Bar Basics – Bartending Glassware

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 41,142
    Flair bartender Moe Harris breaks down what kind of glassware you will need for your home bar.

    Moe Harris

    Moe began his career behind the bar 13 years ago on the beaches of Acapulco Mexico. Since then, Not only has he bartended all over the world, but competed in and won various local, national and international competions in speed, accuracy and flair. He has been teaching his trade at the Professional Bartending School in Arlington Va since 2002. He has also taught bartending for the O.A.S (Organization of American States) in the Caribbean, as well as led alcohol based seminars for the Smithsonian institution in Washington D.C. and made various t.v appearances exhibiting flair. In 2005 Moe took his show from behind the bar, and put it on stage where he and his flair bartending friends put on their "POUR BOY" show. The show is a flair bartending exhibiton, where he and his friends perform in an all night event showcasing their bottle flipping talents. When asked what the most important part of bartending, Moe responds "Service...good service will always make up for a horrible drink, but a great drink will never make up for bad service.".

    Hi guys! My name is Moe Harris. I am here at the Professional Bartending School in Arlington, Virginia. Today, I am going to go over some basic glassware for you, explaining the distinction between them and why we might use each one for a specific drink and then show you how you can actually interchange a couple of them if you dont have all of these things available to you.

    We are going to start off with a basic shot glass. This is basically for a straight shot of liquor. Somebody would ask for a shot of Jack Daniels, or shot of Vodka, a shot of anything really. Its just essentially going to go in this little glass. It does typically measure one ounce. So, in addition to being useful as a glass, you could also use it as a little measuring cup for your alcohol.

    This is called an old-fashioned glass. Its designed to be thicker and heavier. Its got a nice durable base and thick walls. This is designed for things to be muddled in. Muddling, you guys are going to see, is a method of mixing, or actually smashing something into this glass. Its designed to be durable, so that it doesnt shatter when you smash things into it. Its also nice size for shooters. A shooter is basically a mini mixed drink that you drink like a shot.

    This is a rocks glass. This is traditionally served for a drink thats basically all alcohol, something like a Black Russian, Vodka and Kahlua, something like a Rusty Nail, a Scotch and Drambuie and since all you have in this glass is alcohol, you dont necessarily want to fill up a bigger glass like this, Collins glass with Vodka and Kahlua. That would be a lot of a Vodka and Kalhua. So, essentially its just a nice sized glass. This is your basic Highball Glass. You could think of this glass as a this and that drink type of glass. Any time you hear something this and that, Vodka and Cranberry, Rum and Coke, Gin and Tonic, anytime you have one alcohol and some sort of juice or mixer or soda, this is the basic size glass you are going to use. So, again Rum and Coke, Gin and Tonic, Vodka and Cranberry, thats the one we are going to use.

    This is a Collins Glass, technically a frosted Collins glass. Frosted meaning its got frosted glass, makes no difference. Anyways, you could think that this is the big brother of the highball glass. You are going to go with the basic liquor and mix combination, but this traditionally has more than one alcohol. So, something like a Cape Cod which is Vodka and Cranberry - goes Vodka and Cranberry. Something like a Woo Woo has Vodka, Cranberry, but it also has a little bit of peach schnapps on top. So, because of the extra alcohol, we are going to make a little bit more room for more juice.

    Now, I have got the Margarita glass and quite honestly, I dont know what this is about guys. I have heard stories about being shaped like a sombrero for your Margarita, really all youre going to put in this thing is a Margarita and I am not sure exactly why this is shaped like this, but I do know why it is stemmed. I am actually going to take care of these two drinks at the same time. These two glasses, I should say. You have got stemmed glassware and stemmed glassware is essentially for your drinks that are going to be chilled and then served without ice; and the reason why you want to chill them and serve them without ice is because of the main ingredient in the drink. In a Margarita, the main ingredient is sour mix, which is like lemonade and nobody wants to drink warm lemonade. So, what you are going to do is chill them, and then serve it without ice. Something like a Banchi or grasshopper, the main ingredient is cream, which is like milk and nobody wants warm milk.

    So, what we are going to do, we are going to chill the drinks and then serve them in stemmed glassware -- stemmed glassware basically, so you could handle it without warming the back up with your own body temperature.

    We have the Champagne Flute. All champagne is or sparkling wine is wine thats had the bubbles left in it from the fermentation process and you do want to keep these things carbonated. This is basically for your sparkling wines and the reason why you want to keep these things as carbonated as you can for as long as you can is as the bubbles pop in the wine, it does help release the bouquet or the aroma thats specific to that process. So, having it fluted like this, actually reduces less of the surface area to the atmosphere, which is what draws up the bubbles and makes it pop. Actually whats really nice about it is because it does have a smaller and more closed mouth, as it does also allow the bouquet or the nose, if you will, to be concentrated right under your nose, that way you could enjoy this thing as much as you can. Finally, weve got this little fat thing here. This is called the brandy snifter, and this is designed for something called a distilled wine. Basically, a wine thats been made a lot stronger through a process called distillation. Basically, its separating the water from the alcohol and the wine. Basically, brandies and cognacs, things like Grand Marnier, they will go in this glass and this glass is designed to enhance the characteristics of the wine based product like a cognac. Its going to fit in your hand like that and thats too a warm the product up because it is a wine it does have a bouquet or an aroma. So, having it served at room temperature and actually even slightly warmed by our body temperature, also helps to release the bouquet and the aroma because its shallow. It really efficiently heats the product. Again, it does have a closed mouth just like the champagne flute right here. It does concentrate the bouquet under your nose. Anyways these are some basic glassware, there is definitely more glasses out there for specialty drinks, but these are some pretty glasses and I want you to know -- what I want you to know -- I want you to know that glasses can be used interchangeably. For example, if at your home, or at your bar, you dont have a margarita glass, then there is nothing wrong with serving in a martini glass or a cocktail glass. I already explained a Woo Woo should go in this glass. But many bars and many homes, you might only have these two glasses, so if you have these two glasses then a Woo Woo should be served inhere. Why dont you just go ahead and put it in here, its quite alright. Anyways with that said, now that weve got some basic glassware, let's make some basic drinks.