is Instagrammable magic.
If you are drinking your gin and tonic in a tall glass (or, God forbid, in wine glasses) then we’re here to tell you, friends, you’re doing it wrong. As gin purists, having the right glass is a subject close to our hearts. Gin connoisseurs the world over are swapping the traditional highball glass for round balloon glasses (sometimes called the Gin Goblet) – or the “Copa de Balon” to give it its official name. The Copa (pronounced Koh-pa, as in Cabana) is said to be the perfect gin glass as it is designed to collect the aromas of the gin and infuse them throughout your drink. Even better, because the Copa is designed to be held by its stem instead of its bowl (like a wine or Martini glass), the ice won’t melt with the heat from your hand. That’s what we call a gin-win situation.
Whatever you call it - the tumbler, the lowball or even the old-fashioned glass for Whiskey drinkers, this is the go-to glass for any cocktail that required muddling. Rocks glasses are designed for those who like to sip and savour their drink slowly, as the wide, open rim allows for oxygenation of the spirit as the ice melts, while the straight sides keep all the flavour inside. Probably the most popular type of glass, so if you’re at a loss then this bad boy is the way to go.
Although often used simultaneously, a highball and a Tom Collins glass are not the same thing. OK, they sort of look a bit the same, but highballs are taller, skinner versions of tumblers, while Collins glasses are simply taller. Collins glasses tend to be bigger too, leaving plenty of room for garnishes, should your recipe require them. Highballs are used to serve up cocktails that traditionally are made with one part alcohol and three parts mixer, topped off with ice, and leave lots of room for muddling. And, as far as size is concerned, this is one case where bigger isn’t necessarily better. A bigger glass will get you hammered quicker, which is not necessarily the desired effect. So, if you’re looking to add these to your home bar, go for the 12, rather than the 16 oz.
Nick and Nora glass
This cocktail glass is named after the characters from the 1934 film “The Thin Man”, where the characters (aka Nick and Nora) enjoyed their sips from this elegant little number. Part Martini glass, part coupe, the Nick and Nora earns its bar stripes by the fact that it is more spill proof than either of its parents. The small circumference and high, rounded sides mean that you can get a chic sip without tilting your head right back. What’s more, because it’s only little (typically a Nick and Nora clocks in at around 5 oz), your drink won’t go tepid.
If you feel you have all the info needed to stock up on appropriate glassware (just make sure it’s dishwasher safe, no one wants to be doing any washing up after cocktail night), then be sure to check out our great range of gins!