Selecting The Right Type of Glass For Your Drink

When you are young and just starting out on your drinking journey you don’t tend to think about what kind of cup or glass you put a drink in. If I can be honest, I mixed most of my drinks in those plastic super sized drinks from Taco Bell or McDonald’s. It wasn’t eloquent or sophisticated but at the time I didn’t care, I wasn’t concerned about the aroma, or the hints of flavor. I was playing drinking games and listening to music too loud. I would like to think I am a little older and wiser and maybe you are finding yourself in the same situation. I tend to want to enjoy my drinks for what they are now, instead of what they can do. So, now that I’m a grown up it’s time to take a look at what kind of glass fits the drink I am having and why it’s important to properly match them up. 

Why Should I Care What Kind of Glass I Use?

In a world where there are so many money making schemes it’s hard to believe that some products are exactly what they say they are. Have you ever wondered why there are so many different types of drinking glasses? It seems like every type of drink has its own type of glass. In some ways, that is very true. There are a lot of drinking glasses out there. So the question is this? What are they, Why are they for that drink, and why does it matter? 

We will certainly answer those questions but think of it this way. If you live on 40 acres with an unpaved, muddy driveway that is about half a mile in length, would you want to drive a Prius up and down that in the middle of a snowstorm or a torrential downpour? Probably not, you’re going to want to have a truck or SUV with 4×4. On the other hand, if you live in the suburbs and commute to the city every day, would you want a gas-guzzling, 4×4, knob tired, truck? Maybe the Prius would be better for this type of trip right? My point is that like cars, glasses all serve different purposes as well. Once you understand that, then it’s easy to see the need for different drink glasses, or drink ware as the fancy folk call them.

What Kind Of Drink ware Is There?

Here’s a couple of quick but impactful drops of knowledge that will make instantly go, “Ohhh, ok”. A wine glass has a long stem so that your hands don’t alter the temperature of your drink. “Lowball” cocktail glasses are short but have a large opening because they need room for ice. Champagne flutes are designed so that the upward shape of the glass that leads to a smaller opening traps the bubbles, keeping your drink carbonated and effervescent as long as possible. So there you go, in one paragraph I’ve shown you that 3 different glasses have three different purposes, all of which are suited for a different drink. So how many are there? Let’s find out!

Mixed Drink Glassware 

Margarita Glass – Has a long stem to keep from warming the drink as margaritas are often served frozen. Has a wide opening and has been known to be used for serving food dishes like shrimp cocktails and desserts. 

Copper Moscow Mule – Scientifically, the best drinkers know that copper cups take on the temperature of the drink very quickly, so an ice cold drink will stay that way

Martini Glass – The long stem allows you to hold the glass without changing the temperature, it also allows for garnishing the rim, with a fruit slice, sugar, or other style of garnish.

Highball or Tumbler – This is usually reserved for a mixed drink. Soda and ice are usually used in larger amounts than alcohol in these types of drinks so it allows room for the ingredients. It’s tall so the carbonation doesn’t move to the top and out of your drink right away. Check some out here on Amazon. 

Beer Drinking Glassware

Mugs – Designed for large quantities, this design also help keep your drink cool as you are grabbing the handle and not the glass itself. What good is a lot of beer if it gets warm too fast?

Pilsner Glasses – These glasses are tapered at the bottom and lead to a slightly larger opening on the top. The design allows you to see the color and carbonation of the beer while the top keeps the head of the beer intact.

Pint Glass – The most common type of beer glass, it is usually regarded as a pint glass but the actual measurement varies based on the countries typical beer serving amount. Some are tapered more than other and some have a ridge that allows easier drinking but all are slightly tapered from bottom to top to allow visual of color and carbonation as well as keeping the head, much like the pilsner but not as tall.

Here is a variety set available on Amazon.

Wine and Specialty Drinkware

Snifter – A little different from the others on this list, this glass has a short stem then enables you to hold the drink in your hand. This allows for several things, to be able to warm the drink, be able to swirl the drink, and to be able to smell the aroma as the top of the drink is usually smaller in diameter than the bottom. This is used for several types of liquor like brandy, whiskey, and scotch.

Red Wine Glass – wide bowl and a narrow rim that allows the aromas to flow. You also want the glass to be fairly tall to allow for a generous swirl.

White Wine Glass – Has a narrower bowl than a red glass, however it should still have a narrow rim. White wine glasses absolutely need a stem as many white wines are served chilled.

Sparkling Wine or Champagne – A tall narrow bowl tapered at the top, this allows for the “bubbly” to stay that way longer, also needs a stem to keep temperature.

Shot Glass – If you’re looking to expedite the alcohol in your blood, look no farther than the classic shot glass. Short or tall, the only factor here is speed, everything else is just for show. Here is a nice looking set on Amazon. 

There are a lot more glasses out there. These are only the most popular and the ones that you will want to know about so you can hold a conversation if necessary. In today’s world they are always making things better and drink ware is no exception to that rule. I own a pint glass that is typical in style but has a wider top, and laser printed line around the bottom that allows for carbonation to travel easily to the top, making the beer more aromatic and easier to drink. I’ve seen beer mugs that are double wall insulated, wine glasses too. So, I encourage you to know what the glasses are for and why they are designed the way they are so you have the basics. It’s only up from there as far as quality and knowledge. Drink all the drinks and have your DD drive you home safe! Cheers!

Here at hmmwhat2drink.com, we strive for a commitment to excellence. We enjoy our beers, spirits, and specialty drinks as much as the next, but we urge you to drink responsibly. These articles and recipes are intended for adults and as such, should be used in the proper context. So have fun, relax, but do it responsibly in your home or with a designated driver. If you have any suggestions please email us at hmmwhat2drink@gmail.com.

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