Pictured above: a 3.5-ounce vintage glass; a 4-ounce vintage glass; a 4-ounce contemporary glass; a 5-ounce contemporary glass; a 10-ounce contemporary glass. 2. Small Glasses Balance Better Drinking mammoth portions from birdbath-sized cocktail glasses can cause you to lose your balance in more ways than one. Oversized "Martini" glasses (like the 10-ouncer pictured to the far right above), with their long stems and wide, conical bowls, are top-heavy and prone to tipping and sloshing over when full. Most small glasses have a lower center of gravity, ensuring that they're a lot less likely to get "tipsy" - and that they're a whole lot more comfortable to hold.
Pictured above: a Martini in a 4-ounce glass and a Manhattan in a 3.5-ounce glass. 3. Small Glasses Have Historical Cred Small glasses aren't just practical for classic recipes, they're also stylistically appropriate. Over the years, cocktail glasses have grown supersized, ballooning from the modest 3- to 4-ouncers that were standard in 1930s to the imposing 8- to 10-ouncers so ubiquitous today. But if you're fixing yourself an old-timey classic such as a Martini or a Manhattan, a Jack Rose or a Sazerac, why not choose a glass befitting William Powell in The Thin Man (1934), or Bette Davis in All About Eve (1950)? Go small. Small Cocktail Glasses Available Online:
- Vintage glasses from EBay. There's nothing like the thrill of browsing through a thrift store or yard sale and spying a small, hand-etched gem priced at just a few dollars. But for those other times, there's eBay. My own recent search for some vintage Fostoria glasses turned up a wealth of gorgeous options, with "Buy It Now" prices ranging from $3.75 to $56.99 per stem.
- Martini Embassy, 5 ounces, $4.95 at Fish's Eddy (a sturdy everyday glass that's dishwasher safe)
- Mini Martini, 2 ounces, $1.95 at Crate & Barrel (this one might even be a little too small for ordinary use, but would be great for sampling a variety of cocktails at a tasting party)
- Reidel Vinum Martini Glass, 4.6 ounces, $40 for a set of 2 at Williams-Sonoma (an elegant design from one of the most revered makers of crystal stemware)