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Why martini glasses?


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Is there a reason for the martini glass?  Does a martini need to "breath" or is it purely aesthetic?

I think it is mostly aesthetic, although the stem does help prevent the warming of the drink somewhat (not that the conical design of the bowl confers an advantage in this regard over any other stemmed glass designs). Certainly it doesn't have anything to do with the oxidation of the drink, or anything of that nature. It is worthy of note that cocktail-era martini glasses were significantly smaller (50% or less) than the gigantic bathtubs employed today. This size not only made it possible to enjoy multiple cocktails without getting completely shitfaced in the process, but also helped to ensure that the drink would remain cold.

Also is Martini & Rossi a decent Vermouth?  It is the most expensive brand my liquor store carries...($6)

I'd say it is okay, but nothing special. If you can get Noilly Pratt, which sells for around the same price as M&R, you should go with that. Vya makes the only vermouth I think tastes good enough to drink on its own.

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I also find that drinking a spirit-rich cocktail (e.g. a martini) can be rather overpowering on the nose if you try to drink it out of a wine glass which is designed to concentrate the bouquet (yes I tried it once in a desperate moment). Also you don't want to have to tip the glass over as far as you'd have to other glasses. The wide conical glass allows you to take small sips from the rim of the glass without having to lean it over too far and without getting your nose blasted with alcohol fumes.

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Cocktail glasses people, please! Not "martini" glasses although martinis are served in them. That's how we end up with x martini (apple, chocolate etc) to denote anything served in a cocktail glass.

I'm a philistine. I've collected old Luminarc barware from Goodwills and I like drinking my cocktails in those, I'm not sure what I'd call them. They're smallish with very thick bottoms and hold just the right volume for a modest cocktail. No stems, one set flares up from the base, one set is curved in the middle. And while I'm confessing, we drink our wine in old little juice glasses.

regards,

trillium

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thrasymachus: An eGCI class covered cocktail glassware a month and a half ago, or so.

The Stemmed:

Cocktail -- varied in ounces. Size is everything with this one. The wide surface area is to hold the mixed ingredients without separation. Hold this one by the stem to keep the cocktail and/or Martini cold, please!

That was the most I've found on the subject from various cocktail publications.

I hope that helps. Cheers!

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Cocktail glasses people, please!  Not "martini" glasses although martinis are served in them.  That's how we end up with x martini (apple, chocolate etc)  to denote anything served in a cocktail glass.

I sometimes wonder whether the cocktail glass as we know it was evolved for cocktails and used famously for martinis or the other way around. I have some old "martini" glasses that belonged to my grandfather and look more like small old-fashioned champagne saucers than they do conical cocktail glasses. I also have an antique dark amethyst cocktail mixer with matching cocktail glasses, and the glasses look more like handeless punch cups than they do cocktail glasses.

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I've noticed and wondered the same thing when hunting through flea markets/antique/collectible shows routing out some vintage cocktail shakers, glassware, stir sticks and whatnot.

Perhaps the current aesthetic design of the moment in time? I have some fantastic crystal champagne flutes designed in the 1980's that are ultra long, slender, showy and dramatic. Reminds me of those ultra conservative, navy Ralph Lauren wool gab suit wearing days working in corporate law firms, while also sporting the drastic jet black and hot pink hair jumping around to the likes of New Order/Depeche Mode club going nights. All contrast and excess. I haven't used those champagne flutes since either. :biggrin:

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Cocktail glasses people, please!  Not "martini" glasses although martinis are served in them.  That's how we end up with x martini (apple, chocolate etc)  to denote anything served in a cocktail glass.

I sometimes wonder whether the cocktail glass as we know it was evolved for cocktails and used famously for martinis or the other way around. I have some old "martini" glasses that belonged to my grandfather and look more like small old-fashioned champagne saucers than they do conical cocktail glasses. I also have an antique dark amethyst cocktail mixer with matching cocktail glasses, and the glasses look more like handeless punch cups than they do cocktail glasses.

I have a vintage art deco cocktail set with glasses that look almost like stubby cordial glasses and a set from my grandmother with glasses that are the same shape as Riedel's single malt scotch glasses -- that is, they have no stem and they're sort of tulip shaped with a flare at the top. The set of my mother's that she's promised me, however, does have glasses with today's typical shape. I believe they're from the 60's. So my guess is that the glass shape we see today became popular in the 50's.

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(edit : fixed link to 1918 saloon catalog)

The traditional cocktail glass is fairly old, I've been trying to track down information about when it first made an appearance, and when it first became common to use for cocktails, but haven't been able to nail it down yet. Somebody once told me that they were in a museum and saw a display of old medieval tableware, and one item was a glass that looked amazingly like a cocktail glass.

Here is a zoom-in from the painting "The Temptation of St. Anthony" by David Teniers II, which "appears" to show somebody holding a cocktail glass. The painting was made in 1650.

http://groups.msn.com/DrinkBoy/artwork.msn...oto&PhotoID=311

And here:

http://groups.msn.com/DrinkBoy/albertpicka...oto&PhotoID=162

is a scan of a page from a 1918 "saloon" catalog, which shows some "no-nik" glassware (they put a bulge in the glass so that when the glasses were put on a shelf the rims wouldn't touch and chip one another). Their cocktail glass is fairly similar to our traditional cocktail glass... if you cut it off at the bulge. (and here are scans of more of the pages from this catalog: http://groups.msn.com/DrinkBoy/albertpicka...mpany1918.msnw)

-Robert

www.DrinkBoy.com

PS: Hmmm... that link to the saloon catalog didn't come through right. Let me try that again:

http://groups.msn.com/DrinkBoy/albertpicka...ompany1918.msnw

Edited by DrinkBoy (log)
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DrinkBoy_ what a painting :biggrin: ! That looks like the very crystal 'tini stem in the NY Times Style section a coupla' months ago.

And while I'm confessing, we drink our wine in old little juice glasses.

Welch's jelly glasses, particularly favoring the dinosaur ones ~ evrything tastes better in a T-Rex. (That was, until the price at junk stores went through the ROOF ~ $4 now ~ the nerve!)

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...And while I'm confessing, we drink our wine in old little juice glasses....

"The" glass to drink wine out of, is the classic "Coca Cola" glass.

Think about it... the narrow base part of the glass will keep the wine from getting "too much" air while it sits, but the aroma that come up off of it will collect in the larger "bowl" at the top. Then when you drink it, and the wine falls from the narrow base into the wider bowl, it will get a quick burst of extra oxidation which will release even more flavors and complexities...

...at least that is what I convinced myself back in college, when I had a bunch of free coca cola glasses, and no wine glasses :->

-Robert

www.DrinkBoy.com

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