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Holiday Glassware Guide

Holiday Glassware Guide


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It's glassware galore this holiday season: find out what you need for your parties

Originally published in 2011, eveything here still holds true today, and we've even added some great deals on glassware to buy this holiday season!

Still looking for that perfect holiday gift? Consider glassware. Seriously, it's something every wine lover needs. Considering that we tend to break glasses on a regular basis, even if we started the year with a full cupboard, there is always a time to replenish our supplies.

So what kind of glasses should you buy for your wine lover? That's an interesting and somewhat complex question that I can only begin to answer. So let me tell you what kind of glasses you can buy for me!

To begin with, I generally use only two styles of glassware: Burgundy and Bordeaux, as they are roughly known. I don't see the need for specific glasses for syrah, chianti, viognier, and ripple, though you could probably find one for each. And why serve champagne in flutes? I don't even like the often-aggressive bubbles in my sparklers as much as I like the aromas, which are as easy to appreciate in a flute as they were in the bottle.

So here are some tips on what to look for and what to buy when shopping for glassware this holiday season.

Click here for glassware tips.

— Gregory Del Piaz, Snooth


Wine Guide

Though the market is loaded with wines to fit any budget, I&aposm especially impressed with the quality of many of the ones that cost less than $12. Look for reliable producers such as Columbia Crest, Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi, Beringer Founders&apos Estate, Wolf Blass, Lindemans, and Rosemount Estate. For a Southern twist, try regional favorites such as Château Élan, Biltmore Estate, Linden, Valhalla, Westbend, Becker Vineyards, and Llano Estacado.

Saving Leftover Wine
The key to preserving an opened bottle of wine is to limit its exposure to air. You can recork the wine, but the seal is not very tight. The wine will not last more than a day or two. The most economical way to preserve an opened bottle is to use a hand-pump vacuum sealer to remove excess air from the bottle. The pump is available in most kitchenware sections of department and grocery stores (for about $12) and allows you to enjoy the wine for an extra two or three days.

What&aposs the Right Glass?
A basic white wine glass has a tulip shape, while a glass for red wine has a larger balloon shape. However, for most wine drinkers, one thin, clear, all-purpose glass of either shape with a capacity of about 10 to 12 ounces will do. The one exception is the Champagne flute. Its narrow shape concentrates the wine&aposs bubbles and bouquet and helps maintain its chill. When serving wine, don&apost fill glasses more than halfway. The remaining space allows for swirling and the development of the wine&aposs bouquet.

Sparkle With the Season
All Champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is Champagne. In order for a sparkling wine to be called Champagne, it must be made with specific grapes from the Champagne region of northeast France. As a general rule, méthode champenoise is the phrase you&aposre looking for on a label of sparkling wine (the term basically means the wine is made in the style of Champagne).The most notable Italian sparklers are Prosecco (pro-SECK-oh) and spumante (the Italian word for bubbly wine). Spain&aposs easy-drinking Cava (KAH-vuh) may be one of the best values around--it can often be found for less than $10.

Wine After Supper
Bottom line: Feel free to serve whatever wine you or your guests prefer. However, there are traditional after-dinner wines such as port from Portugal and sherry from Spain. Both wines are fortified, which means they&aposve had alcohol added to stop fermentation, leaving behind residual sugar and sweetness. If you&aposre looking for a gift-giving idea (or just wanting to splurge), try the 1998 Quinta do Vesuvio vintage port or Graham&aposs Tawny Port Centennial box set, which includes a bottle each of 10-year, 20-year, 30-year, and 40-year port.

"Holiday Wine Guide" is from the November 2003 issue of Southern Living.


Giberto Arrivabene

Giberto Arrivabene grew up in Venice, surrounded by the Giambattista Tiepolo frescoes that decorated the walls of his family home, the Palazzo Papadopoli. He still lives there, on the top floors, with his family—you might be familiar with two of his daughters, Viola and Vera, and their chic slipper line, ViBi Venezia. At the bottom of the palazzo, you’ll find the Aman Venice hotel, where Arrivabene sells the line of glassware that he launched in 2014, when he took his glass connoisseurship to the next level. “They are made by a man from Murano who blows glass with a thousand-year-old technique and engraves them like it used to be done five hundred years ago,” explains Arrivabene of his process. Arrivabene sketches his designs then sends them to nearby artisans to come to life. Look to him for tumblers and carafes that seem to reverberate with elegance and modernity.


