Thursday, March 20

MIXOLOGY: Glassware and Barware

In our last Cocktail Club post, we covered the basics of stocking your home bar.  We talked about the essential liquors every bar needs and shared tips on how not to get overwhelmed or go overboard when you're first starting out.  This week we'll be covering the basics in barware and glassware. 
Keep in mind your bar doesn't need fancy equipment or endless variations of drinking glasses. Just a few pretty glasses and these essential items and you'll be ready to mix even the most elaborate cocktails!

We recommend picking up at least 4 of the following. Start by collecting glasses that work best for the drink you most often imbibe and then slowly grow your collection from there. And don't worry about getting all matchy matchy. We tend to pick up a glass or two when they catch our eye at thrift stores or estate sales. Not only do we love the look of an eclectic collection of glassware but you'll save some serious cash and its far less devastating when a single glass gets broken. So here they are. The essentials in glassware:

These tall and slender glasses are super versatile and generally fall in the 10 or 12 ounce range. Highballs are perfect for drinks that require a straw or are stirred, not shaken, like Screwdrivers or Vodka Tonics.

Cocktail glasses have a flared bowl and range from 6 to 12 ounces. Look for smaller sized bowls if you typically serve "straight up" cocktails, like the classic martini.  If mixed cocktails, like a Cosmo or Appletini, are more your thing, opt for a larger bowl.  Pro tip: a good cocktail glass will have a solid stem to hold on to so your hand doesn't warm your drink!

Old Fashioned:
These short squat glasses generally have a thick bottom and  hold anywhere from 6 to 10 ounces. They're perfect for any drink served neat or "on the rocks." The classic drink for this glass is, of course, the Old-Fashioned.

Look for glasses made from a clear material, like glass or crystal. You'll want ones that are not terribly fragile. Red wine glasses tend to have a more swelling profile, with a little extra room in the bowl for aromas to collect. A tulip-shaped stemmed glass is the classic profile for white wine. Not huge on wine? Look for an inexpensive all-purpose shape to cover all your bases (like this glass).

Champagne flutes, beer mugs or steins, pint glasses.

The following few items are musts for mixing cocktails and drinks like a pro. Keep an eye out at wholesale liquor stores and vintage and speciality shops for inexpensive but well crafted pieces. (Psst...Etsy is a goldmine for swanky looking home bar essentials!)

At least one jigger
Cocktail Shaker (or make like a real bartender and use a Boston shaker as a opposed to the three piece kind with the spout in the top)
Hand juicer
Stirring spoon
Ice Bag and mallet (this beautiful handmade bag is perfect for crushing ice)

There you have it. Your home bar set up is now complete. So why are you still sitting here?  Go make yourself a drink!

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