Friday, February 17, 2012

The boy can't help it.

Here's the thing.

I am, in willful admission thereof, something of a cocktailian. Given that I reside in the Fringe O' Paradise, that skews to Tiki mixology, but not exclusively. In fact, I am positively ecumenical on the matter of potables, enjoying wines, beers, liqueurs, and ardent spirits, both neat and mixed.

In fact, with the sole exception of cocktails being subjected to coupe glasses -- or worse, vintage/vintage-looking coupe glasses -- I am a veritable sanctuary of liquid tolerance.

That I am a beacon of said liquid tolerance doesn't mean I am bereft of personal opinions on the matter. Oh, nononono. Not only do I have opinions, but they are the correct opinions to have. (My tolerance is manifested in not hurling vile abuse -- deservedly -- at those who disagree.)

Anyway, since it's Tiki Month as per the authority conferred upon Doug when he was declared one of the Top Twenty Cocktail People On The Internet Right Now* (if you don't believe that, just ask him) I have been paying closer attention than ever to his blog.

In following link upon link, I came up on a post by him a few years back on the matter of glassware and I wanted to expand on this theme somewhat. For two reasons, his focus is that of a specialist and mine more of a generalist, and also because I have specific opinions I wish to impart to the masses which he was far too much of a gentleman to do.

First off, I want to make general suggestions as re. the glassware that you need assuming you are the sort of person who is likewise ecumenical in one's choices, beverage-wise.

You will need:

a) A 6oz cocktail (i.e., "martini") glass
b) A "medium" or "all purpose" (6-8 oz.) wine** glass
c) A +/-12oz double old-fashioned
d) A +/-14oz highball or "cooler" or "Collins" (which are technically not the same, but that doesn't stop people from mislabeling them)
e) A +/-16oz "water" wine glass (which is ideal for water, beer -- esp. draft if you are so equipped to dispense -- and anything relatively weak and likely to get warm soonish if not for the stem.

Next, in my opinion, you should get them from an (online if needed) restaurant supply store. A good idea for which lines to get is by looking at what caterers use. Catering use is harsher than bar use, because these have to be schlepped around, set up, used at a wedding or bar mitzvah, packed up, schlepped back, washed, put away, taken down and the cycle repeats.

But you also want something stylish but not too "now" lest it look stupid in 3 years. From all the things that meet these eminently sensible criteria, I suggest

Luigi Bormioli "Strauss" for highballs, DOFs, etc. and "Michelangelo" stemware (more classic, pricier) which is what we have because I was involved in our bridal registry at every step. My wife sometimes can't shake off the tic.
or
Libbey Cosmopolitan (more stylized and CRAZY cheap)

The best deals I have found are at Wasserstrom.com, where a case of Libbey Cosmopolitan cocktail glasses run under $20/case. Stop and ponder that.

If you do a lot of Tiki cocktailery, you can get away with all of the above -- crazy garnishes compensate very easily for an otherwise plain glass -- and the 14oz (there is/was also a 20z, but hanged if I can find it) Lancaster Colony Tiki glass, conveniently also available at Wasserstrom, and also conveniently under $4/unit when you buy a case of 24. This is the very glass that has been used at Disney's Polynesian Resort since Day One, and at Disneyland's Trader Sam and available in their respective gift shops for almost 5x the price.

Mind you, when it comes to glassware for "the dining room" (vs. "the bar") I am a huge proponent of the far more delicate wares from Riedel, Spigelau, etc. who also make cocktail vessels but, as I have learned the hard way, these simply do not survive the less forgiving bar/party environment.

HTH,

-J.

* I suspect this is because he, y'know, bothers to blog regularly.

** This is for the purposes of drinking wine in a cocktail setting, not for drinking wine within the context of a meal, a whole 'nother thing.

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