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Your Ultimate Guide to Storing Holiday Cookies

While the holiday season is filled with no shortage of delicious food traditions, the sweetest of all is undeniably the parade of cookies that is likely to flow through your dough-scented kitchen throughout the most wonderful time of the year.

As holiday cookie season rapidly approaches, it’s time to unearth the tree-shaped cookie cutters and break out the gingerbread and thumbprint recipes. But once your snickerdoodles and sugar cookies are complete, the most frustrating part of the process can be keeping your big batches fresh well into the season𠅊nd in their prime for when Santa shows up.

There’s no bigger holiday party pooper than stale or soggy cookies, so this season be sure to use these life-saving—or at least cookie-saving—storage tips to keep your biscotti and crackle cookies looking and tasting fresh, so that you’ll stay on the big guy in red’s nice list for another year.

First Things First

The first (and likely most frequently violated) rule of cookie storage is to be sure to let your batch cool completely before being tucked away in a tin or Tupperware. If you attempt to pack up your cookies while still warm, the condensation from the heat will linger in the container, making your baked goods turn soggy in no time.

If storing or sending cookies in layers, be sure to include parchment between each layer in order to prevent cookies from sticking together and being damaged in transit.

Don&rsquot Mix and Match

The cardinal rule of cookie maintenance is to avoid storing soft cookies in the same container as crispy cookies, as the higher moisture content of the one will make the other turn soggy.

When storing soft cookies, opt for airtight plastic containers that will limit the airflow and keep your cookies moister longer. Crispy cookies are best stored in a glass container, like a cookie jar, which lets a little bit of air in to keep your batch crunchy. As a rule of thumb, plastic bags shouldn’t be used to store cookies, unless they’re headed into the freezer.

Similarly, cookies with contrasting flavors shouldn’t be stored side-by-side�spite how nice all of your holiday cookies look in a gift tin together. While assorted cookie tins are a good idea in theory, the different flavors and moisture levels can change the taste and texture of the batch as a whole, and often a dominant flavor—like mint—will end up changing the flavor of every cookie in the box.

When making cookies with a filling of some sort, like jam-filled thumbprints, store the cookies sans-jam and fill at the last minute before serving, so that the moisture in the filling doesn’t turn your cookies soggy.

And if your crispy cookies have already gone soft, don’t fret. You can re-crisp them in the oven by baking for 5 minutes at 300 degrees, and letting them cool on a wire rack.

Add a Layer of Protection

To avoid your batches drying out before the festivities have even begun, one of easiest methods is to include an object which will do the heavy lifting when it comes to absorbing the dry air, keeping your cookies fresher longer.

One of the simplest and cheapest methods for air absorption is to include a slice of plain white bread in your tin or Tupperware, which will magically dry up and harden while leaving your cookies as soft as the day they came out of the oven. Or, opt to tuck an apple wedge in with your cookies, which will work similarly. When one wedge dries up, simply replace it with another for as long as necessary.

Another fuss-free method, which is particularly effective while packing cookies in layers, is to slip tortillas in between each row. When packing cookie tins as holiday gifts, tuck a tortilla between two sheets of parchment and place it between each individual layer. Like the bread slice, the tortillas will bear the brunt of the dry air in the container.

On the flip side, in order to keep cookies crisper longer, use a device that will wick the moisture out of the air, leaving your baked goods perfectly crunchy. As blogger Jenny Can Cook points out, one simple hack requires no more than baking soda, a coffee filter, and a stapler. Simply fill a coffee filter full of fresh baking soda and staple it closed at the top with two staples, leaving the sides open to allow air to circulate through easily. Place the filter in your cookie container, and let the baking soda do most of the moisture-wicking work.

Your Freezer is Your New Best Friend

If you have excess dough or cookies on your hands that you won’t be needing any time soon, freezing is a great option for both unbaked doughs and pre-baked batches.

When preserving your already-baked cookies, be sure to wrap the baked goods in freezer-proof plastic and store them in an airtight bag to prevent freezer burn and the absorption of other flavors. When you’re ready to serve your cookies—or hog them all for yourself—thaw them at room temperature for 10-15 minutes and they’ll be good to go.

If freezing unbaked cookie dough, make sure to note that different kinds of dough require different freezer treatments. Drop cookie dough should be rolled into balls and flash frozen for a couple of hours on a cookie sheet, and then bagged in an airtight container when completely hardened. Cut-out cookie dough should be shaped into disks and wrapped tightly in plastic wrap before being stored in a bag or container, and slice-and-bake dough should be rolled into a log formation and wrapped tightly in plastic wrap before entering the freezer.

