Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Happy Hour: glassware

This inviting tableau comes to us from the 1946 edition of the Cocktail and Wine Digest: Encyclopedia & Guide for Home & Bar. It drives home this inescapable point: if you want to have as nice an experience as these happy couples are having you better be having your drinks in the appropriate glasses!

Well, never wanting to ruin a perfectly good evening, how can we know what the appropriate glassware is for a given drink? Let's start out with this quiz, taken from the 1974 edition of The Booze Book published by Playboy Press:

Well, it's a hell of a thing to spring a quiz like that at you without any studying at all. Let's have a little review while we grade your tests. This is a spread from a 1953 recipe booklet published by DuBouchett:

As you can see, the names of the given glasses are given at the bottom, coordinating with the little numbers next to the glasses. Notice that they have no fewer than 4 separate "cocktail" glasses, as well as glasses for a sour and a flip (these being drinks that we now think of as cocktails, although they have a unique origin separate from cocktails -- but they're seldom ordered anymore, especially flips; perhaps we'll feature the flip some future Friday). Why 4 separate "cocktail" glasses? Maybe to fill out the picture? They did things differently in the 50s. Here's a more "down to basics" list of glasses from a 1980s-era booklet:

Reading the note at the end, it's clear that they're even relaxing and being a little less fussy on the precise glassware. But, if you want fussiness and precision, study this detailed explanation from the circa 1970 edition of the Playboy's Host & Bar Book:

And, maybe on the lighter side, for laughs, here are some glassware suggestions from the ever reliable 1974 edition of You Are What You Drink:

So, even if you are drinking out of shaving mugs and flower pots, at least now you have the fundamentals of glassware at your finger tips. Eager to see how you did on the quiz? (or, ready to take it again now that you've had your lesson?) Answers below! Cheers!

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