Top-shelf ingredients don't amount to a hill of grains if you pour them into the wrong glass. But Michael Lucas, Metropolitan at The 9 beverage manager, helps set us straight.
Glencairn:Trust a Scottish glassware company to make a glass perfect for high-end whiskey or scotch. The inward curve toward the top lifts the drink's aromas. "It allows the whiskey to breathe and draws the flavor out of it," says Lucas.
Champagne:Best for anything bubbly, the tall, narrow walls carry Champagne cocktails such as mimosas or the Metropolitan's signature The 9 ($12) made with Three Olives Pomegranate vodka, Ketel One Citroen, POM Wonderful juice and brut Champagne. "The nucleation helps the glass form the bubbles in the Champagne," says Lucas. "The smoother the glassware, the more bubbles form in your mouth."
Old-Fashioned:Named after the drink it carries most often, this short tumbler is whiskey-specific. The sturdy glass serves a dual purpose, allowing bartenders to muddle cocktail ingredients at the bottom. "The thicker and harder base can take the wear and tear of making cocktails in it better than any other glassware," says Lucas. "Doing so keeps all the flavor in there."
Snifter:Brandy and cognac aficionados recognize the wider base, which when held in the palm of the hand, warms the liquor, releasing its aroma. "It allows the spirit to breathe and has a larger area to help keep the aroma in the glass," says Lucas.
Highball:The defining feature of this glass, which is a frequent home to Long Island iced teas, is its height and increased surface area. "It's for people who don't want to taste the liquor as much," says Lucas. "It allows you to have a little more wash while giving you the ability to add more ingredients."