When you’re ready to turn that frozen dough into cookies, no thawing is required for drop cookies. Simply bake your batch a couple of minutes longer than the recipe originally called for, and they’ll turn out perfect.

The exceptions to the freezer rule are more delicate, liquidy batters like Florentines, lace, and pizzelles, which don’t freeze well in dough or cookie form, and are best served fresh. Also note that bar cookies, blondies, and brownies should always be baked before being stored. If you want to freeze them, keep them in the container they were baked in, wrapped tight in freezer-safe plastic and covered in freezer-safe foil.

Follow these easy but effective cookie-saving tips and you’ll be feeling the sweet seasonal spirit even after the holidays have passed.


Cocktail

Buy Martini Glasses
Commonly, and incorrectly (if we are to be technical about it) referred to as a Martini glass after the famous cocktail that is commonly served in it.

The cocktail glass, with its thin stem and delicate bowl, is a great mix of form and function. The stem gives us the ability to hold the glass without transferring our body heat and inadvertently warming the chilled drink inside the bowl shape allows us to take in the aromatic scents of the spirit, liqueurs and garnishes as we raise it to our mouth.

Early cocktails glasses held around 100ml (3 or 4oz) as drinks served in cocktail glasses are usually served without ice – this small size allowed you to finish your drink while it was still cold. Modern cocktail glasses tend to be larger at around 200ml and most of our recipes reflect this larger sizing – you can use smaller glasses if you have them, but if you follow modern recipes then expect some leftovers.

Example: Dry Martini, Manhattan, Cosmopolitan


Bartender Basics: The Right Glassware for Every Drink

Talk of “appropriate” glassware for different types of alcoholic beverages tends to get lively quickly. While there are some practical reasons for different cocktail glasses, others are often simply tied to tradition. All bring out strong opinions among bartenders and customers alike.

Here’s your quick guide to styles of glassware you’ll find in bars, what they should be used for, and a few completely objective assessments of their utility.

A note: This guide is meant to encompass common glassware in bars, rather than the expansive world of wine stemware, which has its own extensive sub-categories. Read more on those here.

Coupe/Coupette: Despite popular legend, these glasses were not modeled off the shape of Marie Antoinette’s left breast (their use predates the late queen). Also occasionally referred to as “Champagne saucers,” these were commonly used to drink sparkling wine in the past, before people noticed the extra exposure to air made their bubbly go flat faster.

Coupes have resurged in cocktail bars in recent years as an alternative to V-shaped martini glasses—and are marginally less likely to slosh contents into laps. Used for drinks served up, or chilled and without ice, that don’t have a sparkling component. Still quite annoying when the bartender fills completely to the brim, necessitating the lean-forward-and-sip-off-the-bar-without-touching technique.

Double rocks: Despite the name, these glasses tend to be about two ounces larger than standard rocks glasses, not twice the size. “Double” is meant to imply room to accommodate a double pour, not double the entire volume of the glass.

Flute: Narrow, stemmed and tapered, this glass reduces surface area to keep drinks with carbonation bubbling longer. Used for sparkling wine, obviously, but also any cocktail with a sparkling element that would be served up, or without ice.

Glencairn: Developed by Glencairn Crystal Studio, this glass is intended for whiskey. Its tapered mouth is said to help with the perception of aroma and alcohol, while the rounded bowl allows for evaluation of a spirit’s color. It is growing in popularity as an option for neat pours of all types.

Highball and Collins glasses / Getty

Highball/Collins: We’re combining these, though there are technical differences. Both are narrow, tall, straight-sided glasses. Collins glasses are meant to be slightly taller and narrower, but in practice, bars tend to use these interchangeably, as do many glassware manufacturers and retailers.

Ranging from about 8–12 ounces, these are traditionally used for drinks that include both ice and a carbonated element, like sparkling wine or soda. Their narrowness, in comparison to rocks glasses, is meant to retain bubbles by reducing the surface area of the drink, while being wide enough (in comparison to a flute) to allow for ice.

Lowball: See “rocks.”

Classic V-shaped martini glass / Getty

Martini: While the term is applied to several styles of glassware, here, we’re talking about the iconic, V-shaped martini glass. Introduced in 1925 at the Paris Exhibition as an Art Deco interpretation of the coupe glass, it was originally intended for Champagne. Objectively one of the worst glasses ever created, its shape ensures any wrong move will result in a person wearing their drink, and the high center of gravity makes it very easy to knock over when gesturing passionately while telling an interesting bar story. And yet, it is infuriatingly still in use.

