If you’re too scared to order a Martini because you’re afraid of spilling, don’t just chalk it up to you being a “clumsy drinker.” Chances are, your glass-holding technique is all wrong. Just as the type of cocktail glass enhances the taste of your drink, holding your cocktail correctly will make it taste better as well. Here, how to properly hold every type of drink you’re likely to order at a bar.
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It’s true, Martini glasses are extremely inconvenient to carry around the bar (which is why coupes are way better), but there is at least some reasoning behind its awkward design: The wide mouth increases the surface area of the cocktail, allowing the drink to aerate and waft its aromas directly into your face. Rather than cupping the bowl of the glass in your hands, hold the stem of the glass and, just to be safe, palm the base with your other hand.
Every true wine-o knows that red wine is best served around 60 to 65 degrees, just below room temperature. White wine is best served at around 50 to 55 degrees. This explains why your traditional wine glass has a long stem, to prevent the heat from your hand from warming your wine past an ideal drinking temperature. So when you’re holding a wine glass, hold it by the long stem, not by the bowl of the glass.
Not all drinks are spoiled by warm hands. The brandy snifter, ideal for drinking a glass of Cognac, has an incredibly small stem to actually encourage drinkers to palm the bowl of a glass. Warming the glass helps release the aromas from dark spirits like brandy and bourbon, and the round glass allows you to get a noseful of them with every sip―hence the name “snifter.” Slip the stem between your fingers, tilt the snifter toward you with every sip and let science do the rest.
There is nothing worse than warm Champagne. Just as you wouldn’t drink a warm beer or can of soda, Champagne’s bubbly goodness is best enjoyed chilled. Similar to the wine glass, the flute’s long stem preserves your spritzy joy’s coldness, so be sure to hold the stem (and only the stem) during your best man or maid of honor speech before knocking it back.
You might not think about it when you order an IPA, but the beer bottle’s design has a lot of science behind it―from its brown color to its long neck. Beer has three enemies: light, oxygen, and heat, all of which contribute to staling or “skunking.” Fortunately, a beer bottle is usually brown to prevent most UV rays from permeating the bottle, made out of glass to efficiently keep out oxygen (albeit not as well as cans), and has a long neck to prevent your hand from warming the beer. Use the bottleneck, Luke. Use it wisely.