Serving Cocktails

Serving Cocktails

The cocktail connoisseur demands particular glasses for the different drinks. Stocking up with all of the various glasses is expensive, requires a lot of storage space - and is not really necessary. I have limited the glasses recommended to five types: the classic V-shaped cocktail glass (preferably the smaller kind, as large cocktails do not stay cold for long); the small tumbler (the kind used to serve whiskey); the tall tumbler for longer drinks; the wide Champagne glass for some of the creamy cocktails; and the standard round wine glass. For punches, you can use tumblers, wine glasses or the cups that usually go with large punch bowls. As cocktails must be served ice-cold, it is preferable to chill the glasses for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Decorations for cocktails range from the stuffed olives and cocktail cherry (now available in other colours besides traditional red) to slices of fresh fruits, mint sprigs and spices. Always spear cherries on a cocktail stick. Large slices of fruit, such as pineapple or peach, which will not sit well on the edge of a glass, should also be speared on a stick. Never use canned fruit in syrup to decorate, or in the mixing of a cocktail, as the syrup will spoil the flavour.

I have given suggestions for decorations suitable for certain drinks, but experiment with your own ideas.

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