While wine and beer have their times and places, there are certain occasions that call for a classic cocktail. Some classic cocktails appear deceptively simple, but purists and aficionados look for the details that signify the cocktail is the real deal.
It should come as no surprise that top-shelf liquors make for a quality cocktail. However, details like the garnish and the glassware the drinks are served in can really set them apart.
The martini glass is probably one of the most recognizable specialty cocktail glasses. Before the martini glass came to be, there was a similar-looking glass called a cocktail glass. Many people today still confuse the two, but they do have a slightly different design. With the appearance of martini glasses in popular culture, it seems like their main function is to make the drink appear classy.
However, they serve several functions that include keeping the drink frosty and exposing the gin to air. Over the years, there have been infinite variations of martinis to satisfy any palette, and the history of the first martini is a bit murky.
There is still some debate as to whether a vodka martini is considered a “real” martini. A good deal of people still insist a classic martini is simply gin, vermouth, and a garnish of olive or lemon.
Another well-known cocktail glass is the hurricane glass. It got its name from its resemblance to a hurricane lantern. Not surprisingly, the most popular drink served in it is the hurricane. This cocktail is a mix of light rum, dark rum, passion fruit juice, lime juice, orange juice, simple syrup, grenadine, and topped with a maraschino cherry.
It is usually garnished with an orange slice. The drink also has debatable origins, but the most well-known version is definitely from New Orleans’ famous Pat O’ Briens. This glass is often used for blended and frozen cocktails with a tropical theme where rum is the liquor of choice.
Anyone who has been to a chain restaurant that serves margaritas knows they are not always served in the unique margarita glass. However, there are advantages to serving a margarita in a welled margarita glass.
In addition to holding more drink, and having more of a rim for salt or sugar, the glass is designed to be held easily. With the variety of margarita flavors and textures, it could be hard to forget the classic recipe. The simple combination of tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, ice, and salt is still as refreshing as ever.
The Moscow Mule is a cocktail that started making a comeback in recent years. While this drink has common cocktail ingredients like lime and vodka, the ginger beer in it really provides a nice zing. The Moscow Mule mug is part of the appeal of the drink, too. There are legends surrounding the drink and the reason the copper mug was used. These days, the mugs may not be real copper, but they at least have a shiny copper appearance.
One final classic cocktail with a signature cup is the mint julep. The pewter mint julep cup is intended to be held from the top or the bottom so the cup itself can stay frosty. This cocktail is made of bourbon, sugar, water, and shaved ice. It became the official drink of the Kentucky Derby in 1938 and is still as popular as ever in the Bluegrass state.
There are some who would say as long as a cocktail has the right ingredients, what does the glass the matter? It’s true you can enjoy a drink out of any glass, but these unique cocktail glasses are designed to enhance the quality of the drink.
It doesn’t hurt that the design of the cups helps create a certain atmosphere for the drinker. The elegant mint julep cup of the Kentucky Derby, the tropical hurricane glass – these are cocktail glasses that help create memories.