When imagining a nice drink, maybe even the perfect drink, what’s the first image that comes to mind? Because I can tell you, the first resenting visual that comes to my mind is a frosty chilled glass with a single water droplet just edging its way through the fog from the rim down its side, keeping the drink chilled. No matter the type of drink or glass.
Is it really that necessary to prepare your glassware?
One of the key and often overlooked elements when making a drink is how to prepare your glassware for your drinks. As trivial or secondary as it may seem, preparing your glassware is an essential part of any excellent drink. It’s not all about the aesthetic either. Although the frosty sheen makes any drink even more visually appealing, especially if it’s prepared and presented well. It goes beyond just the presentation. In fact, the drink remains cooler for longer. Without dealing with the ice-melt watering down the side of the glass leaving your fingertips wet.
For instance, in highball cocktails and even lowball drinks on the rocks. Nobody wants a watered-down version of their drink. So, a chilled glass will keep the ice from melting too quickly.
As for cocktails that you rarely serve with ice. Like the classic James Bond go-to drink, The Martini. (Now we are not here to discuss whether a vodka martini counts as one.) But how essential chilling the glass for that type of drink is, considering that it’s the only thing keeping the drink cold.
Even when talking about shots, when you’re on a night out celebrating, you want to enjoy yourself not dread the next shot (that feeling is for the morning after.) chilling the glasses makes them go down easier.
We have to note that preparing glassware for your drinks isn’t just about the cold ones. You can have more of an enjoyable experience with the cozy feeling of a warm mug with your hot drink. Who said holding your drink with two hands was just for Instagram. Whether it’s the hot cup of joe to start your day right, or even the good old hot chocolate on a cold rainy day, perhaps you fancy yourself the iconic Irish coffee as your hot cocktail of the night. It just makes the experience better.
So, what are the ways to prepare your glassware?
No matter the drink or temperature, at the comfort of your own kitchen or a bar, we’ve got a few simple ways for you to prepare your glassware. And the magical thing is, you don’t need to use dry ice or some type of gadget to have the perfectly chilled or warm glass for the drink of your choice.
Starting with the chill drinks:
Method 1: The Freeze and Frost
Probably the most popular and effective method for chilling glassware and, as the name suggests; we freeze the glass. Yes, it’s that simple, if you’re looking to achieve that crispy, frosty look while keeping your drink cold for longer. Place your glass in the freezer for at least 30 minutes—or up to 2 hours—and take it out just as you’re ready to pour your drink.
If you’re in a hurry—perhaps it’s a “spur of the moment” type of drink—you could place it just for 5 minutes as you’re preparing your cocktail, it will still have the nice chill feel, although it won’t frost over for that visually pleasing effect.
But if you want to ensure that you always have your frosted chilled glass on the deck. You could designate a permanent spot in your freezer for a couple of your go-to glasses if space allows it. If not, no worries, you can get a similar desired effect by placing the glass in your refrigerator for a longer period, at least an hour and upwards of 4 hours. Try to place your glass/es in the colder parts of your refrigerator (like the top shelf towards the back.)
Do note, that there are some more fragile types of glassware compared to other types, like crystal glassware. It’s best to use a delicate touch when chilling crystal and thin wine glasses, opting for the refrigerator or the quicker chill methods. Also, be careful with the temperature differences between the liquid you’re pouring and the glass, as it can easily shatter.
Method 2: The Quick Fizz and Freeze
This is a simple, quick trick that mixologists and bartenders often use.
➔ Fill the glass with crushed ice and soda water while preparing the cocktail. The carbonation from the soda water should speed up the freezing process.
➔ If you don’t have soda water, you can use crushed ice alone or you could fill the glass with Ice and water and swirl for a bit (but that’s more effective for Champagne flutes, as well as Old-Fashioned or Rocks glasses, not so much V-shaped Martini glasses.)
➔ Dump out the contents, and you’ve got yourself a chilled glass to pour your cocktail in.
This is also perfect for the glasses that you can’t put in the freezer due to how delicate their glass is. As well as glasses, you had to pull out of the freezer too quickly.
Well, what happens when you don’t have enough ice to go around?
Method 3: The Wet Paper Towel Coverup
Sometimes you just don’t have that much ice around, and when having to mix the drinks and then serve them, you’ve got to set your priorities. And in that case, this trick is the way to go.
➔ Grab a paper towel (make sure it’s big enough to cover the bowl of your stem glasses or to wrap around the outside of highball and old-fashioned glasses as an example.)
➔ Use cold water to soak the paper towel (try to squeeze out excess water, so it isn’t dripping everywhere)
➔ Tightly wrap it in or around the glass.
➔ Then place it in the freezer to chill for about 3 to 5 minutes for that frosty sheen.
Method 4: The Ice Bucket dunk in
When in a scenario where a refrigerator isn’t available. Perhaps you’re on a road trip, a picnic, a nice day out at the beach, or even camping. Hopefully, you brought along your cooler or an ice bucket.
For this trick, all you need to do is grab your ice bucket or ice-filled cooler. Then, dunk your glass upside down, leaving it for about 15 to 30 minutes. And you’ve got yourself a chilled glass for whatever cool drink you’d like to pour.
Moving to The Hot and Cozy Drinks:
There aren’t really many creative methods for preparing your glassware for hot drinks. This is mostly because the process is simple.
➔ You can fill your glass or mug with hot water for a few minutes while you prepare your drink.
➔ You can also place a water-filled glass or mug in the microwave for about 10 to 15 seconds. Try not to leave it for too long. As you’re just looking for that nice and cozy feeling of the glass versus barely being able to hold it.
Make sure that you’re using the right type of glass for your hot cocktails (like the Irish coffee glasses.) Or any type of glass that holds warm liquids, to avoid some glasses shattering.