If you consider yourself a connoisseur of alcohol and you are starting build your own home bar you will find out how important the proper glassware is very quickly. It is not just a pretentious part in act of consuming al cohol but it can change the flavors and smells that come from a properly made drink. From the martini glass, to the copper mug, and yes to the Vaportini, they all have their purpose.
We will start with the basics and the rocks glass. It is also called the old fashioned glass, or the lowball. This glass was first made for the old fashioned has a wide base and was made for the specific purpose of being able to muddle in the bottom of the glass. It typically holds 6-10 ounces of liquid and has a wide brim.
The copper mug has been extremely popular lately. I know, I know, it isn’t glassware but were going to ignore that part of it. The copper mug can be used for a variety of drinks, but it is most commonly used for the Moscow mule. It is almost mandatory at this point. The copper works like an insulator that keeps liquids and ice at constant temperature much longer than glass. Most drinks using this mug are made with crushed ice or very tiny cubes. Because of the surface area is larger this ice will melt faster than with larger cubes, and the copper mug prevents, while changing the drinks flavor profile by adding a slight nuance because of the metal.
The brandy snifter and the Vaportini are very similar. The brandy snifter has a large surface area of the contained liquid helps evaporate it, the narrow top traps the aroma inside the glass, while the rounded bottom allows the glass to be cupped in the hand, thus warming the liquor. Most snifters will hold between 6-8 ounces but are almost always filled to only a small part of their capacity. The Vaportini works in a similar fashion by trapping the aroma, but we are warming it more and concentrating that essence into vapor. You use these products to truly bring the flavor out of your favorite spirits.
The cocktail glass, which is very similar to a martini glass is essential for quite a few different concoctions. This as the name suggests is to make cocktails, by which I mean any drink that is served chilled, and contain an aromatic element. If James Bond require a piece of glassware you know it must be essential.
There are a variety of wine glasses and they all have a specific purpose. They all very to let certain amounts of air into the glass, because once a wine is out of its bottle the flavor will change depending on how much air gets to surface of the wine. There are some consistencies between all of the glasses, such as each of these glasses you will need to hold by the stem so the head from your hands does not transfer to the wine. It does not matter if you are drinking chilled or room temperature wine, you do not want the wine to warm because of your own body temperature. The main glasses used today are red wine glasses, white wine glasses, sherry glasses, and champagne flutes.
Here are some links to great glassware sites.