Which Glasses Go with Which Drinks?

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Published: 10th October 2011
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When you go to a bar or restaurant, you will find that drinks are served in a variety of glasses. These glasses come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and designs, and they are used for serving specific types of drinks. Actually, any kind of glass can serve the simple function of holding a drink. So, is there really a need for so many different types of glasses?

It is actually necessary to use a variety of glasses to serve drinks, because different kinds of drinks are served in different volumes. For instance, beer is usually consumed in large amounts, and it is only practical to serve it in bigger glasses or mugs. On the other hand, a shot of whiskey is so little that it is best served in a shot glass. If you use a shot glass to serve beer, you will find yourself going to your bar or kitchen many times to get refills. In this sense, having the right kind of glass actually makes your drinking experience more relaxing and convenient.

Glasses are also specifically created to suit different drinking occasions. Glasses with stems are the ideal option for parties and events where it is a common practice for people to hold their drinks while they are conversing with their friends and acquaintances in a standing position. These glasses are very light, and they can be easily held by their stems. Holding a glass by the stem also makes you look more elegant and refined, which is desired in a high class social gathering.

For the true connoisseurs of wine and other alcoholic beverages, it is very important to use the right glass to serve a certain drink, because it can enhance their drinking experience significantly. The shape, thickness, and design of a glass can actually affect the taste and aroma of a drink. There are good reasons why wine is mostly served in glasses with stems. By holding a wine glass by the stem and leaving the bowl untouched, you will prevent the heat from your fingers from changing the temperature of the wine. If wine is exposed to a temperature of 24° Celsius or more, it will lose its original flavor. Also, holding the stem of the glass also enables you to swirl the wine more easily, so that you can release its flavor compounds and aroma. The shape and width of the glass bowl also affects the aeration of the wine.

Now that you have understood the importance of using the right glasses, you should get to know the different types of glasses that are commonly used for serving alcoholic drinks.

Beer Glass or Mug

As its name suggests, a beer glass or mug is used for serving beer. Typically, its volume can range from 14 to 70 ounces.

Stein Glass

A stein glass is a thick and relatively heavy glass, and it has a handle on the side. It is used for beer and ales, and it has a typical volume of 10 ounces.

Brandy Sniffer

The brandy sniffer is also known as a goblet or balloon, and it is usually used for sipping high quality brandy and cognac. It has a wide bowl and a short stem, and its typical volume is 12.3 ounces. Brandy or cognac is poured to the widest level of the glass, and the aroma will rise to the narrow mouth, giving a more concentrated flavor.

Wine glass wikimedia imageWine Glass

Wine glasses come in many different forms, but they are generally thin glasses with long stems. A white wine glass has an elongated bowl that tapers inward at the rim, while a red wine glass has a more rounded bowl. The volume of a wine glass can range from 8.8 ounces to 10.6 ounces

Champagne Flute
The champagne flute is a slim and elegant glass, and it has a typical volume of seven ounces. It can be used for champagne and bubbles. The slim and tall shape of the glass ensures that the drink will not go flat too fast and makes bubbles rise slowly, providing great visual effects.

Champagne Saucer

Champagne saucers are often used in weddings, where they are stacked up to form champagne pyramids. They are actually not suitable for holding champagne and bubbles because their short and wide bowl makes bubbles dissipate and drinks go flat quickly. Typically, a champagne saucer has a volume of 10.6 ounces.

Port and Sherry Glasses

Port and sherry glasses are similar in shape to wine glasses, but they are smaller. They are usually used for serving fortified wines, and they have a typical volume of seven ounces.

Martini Glass

Also known as the martini saucer or cocktail glass, the martini glass has a conical bowl and a long stem, and it is mostly used for serving martinis. Sometimes, it is also used for margaritas and other cocktails. The typical volume of this glass is 8.8 ounces.

Hurricane Glass

The bowl of the hurricane glass is long and shaped like a bell. This glass is the preferred choice for serving tropical cocktails, but it can actually be used for just about any long drink. It can be an alternative to the highball glass. It usually has a volume of 10 ounces.

Highball Glass

The highball glass is also known as Slim Jim or Collins glass, and it is similar in appearance to a cylindrical milk glass. It is used for serving beverages such as Bloody Mary and Harvey Wallbanger. The volume of this glass can range from 12.3 ounces to 14.1 ounces.

Lowball Glass

Lowball glass is the shorter version of the highball glass, and it has a volume of 8.8 ounces to 10.6 ounces. It is typically used for drinks that have a high mixer-to-water ratio, such as cocktails with a whiskey base.

Shot glasses

Shot Glass

The shot glass is the smallest glass that you can find in a bar. It is used for drinking a wide range of alcoholic beverages in one gulp, such as whiskey, rum, shooters, and others. It has a typical volume of 0.9 ounce to 1.8 ounces.

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