Cocktail Mixing is all in the Glass
Published by Abigail T

Cocktail Mixing is all in the Glass

Glassware is an important part of serving any alcoholic drink. It makes or breaks the drinking experience as well as the quality of the beverage. However, the determinant is not only the glasses that cocktails are served in. It’s also the glasses that the cocktails are mixed in. Cocktail mixing glasses play an important part in the creation of stirred cocktails. These are drinks which are liquor-forward, such as a Manhattan or martini. On the other hand, cocktails containing more mixers such as fruit juices, sugar, and simple syrup, are often shaken to incorporate all the ingredients together. Learn more about how mixing glasses can drastically affect the cocktail-making and cocktail-drinking experience.

Why is a cocktail mixing glass important?

The mixing glass is what you mix all your ingredients in before pouring it out into a cocktail glass to serve. You would firstly want a container that allows for movement when you stir. The mixing glass also needs to be able to withstand the cold, as almost every cocktail is served chilled.

Your cocktail mixing glass needs to be able to contain both ice and liquid without spilling over when stirred. It also needs to sit stably on your bar. Additionally, you will need to be able to pour out the cocktails neatly into cocktail glasses.

A cocktail mixing glass also needs to be durable, as some cocktails involve a fair bit of muddling It should also be able to withstand the knocks from a bar spoon.

Choosing the right mixing glass

There are several factors to consider when choosing a mixing glass that is right for you.

What should the glass be made of?

Mixing glasses come in a variety of materials, but mainly they are available in glass, metal, or stainless steel. For beginners, it’s recommended to use a stainless steel mixing glass, as glass is more prone to breaking.

How large should the glass be?

Choosing the right size for a mixing glass is tricky. You want a glass large enough to contain ice and liquid. However, too large a diameter would make it difficult to strain out the cocktail into serving glasses. Too small would make it difficult to properly stir.

When considering the size of the glass you’re getting, also take note of the size of your strainer and how much cocktail you usually make.

What shape mixing glass should I get?

Mixing glasses come in an array of shapes. For beginners, it’s recommended to use a mixing glass with a thicker base, as it sits more stably on the bar counter.

Types of cocktail mixing glasses

Depending on your needs, preference, and style, you can choose between three kinds of mixing glasses:

Traditional mixing glass

This is the most common, traditional glass, also referred to as a pint glass. The traditional mixing glass can hold 16 ounces of liquid. It’s normally made of glass or stainless steel, and is tapered at the bottom.

Stemmed mixing glass

This type of cocktail mixing glass has a stem at the bottom. Bartenders are able to hold the stem instead of the glass while stirring. This results in no heat transfer between the hand of the bartender and the bowl of the glass. In this way, the cocktail can stay colder for longer because it’s not affected by heat.

Yarai mixing glass

Having Japanese origins, the Yarai mixing glass is beautiful and decorative. The outside of the glass boasts the Japanese weaving pattern called Yarai.

Its shape is similar to a traditional mixing glass, except it has a wider and heavier base. The purpose is to keep the glass sturdy on the table while stirring occurs. The Yarai mixing glass can contain a little more liquid than the standard pint glass. It also has a curved spout so that pouring the cocktail out into serving glassed wouldn’t be a messy affair.

Now that you know more about mixing glasses and their uses, it’s time to try fashioning cocktails! Here are simple stirring tips to take note of for your next cocktail-making adventure.

Tips to stir cocktails in a mixing glass

Now that you know more about mixing glasses and their uses, it’s time to try fashioning cocktails! Here are simple stirring tips to take note of for your next cocktail-making adventure.

Use plenty of ice

Most spirit-heavy cocktails won’t be served with ice. So, it’s important to get the drink as cold as possible in the mixing glass before it’s served. Fill up at least half your glass with ice before adding the other ingredients.

Stir for 30 seconds

There is no exact science for how long a cocktail should be stirred for. However, professional bartenders have made it a rule of thumb to stir for at least 30 seconds, or the equivalent to about 50 rotations of the bar spoon around the glass.

The amount of time a cocktail is stirred determines two things: how chilled it is, and how diluted the alcohol is. To lighten up any strong spirit flavours, stir your cocktail for a little longer. This dilutes the ice, which then also dilutes the alcohol.

Hold the bar spoon lightly

There’s no need to go heavy-handed on the bar spoon. Hold it between your thumb, index, and middle fingers at the top of the spoon. You can also use your ring finger for support.

Plunge your bar spoon into the ice, making sure the back of the spoon is facing the inside walls on the glass. Then, all that’s left to do is stir! How far the bar spoon goes into the glass really depends on preference.

Serve into cocktail glasses immediately

Stirred cocktails have a timer on them because they need to be served cold. Before stirring, make sure you have prepared the cocktail glasses you’re going to use, so that you can immediately pour the drinks out to serve. This ensures that the cocktails are served at optimum temperature.

Red & White

Red & White is Indonesia’s leading full-service wine and spirits retailer since 2014. I'm very happy to provide you information about the liquor world and let's have a drink together at the nearest Red & White store.

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