Mule Cup/Julep Cup/Copper Mug: Though they vary in style and design, the main component of these cups generally destined for mint juleps and mules is their material, which is metal rather than glass. Many people mistakenly believe this keeps their drink cold longer, but ironically, the opposite is true. Copper conducts heat very well. If a drink in a copper cup feels colder to the touch, it’s actually because it’s absorbing heat from your hands at a higher rate than glass. This makes cold drinks in metal cups purely ornamental. Drink fast.

Nick & Nora: Named after fictional detective duo Nick and Nora Charles, introduced in Dashiell Hammett’s 1933 novel The Thin Man, the glass is another alternative to martini and coupe glasses for drinks served up and without a sparkling component. Significantly less likely to spill, these are many bartenders’ preferred cocktails glasses.

Old-Fashioned: See “rocks.”

Rocks: These short, squat glasses with wide mouths allow for either standard one-ounce ice cubes, or larger, singular ice cubes that chill a drink with slower melting and dilution. While smaller “neat” glasses do exist, the rocks tumbler is more commonly used as the standard glass for neat pours.

These glasses often have a thick, heavy bottom, which allows ingredients to be muddled safely without worrying about the glass breaking. Their low center of gravity also makes them harder to accidentally knock over when you’re a few drinks in.

Shot: A short, narrow glass usually with enough room for an ounce and a half of alcohol, and little else. For when speed is of the essence.

Snifter: Despite having a stem, these are designed to be cupped in your hand to subtly raise the temperature of brandy or whiskey, theoretically to “open it up.” It’s a dubiously effective practice. Maximilian Riedel, president/CEO of Austrian glassware manufacturer Riedel Crystal, calls it “the worst vessel, not only for Cognac, but for all other beverages.”

Texas-sized: An option for margaritas at some chain restaurants. While no strict definition exists for what constitutes a Texas-sized cocktail, it will typically have an extra one-and-a-half to two ounces of alcohol. There is no shame in ordering these.

Tumbler: Often casually used to reference rocks glasses, the term itself can apply to many different styles of glassware. It just means any glass with a flat bottom, no stem or foot, and no handle.

Wine: If you’re on this site, you probably already know what these are. Wine glasses come in a variety of shapes and sizes, the utility of which is endlessly debated by people who enjoy arguing about that sort of thing.


Welcome to Good Cocktails!

Jello Shots Recipes Collection of jello shots recipes made using fruit and for the Holidays.

Lists of Mixed Drink Recipes These are mixed drink recipes lists of holidays, special days and other occasions.

Homemade Liqueur Recipes New Recipes! --> Learn how to make homemade liqueurs. An expanding collection of liqueur recipes.

Advanced Drink Search Search for mixed drink recipes. Use the advanced feature to narrow your drink search.

Bartender Guide This is your online bartender guide. Learn everything you need to know about bartending.

Random Mixed Drinks Get random mixed drink recipes with a specific criteria or just get any random drink recipe.

Drinking Guide Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), Effects of Alcohol, Bar Etiquette, Tipping Gratuity Guidelines and more.

My Favorite Drinks Create a list of your favorite mixed drink recipes and view them in the Drinks Browser.

Bar Store Bar supplies, books, videos, clothing and an extensive line of flair products.

Glossary of Ingredients A comprehensive A-Z glossary of alcoholic and non-alcoholic mixed drink ingredients with their definition.


Know Where to Shop

So where do you find these precious gems? Most bartenders point to antique shops as the best place to look for vintage glassware. Etsy is another option, but Momose also recommends Replacements Ltd., an online retailer with a sprawling selection of both new and discontinued glasses. “This is a great source to learn about vintage crystal brands and patterns, as well as a place to purchase certain pieces.”

Maximilian Riedel, the president of the historic Riedel crystal house, spends a fair portion of his time hunting the world for pieces for “Glass Cabinet—Retrospective and Think Tank,” the permanent exhibition in the Riedel glass factory in Kufstein, Austria, or to inspire new collections. He always recommends looking for proof of authenticity. “The market is flooded with made-to-look vintage pieces, so knowing the origin of vintage glassware is important. The trademark is a stamp of quality, usually etched on the bottom of the piece.” Stamps will allude to the origin and date range of production of each piece.

“One of our more memorable finds was at the home of a session musician for Disney who hosted thousands of cocktail parties over the course of his life,” says The NoMad Los Angeles’ general manager, Ramzi Budayr. “We must have purchased half of his inventory.”

