Gin and Tonic is by far the most popular mixed drink requested at most bars, with many establishments now even setting up a dedicated ‘Gin Bar’. With a G&T there are basically four elements – the gin, of course; increasingly the tonic you use and also the botanicals. However, as important as any of these, and a key determinant of your ability to add value, is the presentation of the drink. We all ‘feast with our eyes’ and a huge contributory factor in the resurgence of once humble G&T has been the glassware it is served in. Gone is the paris goblet and very much ‘in’ is the ‘copa de balon’ style of glass with a large bowl.
The size of the bowl is key but it is more than a style statement – it allows the botanicals room to do their job of imparting individual flavours to the cocktail. The gin goblet in the new Mixology range by Luigi Bormioli, for example, is 80cl 28¼oz – ideal for rough cut ice clumps and to allow those all-important botanicals space to circulate. The Mixology G&T glass combines the Copa de Balon size of bowl with vintage styling, thus harnessing two key trends in the market at the moment.
Artis has recognised the longevity of the gin boom and the new 2018 Artis catalogue lists no fewer than 11 different styles of copa de balon gin glasses for you to choose from. Several of these are produced in vintage styling. Worth mentioning here are Libbey’s 1924 gin glass, so evocative of the ‘flapper’ era and the original vintage glassware range, Speakeasy, also by Libbey. You can make a point of difference by using some of the larger bowl glassware styles originally intended for wine, such as the Alternato stemless glass from Durobor, which is so impactful for this purpose.
So, the message to bar managers and mixologists is very clear. Concentrate on the ingredients, of course, but do not neglect your glassware. Visual presentation encourages trial and increases margins; the right ingredients are what makes customers order a second.