A beautiful cocktail must have both sublime taste and appearance. The taste is of course invisible so a lot of what draws us to a specific drinks is the visual stimulus that it has on our mind. It’s no coincidence that cocktails tend towards bright colours for this reason. But it isn’t just the colour of the drink or the stunning olive or lemon peel twist garnish that sells it to us but also the glass it is presented in.
None are more iconic than the traditional Martini glass but the story runs a little deeper as the glass actually came before it’s name sake cocktail.
The Martini glass oozes style with its seductively thin stem and which flares out beautifully into the most art deco of shapes. As a piece of modern design the glass alone exists as a piece of art.
But how did this stunning glass come to be? The Martini glass was born from a piece of glassware known as the cocktail glass. Although similar in appearance the cocktail glass is smaller, rounder shape and a narrower rim.
The Cocktail glass gained it’s shape from the fact that by having such a small, thin stem no heat was exchanged from the drinkers hand to the cocktail and thus the drink could be served chilled but without needing ice to keep the temperature down. The wide open shape of the glass also helped with serving up the drink.
In the early 20th century things changed and the iconic Martini glass came into being. Gone was the slightly rounder shape of the original cocktail glass as the new bowl of the Martini glass was sharp and straight with a much wider lip. The neck was also lengthened. Art Deco was no the in thing and it’s style was seen throughout housing and glassware. By having a much larger rim opening air was able to cover more surface area of the gin and thus encouraged the activation of the beautiful aromas.
The true origin of the Martini glass is shrouded in mystery but one story is that during prohibition times in the US the wide conical shape of the glass meant that should the local bar be raided by police it was quick and easy to swill away the drink and with it any evidence of the crime!
All in all the classic Martini Glass must by far be the most Iconic of Cocktail glasses so next time you sip on a Cosmopolitan or Manhattan give the beautiful glass a moment of honour.