This week The Right Tools continues with another essential utensil you need in order to make the perfect cocktails. While a cocktail shaker enables you to produce a large selection of cocktails, there are some classics which won't turn out well if you shake them. Some, like the Martini, need to be stirred. And to do just that, you need a mixing glass.
It took me quite a while before I acquired a proper mixing glass. When I started my cocktail journey it was the early 2000s and most cocktails were shaken and requiring lots of ingredients. Whenever I needed to stir, I just used the glass part of my boston shaker. Needless to say that it wasn't always fun and never really pleasant, since stirring in such a tight glass isn't easy.
Get A Mixing Glass
A good mixing glass lets you mix all the classic cocktails with ease. Usually they are quite sturdy and will last you a long time. There are lots of different glasses out there, from classic to contemporary there is a style for everybody. I want to talk a bit about the glass I use and why I think it's great, so you have some idea what to look out for when getting yourself a mixing glass.
The most important part of a mixing glass is the base. I like a heavy base as it means effortlessly being able to prevent the glass from sliding all over the place. A thick bottom also means that you can lift the glass without touching the sides, thus not warming up your mixed cocktail while pouring. Also I recommend a flat bottom without a stem, so you can feel the temperature of your cocktail while holding the glass in place during stirring.
Another important aspect is the size of your glass. A big diameter makes it harder to strain the cocktail properly, so make sure that your cocktail strainer and mixing glass work well together. And if the diameter is too small, then stirring the cocktail will be hard. But if you get a mixing glass and not just any glass, the diameter should be just right.
The amount of liquid a mixing glass can hold isn't really important. Usually they are between 500ml and 700ml. However, since preparing more than two cocktails at the same time will mostly lead to mediocre results, a bigger glass isn't needed.
Apart from the points mentioned above there is not much else to look out for. You have to like how it looks and that's it. I went with a diamond cut, Japanese style mixing glass as they are simple yet elegant. It also goes well with my Japanese cocktail shaker.
Cheaper Than A Shaker
A quick Google search reveals: the selection of mixing glasses is quite large, but the prices seem affordable. A nice one will probably cost you around $40, I believe I got mine for 20€, which is a steal for such a nice glass. Of course a mixing glass alone won't be enough if you actually want to prepare a stirred cocktail. You need a strainer and a bar spoon too. In the end, glass, spoon and strainer will probably cost as much as a proper cocktail shaker. But since a strainer and spoon have other uses, it's money well invested.
If you are the classic cocktail type, you might even get a mixing glass before a cocktail shaker. It enables you to make such versatile cocktails as the Old Fashioned or aforementioned Martini and lots more.
Since a mixing glass without a strainer and bar spoon is rather useless, the next part in this series will focus on those two things. You can't really do anything wrong when buying those, but I want to feature them nevertheless, because even a simple bar spoon has so much different features and uses. Stay tuned via Twitter or subscribe and see how it continues.
Title image via pixabay.