The popularity of gin is nothing new. It’s been gaining loyal followers for 300 years already, and there aren’t signs of its retirement. Moreover, the ultimate gin and tonic cocktail has become a trending highball cocktail in the last couple of years. Known for its simplicity and freshness, gin and tonic have some serious fans out there.
If you’re one of the G&T massive fans, you may be curious about the variety of glasses the baristas serve it in. You might ask yourself what glass should gin be served in. Does glassware make any difference? And how can choosing the best glass take your drinking experience to another level?
Does a Glass Make a Difference for Gin and Tonic?
While there are no rules for gin glasses, each occasion indeed calls for a different glass. The situation is the same as with beer and wine glasses: although every liquor enthusiast has its preferences, there are special glasses that enhance the drinking experience. So, the answer is yes, the choice of glass makes a difference. It defines how you drink it, as the glass opening impacts how you smell the ingredients and botanicals. The size of the glass is also important: a glass with a bigger volume offers more space for ice and botanicals.
What is the correct glass for gin and tonic? The answer to this question is that there isn’t a single one. Several types of gin and tonic glasses can make a world of difference for gin enthusiasts. Here are the most common gin glasses and their best uses.
Best Gin and Tonic Glasses
Spain holds the largest group of gin drinkers in Europe. I know, I was also surprised to read it beats the UK! Having a year-old gin drinking tradition, the Spanish know how to drink their gin in the best way possible. It’s no surprise they invented the best glass for gin and tonic, Copa de Balon. Also known as gin balloon glass, the Copa glass looks like its name suggests: a wide glass in a balloon shape with a slightly smaller opening and thin stem. It resembles the wine glass, only with a broader body. What is it about this glass that makes it so gin special?
Gin contains many delicious natural botanicals. The wide brim of the Copa glass lifts the drink to your nose, which allows you to collect the vibrant scents of the botanicals as you sip. Gin lovers know how important it is to have an opportunity to appreciate the wide range of flavours in their gin drink, including the full aroma. This shape offers a generous volume and a place for lots and lots of ice. This means your drink will stay cooler for longer, and it’ll suffer from less dilution. The long stem provides a place to hold your glass so you’re not warming up your drink. And, there is plenty of space for creating marvellous garnishes for a first-class visual effect as a first-class gin cocktail deserves.
Gin Tonic is a highball cocktail, making the highball glass a natural choice, truly great for a classic gin and tonic drink. The tall and slim shape of the highball glasses offers enough volume for lots of ice and puristic garnishing and botanicals. It’s versatile enough to expand your cocktail horizons, allowing you to add different mixers, fruits and spirit types to achieve the cocktail to your heart’s taste.
The Tom Collins glass is a variety of highball glass, offering a similar volume in different dimensions. It’s a little taller and less narrow, making sipping from it incredibly attractive. It’s believed that the vertical sides prolong the bubbles in carbonated mixers, keeping the integrity of the cocktail for a longer time.
Old Fashioned Rocks Glass
This lowball glass is another good option for a modest G&T. It usually holds 350-400 ml in size. The low volume combined with the wide opening creates a completely different drinking experience. It’s best, however, for strong and short neat drinks. They also work well for cocktails that require muddling, as the wide opening and thick base are ideal for mixing ingredients such as fruits and herbs. The Rocks glass can fit plenty of ice and sometimes an oversized ice cube, which keeps your strong drink cooler for longer. This allows you to take your time while sipping a stronger drink.
The Martini glass might be the most popular cocktail glass. Similar to the Copa glass, the design of the Martini glass helps keep your drink at the right temperature, as the long stem prevents your hand from warming up the drink. Its wide brim allows for consuming the aroma before you even sip and the V-shape helps stop different elements in the drink from separating. This makes it equally suited for drinks like the classic Martini and various gin cocktails. The thin stem creates an extremely classy and elegant feel, making your Gin Martini taste better when drinking from these modern glasses.
The Coupe glasses are the rounded alternative to Martini glasses, which seem to make a comeback. They offer all the advantages of the Martini glass, except they’re sturdier. Their bowl shape provides a more vertical rim, which prevents your drink from spilling. The Coupe glasses are best for straight-up, short and strong cocktails, like manhattan, brandy alexanders. Their original purpose was champagne. However, they’re very versatile. Try the Coupe glass if you want to drink your gin drink in charming retro style.
Also known as the Champagne flute, this glass was designed for champagne. It’s best for drinking gin cocktails using sparkling wine or champagne served without ice. Their specific thin glass design with a delicate reduced rim helps keep your fizz for longer. They can be easily broken, so they don’t work well as a cocktail version.
The Final Verdict
Gin glassware, especially gin and tonic glasses, is about personal preference. There’s no right or wrong here; however, different glass shapes affect the drinking experience. It all comes down to how you prefer your gin and tonic. It’s not just a matter of style: buying the best gin glasses can be a fantastic way to make the most of your favourite drink, elevating scents, tastes and textures!