Coupe glasses don’t get a lot of love from home bartenders and in-fact it seems like most don’t know anything about them. But after recently falling for a pair of thrift store rescues, I thought I’d take a moment to spread my admiration of the classic cocktail coupe.
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In most modern cocktail bars, the coupe glass has dethroned the V-shaped Martini glass as the go-to cocktail glass, in part because those Martini glasses are “pretty terrible, actually. They spill all over the place. God forbid if you try to swirl anything in one of those,” says Piacentini.
The coupe glass, on the other hand, is a bit more forgiving and generally smaller, about six ounces, which means you’re drinking what Piacentini calls a “civilized” amount of booze. (Though if you want your glassware to be even more forgiving of spills, go for a coupe that’s seven or eight ounces, so the drink won’t come right up to the top edge.)
These coupe glasses are good for cocktails served “up,” meaning it’s been shaken or stirred with ice and then served chilled, without ice — like a Martini. The stem means you don’t heat up the cocktail with your hand as you sip it.
And though you can spend hundreds of dollars on a set of coupe glasses, this probably isn’t where you want to be spending the bulk of your glassware budget. “A superexpensive up glass is just going to be really thin and delicate,” says Piacentini, meaning it’s more likely to break, and these up drinks aren’t the ones that you’re going to savor.
Frankly you’re not alone in your curiosity of how to pronounce Coupe. To be honest I had been mispronouncing this word for months but that’s what raging noob’s do. So in an effort to save you the embarrassment and ridicule, here’s the correct pronunciation:
Also known as the Champagne Coupe or the Champagne saucer, the coupe is a stemmed glass featuring a broad, shallow bowl. As you may have guessed, this glass was originally developed for champagne, however changing tastes have replaced it with the fluted glass as the go-to glass for champagne drinkers.
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Shrouded in mystery, the coupe glass has a history with enough facets that would keep any story teller buys. While the basic history of the coupe has been well covered by others , my favorite myth is that the shape of coupe glasses was inspired by the left breast of Marie Antoinette. Unfortunately this has been proved to be entirely false, but I’m going to do my best to keep it alive
From its creation in the mid 17th century, the coupe had become the default champagne glass used for special occasions of all sorts. This was especially the case with high society and the coupe was adopted by the famed Stork Club in New York City to serve its celebrity clientele. Needless to say, cocktails were all the rage in the post prohibition 1930s and the coupe cocktail glass became very popular.
In time the use of the champagne coupe waned. A shift from sweeter champagnes to dryer versions and the changing tastes of the public proved to be the cause; the shape of the coupe both allowed the increased carbonation to disperse too quickly and didn’t adequately concentrate the aroma of the wine. So coupe glasses fell out of favor in the 1960s.
In recent years the resurgence of coupe cocktail glasses are due entirely to the craft cocktail movement. Clearly an effort to revisit the glamourous cocktails at the Stork Club, coupe glassware is appearing frequently at cocktail bars across the country. And if I have anything to do with it, you’ll go out and scrounge up a set yourself.
While coupe glasses are practically interchangeable with the classic cocktail glass, here are just a few of the most popular cocktails that use coupe glasses:
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