Lift your spirits with a home bar upgrade and get your glassware in order. The dark nights are upon us and outdoor drinking in a pub or restaurant garden has limited appeal once the temperature drops.
If you haven't done so already, it's a good time to give your glassware an overhaul, particularly before the festive season gets underway.
It's easy to make do at home, but why sip your Hendricks from an old tumbler, when you can enjoy a G&T in a big, beautiful, balloon shaped gin glass with all the botanical trimmings.
Drinking from the 'right' glass isn't just an affectation, top glass brands claim the shapes are designed so that certain flavours hit specific taste buds. So Pinot Noir in a Burgundy glass will actually taste better.
Flutes, coupes, tumblers, highballs and more, we've got it covered, so elevate your home bar experience with this gorgeous glassware.
Not just for champagne, Holly Tudor, Cocktail Development at The Alchemist says, 'Wide saucers pair amazingly well with an after dinner classic like the espresso martini. A glass that is ultra modern will add a touch of elegance to your home bar, and will stand out on those special cocktail occasions.'
To make an espresso martini at home Holly says 'Add 30ml of vodka (or dark rum if you fancy a twist) 15ml of coffee liqueur, 10ml of sugar syrup and 1 shot of fresh espresso to a cocktail shaker and shake hard for 15 seconds or until condensations forms on the outside of the shaker. Fine strain into your cocktail saucer and garnish with espresso beans.'
Ripple effect highball glasses will add a touch of flair to your home bar experience. Holly says, 'A tall glass shape lends itself really well for putting a slightly different spin on a refreshing drink such as the Paloma.'
According to Holly. Shake your own with 45ml of Tequila, 15ml of lime juice, 40ml of grapefruit juice and 2 tsp of agave to a cocktail shaker and fill with cubed ice. Shake for 15 seconds or until condensation forms on the outside of the shaker. Strain into your wine glass over cubed ice and top with soda. To finish, garnish with a squeeze of pink grapefruit.
For a simple yet elegant home bar evening, pair a beautiful martini glass with a classic cocktail. The long stems of martini glasses will keep your drink colder for longer - resulting in a sophisticated yet practical glass for your evening tipple.
Choosing a glass for a spritzer doesn’t need to take a lot of thought, you can use the same wine glass you usually use for your Sauvignon. However, you’ll want to make sure there’s enough room in there for ample wine and soda - plus Aperol and Prosecco, if you're still dreaming of summer.
A heavy based tumbler is your best bet when it comes to sipping whiskey, vodka or any other spirits on the rocks.
Holly says. 'Whiskey glasses are perfect for one of the oldest cocktails going, the Old Fashioned.'
Mix up one yourself 'Add 2 tsp of demerara sugar and 1 dash of bitters to the bottom of your glass and stir to combine. Add an orange zest, 15ml of woodford and 2 cubes of ice. Stir to dilute and add another 15ml of woodford and 2 more ice cubes. Repeat this another 2 times until your Old fashioned is diluted to your taste. Top with more cubed ice and garnish with an orange zest.'
Champagne, Prosecco, Cava or English Sparkling wine; whatever your choice of fizz, serving it in an elegant flute will add to the sense of celebration, as you can see the bubbles shoot to the surface.
Of course, the coupe has become popular again, and looks both elegant and decadent, but drinks are easily spilt, so best for those who remain well behaved after a glass or two.
It's not our imagination, a G&T really does taste better in a beautiful big balloon glass. For one there's ample room for plenty of ice to keep the drink cool - and the big bowl shape let's those botanicals breathe and land on your palette just where they're going to taste best.
The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something.