For Momose, her favorite pieces were found wandering through the streets of Japan. “Most of the pieces we have are not being made any longer and represent a time that is long past,” she says.

Though antique shops will unveil treasures, not all glasses you find may be fit for a bar setting. Price is a huge factor. “Since we know they might not be around very long, we try to avoid paying more than, say, $10 a glass, says Kyle Law, a bartender at the Alley Cat Lounge in Savannah, Ga. Durability must also be taken into account, as many antique glasses weren’t created with the high volume of a bar in mind. “We look for thickness, as well thin glasses don’t last long at the volume we do.

Another option is to save the special glassware for particular menu items. “We buy all our double Old Fashioned, Collins and wine glasses bulk, like most bars.” says Law. “For coupes, Martini, Flip and other stemware, we look to unique vintage. It’s for both feasibility and uniformity reasoning.”

The NoMad L.A. reserves a selection of vintage glasses reserved for the higher-ticket items, such as drinks on the Reserve cocktail list or for pricier liquor pours.


Glassware for Spirits and Cocktails

Similar to the shot glass but with added elegance, the cordial glass holds 2 to 3 ounces. Designed for sipping, the graceful stem or deep base provides a way to hold the drink without warming the liquid.

Coupe Glass

For a vintage look with a splash of history, add coupe glasses to your glassware collection. Popular during Prohibition, the graceful stem and wide bowl creates a stunning visual presentation. Historically, this 4 to 7 ounces stemmed glass was used for sparkling wine however, the wide surface area causes the bubbles to dissipate too quickly. Coupe glasses are now used to show off the clarity of cocktails that have been strained.

Flute Glass

Sparkling drinks are presented elegantly, as bubbles rise dramatically through this tall, narrow glass. Often used in celebrations, champagne flutes are more fragile than many of their glassware counterparts, so be sure to toast lightly with this one!

Use for: Champagne cocktails like the D&rsquoArtagnan, Kir Royal and Mimosa

Highball / Collins Glass

Highball and Collins glasses are perfect for cocktails served with ice that include a nonalcoholic mixer like juice or soda. Tall and slender chimney-style glasses, the Collins glass holds 8 to 12 ounces, and highball glass holds 10 to 12 ounces.

Margarita Glass

This stemmed glass features a curved bowl to house its namesake drink. While enjoyed year-round, chilled fruity beverages like the Margarita are most popular in warmer weather. Margarita variations include several flavors, frozen or on the rocks, with a salted rim or no salt.

Martini Glass

Nothing whispers class like a V-shaped stemmed martini glass. Holding only 3 to 6 ounces, these sophisticated vessels are perfect for sipping shaken cocktails served without ice. The wide surface lifts a cocktail&rsquos aromas up to the nose before each sip, allowing for full enjoyment of the taste. Pro tip: Hold the glass by the stem to avoid warming the drink!

Use for: Martini and variations like the Cosmo and Gimlet

Not just for hot beverages, mugs can be used for cold cocktails like the Moscow Mule. Copper mugs with a thin handle are traditional for Mules. Glass mugs make the best presentation for hot cocktails with layered ingredients. Ceramic mugs are great for toddies and allow beverages to stay warm longer.

Rocks / Old Fashioned Glass

Old Fashioned glasses have a wide brim and solid base so that ingredients can be muddled before the main spirits are added. Serve cocktails straight up, over ice or with a splash of water in this tumbler-style glass. Holding 6 to 10 ounces of liquid, this glass can be used to serve a single or double shot of your favorite spirit, especially bourbon or scotch.

Shot Glass

Holding only 1.5 to 2 ounces, shot glasses guarantee that a shot is merely a shot! Don&rsquot fill it all the way to the top or you&rsquoll cause a spill. Beginning in the mid 20th century, some mixed cocktails were served in shot glasses, making the most out of the layering of ingredients.

Use for: A shot of straight spirits or shooters such as the B-52 or Kamikaze.

Snifter

Holding about 16 ounces, only 2 ounces of spirits are typically poured into these glasses. Gently swirl the liquid while cupping the generous bowl in your hand to warm the beverage and tease out its aromas and flavors. The snifter&rsquos tapered, narrow mouth traps aromas to concentrate them at each sip.

Use for: Brown spirits like brandy, bourbon and cognac

Wine Glass

Wine glasses can be split into three categories: red wine, white wine (also known as tulip glasses) and flute (listed separately above). White wine glasses&rsquo shape helps keeps chilled beverages cold longer. Red wine is typically served in larger glasses so that the larger surface area allows aromas to circulate.

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