Cocktail Glassware Shapes

Cocktail Glassware Shapes

Does the style of glass you pick affect how the drink tastes? Or is it more about the experience?

Home based bartending has been on the rise for years, and now is a great time to decide how to set up your home bar, and what items to stock it with - including your glassware. Who doesn't want that opportunity to say "shaken, not stirred" with serving up a variety of different drinks! 

There are a lot of glassware styles out there, and each cocktail seems to have a type of glass associated with it. This lead us to wonder if there style of glass affects the taste of the cocktail. For example, the martini glass. It's V-shaped and is set up perfectly for serving up a martnini, but we've had martini's served to us in coupe glasses as well. Did the type of glass chosen have something to do with how the drink is going to taste? Or is it a style preference?

There are visual differences between a martini V-shape glass, and a coupe wide-U-shaped glass. Both have shallower bowls and are intended for serving beverages that are pre-mixed and served without ice, like martinis, daquiries and margaritas. We will look at deeper bowled glassware for blended ice drinks in a future post. We've sourced our discussion on glassware from Cooks Illustrated magazine "The Best Martini and Coupe Glassware" article from September of 2020. And if you are not familiar with coupe glasses, they are stemmed glassware with shallow half-circle bowls, and are great for serving up daiquiries and margaritas. 

Martini and Coupe Glassware (image from www.cooksillustrated.com)
                                                                       Photo credit to www.cooksillustrated.com

In the testing conducted by writer Miye Bromberg and friends, they tried out a variety of brands and styles with bowls holding 5 to 6ounes - your traditonal cocktail mix sizing for a drink. They came up with somewhat conclusive results - the drinks tasted delicious regardless of which shape the bowl of the glass was.

The results of the taste tests were inconclusive. Some testers felt that the coupe shape concentrated more of the beverage's aroma, but overall no one could say that it really made that much of a difference.

Practical items to consider were more along the lines of the physical handling of the glasses. Coupe rims curve in slightly, with a better opportunity to keep the beverage inside the glass when being carried a distance. Martini style glasses have a higher spill potential with being carried distances as they have nothing to contain the drink.

What this means for you: you might want to consider using martini glasses when you don't have to move them far - like just sliding the prepared drink across the bar to Bond rather than carrying it out to his table. Or at least until you've got your drink tray skills fully developed and know you won't spill!

Another item of note is the stem height. Consider a stem that is at least 2.5 inches in height so that everyone can comfortably hold the glass without cupping the bowl (which warms the drink up exponentially faster).

So what this comes down to is you can pick your glassware based upon what makes you happy and will look great in photos on your Instagram! Go ahead and indulge in that trendy, colourful beauty that you've been eyeing. Fill your home bar with glasses that indulge the vibe that you want to set while entertaining this summer! Or go with a full set of clear glass Coupe or glass or crystal Martini glasses, and use them for all the shaken - or stirred - beverages that you wish without concern that you are not using the right glass for the right drink.

Any glass style you choose is the right choice!