Welcome back to our blog series on bourbon! We began in part one by talking about the opportunities created by growth in the bourbon industry. In part two, we covered tasting techniques. In part three, we will discuss other ways of enjoying bourbon with appropriate bourbon glassware.
The rocks glass is a short, stemless glass with a simple, circular shape. They are most often found in 8 to 10 ounces. The height of the glass is proportionate with its diameter. The rocks glass is for bourbon “on the rocks” or other simple bourbon cocktails served with ice. Classic examples include the Whiskey Sour or the Old Fashioned. In fact, the term “Old Fashioned glass” is often synonymous with a rocks glass. Usually, someone says “Old Fashioned glass” to mean a rocks glass with straight sides. You can also use a rocks glass to serve bourbon neat (served alone without ice or water) or with a little water added.
The coupe glass is a stemmed cocktail glass. It features a short bowl with curved sides. The most common size is 8.5 ounces. The coupe glass is best for bourbon cocktails shaken or stirred with ice. The classic example of this is the Manhattan cocktail.
The champagne flute is becoming popular for bourbon cocktails that feature sparkling wine. One example is the Seelbach cocktail. Champagne flutes feature long stems and a narrow bowl with straight, high sides. The shape of the glass lets the bubbles rise to the top to allow the natural effervescence to come through. They are most often found in 6 to 8 ounces.
The julep cup is stainless steel with straight, high sides that flare out from the base. The base features a pedestal for added stability. Julep cups come in 8, 11, and 14 ounces. It is traditional to serve the Mint Julep cocktail in this cup. They are also great for other bourbon cocktails that call for crushed ice. The stainless steel of the cup helps to keep the cocktail colder for a longer period of time. Vendors sell almost 120,000 mint juleps every year at the Kentucky Derby.
The snifter is a short-stemmed glass with a large bowl and curved sides that narrow towards the rim. They are most often found in 9 and 11.5 ounces. The snifter has the same advantages of the Glencairn glass for larger pours of whiskey. The shape of the glass allows you to swirl and nose the whiskey. Snifters are also a popular vessel for serving brandy.
So there you have the most common glassware used for bourbon and bourbon cocktails. Indeed you may notice bourbon cocktails served in other types of glassware. This is due in part to a growing trend of substituting bourbon in other popular cocktails. This is an especially popular trend in Kentucky. For example, you could substitute bourbon for gin in Tom Collins for a Whiskey Collins. Here in Kentucky, we like bourbon in almost everything, even food! In the final part of this series, we will share recipes from local chefs featuring bourbon as a key ingredient.
Also, remember that the holidays are right around the corner! Dine Company carries a great selection of bourbon glassware and bar supplies for bourbon. We stock cocktail shakers, mixing glasses, bar spoons, jiggers, cocktail strainers and more! These make great gift ideas for bourbon lovers! Just visit our store at 3110 Preston Hwy in Louisville, KY, or shop our online store. For more information, please call 866-591-3463 to speak to a product specialist.