Tools: Working Glass

working glass

Glassware is an important factor in any cocktail.  It can make or break the drink you’re attempting simply for lack of space.

Consider the double old fashioned.  One of the reasons the glass style has that name is the drink the Old Fashioned which calls for a very minor amount of liquid but does ask that the bartender muddle the sugar and orange peel in the bottom of the glass.  That means you don’t need a tall glass but you do need a wide mouth and a solid base so that when you apply the muddler to the glass it doesn’t break in your hand and or miss some part of the bottom and leave the orange peel uncrushed.

To that end my current favorite drinking glass is the Luminarc Working Glass.  I picked up my first set of these while still working at Meyer and Frank many many years ago.  They were going out of stock and we had one box left.  I hid that box in the back room until the next sale day and with clearance and a coupon I picked up an 8 glass set for about 5 dollars.

They are a heavy glass with faceted body and rolled lip.  You will be tempted to stack the Old Fashioneds, resist.  They chip like the dickens and you will find that you’re down to highballs in a matter of months.  One of the nicer things about this glass is that the insides are straight, the bottoms are flat and they hold a lot of liquid.  The highball is a 21 oz which is more than enough for even a garbage pail of a cocktail like the AMF.

Additionally they sell a plastic lid which fits snugly over the top of either size.  Crate and Barrel only shows the white but I picked up one in red not too long ago.  I’ve also seen this same style at places like Kitchen Kaboodle.  What that lid does here is turn our glass into a shaker.

For those one glass cocktails that you don’t want to dig out the entire kit for, this is perfect.  The big glass means plenty of room for ice, and lots of air for the shake.  Not needing to pour means you don’t need a strainer or to crack the seal on your boston shaker.  My boston shaker is 24 oz compared to the glass’ 21.  Not a comparable loss here.

I’ve made a number of things in this and not been disappointed.   It doesn’t travel well.  It’s shorter than my boston all told but it’s wider at the base and the heavy glass isn’t indestructible.  A good all metal boston will be lighter and more durable for something like camping.   Additionally this doesn’t have any flash.  It’s a nice way to get yourself a kamikaze or a Negroni at 2am without having to wash anything but if you want to show off at a party or a convention it’s not the way to do that.

Now that I have a couple of sources for this type of glass I keep myself well in stock of them.  They hold up to drops and bumps a bit better than the standard pint glasses and they’re not much more expensive which means I wind up replacing them less often and saving money.