The essential bar tools and glassware
Legend has it the coupe was originally created as a champagne glass molded from Marie Antoinette's left breast. Ironically, this design is not ideal for champagne, since its shape causes most of the fizz to evaporate before ever reaching the mouth. The coupe’s rounded design is, however, perfect for cocktails, even if you have had a few.
Popular drinks: Manhattan, Sidecar, Daiquiri
The martini glass is perhaps the most iconic bar symbol around. They are identified by the aesthetic long stem and inverted cone bowl. The design is classy, but first and foremost practical. The stem lifts the bowl of the glass up and away from your hands, which would otherwise warm the drink. So make sure to reach for the stem of the glass whenever enjoying a shaken or stirred iceless cocktail.
Popular drinks: Martini, Cosmopolitan, Kamikaze
The so-called chimney-style glass goes by a few different names: the Collins, the Delmonico, or the Highball. They differ slightly in shape and capacity, but all retain the same basic chimney form. The name is derived from an 1874 hoax, where jokers would send unsuspecting friends to a bar to confront “Tom Collins,” who supposedly was speaking harshly about them, but instead received a sour cocktail from the bartender. Collins glasses are ideal for cold and refreshing cocktails over lots of ice, often served with a straw.
Popular drinks: Tom Collins, Gin Fizz, Gimlet
The rocks, or old fashioned glass, is a short tumbler. Aptly named, drinks are enjoyed over ice (rocks), like the old fashioned cocktail. The rocks glass is used for drinks built in the glass. Meaning no shakers or mixing glasses are used, you mix the cocktail in the same glass from which you drink it.
Popular drinks: Old Fashioned, Negroni, Mint Julep
Mixing glasses are used to mix ingredients and or quickly chill cocktails. You can use a bar spoon or the other half of a Boston shaker (see tools) with the mixing glass. These glasses are durable and functional, and essential to many recipes.
Popular drinks: Margarita, Brooklyn, Whiskey Sour.
The Boston shaker is the other half to a mixing glass. When used in conjunction with the glassware, the cooling ice inside creates a vacuum seal to allow for spill-free mixing. Shaking the two pieces back and forth, not in a circular motion, mixes and cools the ingredients within. Where did it get the name? Origins are sadly unknown.
A jigger is the primary tool for measuring liquids. The larger end is 1½ oz. to the rim, which is equivalent to one shot, also known as a jigger. The smaller end measures ¾ oz. to the rim. What if you need another increment? Mixing drinks is both an art and science, and practice makes perfect since you will be eyeing all other amounts.
Muddlers are not mini baseball bats, but gentle tools used to release the essential oils in fruit, herbs, or spices. For proper form, press down and twist about a half turn each time, and, depending on the item being muddled (fruit generally takes more turns than herbs and spices), four to six turns will usually get the job done.
After a cocktail is shaken or stirred in a shaker or mixing glass, you will need to strain the liquid. A Hawthorne strainer consists of a flat disc affixed to a coiled spring. The spring traps ice and other solid ingredients, such as muddled fruit or herbs. It is a common misconception that the Hawthorn strainer is named after an individual, brand, or company. In actuality, the origin dates back to use at a bar in the 19th century called ‘The Hawthorne.”
The long handled bar spoon enables drinks to be mixed while maintaining clarity and texture. The spoon should reach the bottom and be moved around the perimeter of the glass, spinning the ice in a single unit to introduce the minimal amount of air. Mixing the cocktail with the spoon will add the proper amount of dilution from the ice. It is not ideal for eating soup.