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Caipirinha Culture

Guide to Indispensable Bar Tools and Glassware

Don’t know a sherry glass from a sour glass? Can’t point out a pilsner glass? Haven’t the faintest what a Delmonico is? Grab a stool, friend. In this article, I will show you all the glasses, gadgets, and some extra cool stuff to have around that will come in awfully handy.

Bar tools

A shaker, a strainer, a lemon zest grater. You’ll need to get your hands on several small but important gadgets to set up your bar properly. Be sure to have the following indispensables on hand. If you are on a low budget, I believe you can get most of this in cheap $1.99 stores. While it is not optimal, it’s certainly enough to get you started.

Glassware

Now that we have the tools covered, I would like to go ahead and give you a quick introduction to what I have learned about glassware. This is very important since different glass shapes can help bring out and accentuate certain qualities of a cocktail including the aroma and flavor. It is also important to point out that having the right size will also ensure that the drinks you’re preparing will fit correctly and not leave you with too much or too little liquid. With that being said, let’s dive right into it.

I will not discuss every single aspect of every single one of these glasses. If you really want to get into detail, I recommend you visit my resources page. There you will find links to some books and even other websites that discuss the topic of glassware in a manner much professional than I ever will.

Since this is a caipirinha site; however, I feel obliged to shed some light on the 3 types of glasses associated with caipirinha/mojito drinking and cachaça tasting. These are: Highball, Collins, Old-fashioned, and shot glasses.

Highball / Collins

A Collins is a tall glass tumbler that usually holds around 300-400ml (10-14 oz)– a highball is similar in size but is usually a little taller and more narrow and for home use, you can usually interchange the two. An ice-filled Collins is the perfect size for the Tom Collins or any of the Collins family of drinks (hence the name) but will also hold the majority of long cocktails, so named due to the long glass, and also spirit-and-mixer style combinations such as your gin ‘n’ tonics, rum and cokes or whatever your particular drink of choice happens to be.

Old-fashioned

An old-fashioned glass holds about 180–300 ml ( 8-12 oz)  and is a short, round, so-called “rocks” glass, suitable for cocktails or liquor served on the rocks, or “with a splash”. It is shorter and wider than a highball or Collins, giving it a shape which allows the aroma of the drink to display more than it would in a narrower glass. Another cool feature of this glass is that it typically has a thick base so that the non-liquid ingredients of a cocktail (for example lemon and sugar) can be muddled before the main liquid ingredients are added.

Shot glass

A shot glass is a small glass designed to hold or measure spirits or liquor, which is either drunk straight from the glass (“a shot”) or poured into a cocktail. It holds about 40-50ml (1.5 oz) of liquor and has appeared in countless Western movies.

Essential Caipirinha Tools

In the paragraphs above, I have displayed some of the most essential bar tools and cocktail glasses found in any professional bar. If you are just looking to have some fun under the sun and mix some caipirinhas, then you can get by with just an ice bucket, a cutting board, a muddled, and old fashioned glass. That is the whole beauty of caipirinha. It is simple to make and does not really require a whole lot of gadgets. Whatever your goal is, don’t forget to always smile and have fun! :-)