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The Art of the Glass

blog | 10/09/2019

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A good at-home bartender understands the importance of choosing the correct glassware for each pour or cocktail. If they really want to impress their guests, they’ll know why too. Glassware can change how you experience Bourbon. We spoke with Joe Daily, director of mixology and spirits education at Southern Wine and Spirits, to learn why a proper drink deserves a proper glass.

Rocks Glass

 These heavy glasses are designed for building cocktails and for drinks with large format ice cubes. They have a dense base for two reasons: to muddle or stir your ingredients directly in the glass.

Traditionally, you want it to be heavy so when you’re stirring or muddling, you can do so with confidence. Also, the thick wall of the glass displaces where the liquid hits your mouth. It should drop the liquid mid-palate, where an Old Fashioned, Sazerac, or even a neat pour, should hit for ideal taste.

The dense glass also aids in temperature retention to protect from dilution. To stock your bar, look for glasses that are heavy in hand with a thick wall. We recommend handcrafting a Whiskey Business in a rocks glass this fall.

Collins Glass

These slender glasses are designed for anything you’re going to top with soda, like our Chai Spiced Collins. This glassware specifically came out of the evolution of a 2:1:1 sour bill distillate beverage. Early soft drinks utilized a sour bill that was combined with some kind of carbonated liquid, so a taller, thinner glass was needed because of the increased volume.

When buying these glasses, look at the lip of the glass for a laser cut edge. Cheaper glassware will have a bulbous edge and will change the mouthfeel of the drink. Further, you’re less likely to see your drink drip down the sides of the glass with a laser cut edge. Another important feature about this glassware is that you can showcase the ingredients in the drink.


This special glass was originally designed for whiskey drinkers and more specifically for scotch. The bulbous shape with the short stem is designed to be held from the base. This is so the drinker doesn’t hold the bulb and therefore change the temperature of glass and the liquid. The bulbous feature also allows the alcohol to diffuse much slower, keeping the aromas “trapped” in the glass.

When sipping, the shape helps the liquid flair out in order to drop the Bourbon directly on the front of the palate. Stock these in your bar for when you want to have a tasting of our unique Bourbons.

Stemmed and Coupe Glasses

Low ABV cocktails are being revived in this kind of glassware. You can find a Manhattan being served in a coup glass to highlight the bitter notes of the drink. When using a stemmed glass, it’s important to note that anything stirred should be served up to increase the range of the cocktail. If stirred correctly, the liquid can be stirred at 12 degrees below zero, so serving it over ice changes this and will dilute the cocktail.

The stem allows the individual to hold the glass without displacing the temperature which eliminates the need for ice. When sipping from a coup, the liquid drops mid-palate and is best for cocktails that are umami forward. The curve of a coupe glass makes the drink easier to carry and to prevent spills. Stir up a Four Roses Honey Manhattan tonight.

Julep Tins 

Long before glassware was put into mass production, these vessels were the beverage standard. After glassware increased in popularity, the Julep tin clung on as a way for Bourbon fans to stick with tradition.

The shape of this glass means you can pack a lot of shaved ice in, keeping the drink cooler longer. Keep these on hand in your bar for celebrating that sweet spring and summer favorite in Kentucky. Handcraft the “Original Recipe” for a unique twist on this classic cocktail.

Mule Mugs

These containers have a funny backstory: there was a restaurant in California called the Cock and Bull that was known for its house-made ginger beer, and a woman who was a regular there had a lot of copper mugs for one reason or another, plus another regular was in the vodka business. These three came together after WWII to make the Moscow Mule and the copper mug became a tradition. Keep these nearby for shaking up a Rose Mule with Four Roses Bourbon.

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