Friends of Empress 1908

Cocktail Curiosities: Glassware Essentials

Let the cocktail classes continue with @spiritedLA!

We welcome you to week two of our Cocktail Curiosities series, where we’ll dive into all things glassware with our good friend Hannah of @spiritedLA!

Now that you’ve mastered the art of creating a balanced cocktail (ICYMI, see last week’s blog post), it’s time to perfect the presentation. From choosing the right vessel for your cocktail to making your collection unique, read on for all Hannah’s of exclusive secrets.

Meet Hannah Chamberlain of @spiritedLA:

Professional Home Bartender, Recipe Developer, and much more!

“I’m a professional home bartender who’s been developing cocktail recipes, writing about drinks, visiting top alcohol destinations (like the incredible Empress 1908 distillery!), and making boozy videos since 2015. I love learning about cocktail history and culture and making drinks for friends— digitally and otherwise.”

Pictured: Hannah on her visit to Victoria Distillers in 2019

The essentials: hannah’s must-have glassware

To kick things off, we asked Hannah what essential pieces should be included in your at-home glassware collection. Dive into her favourite basics below!

the coupe

The coupe is great for drinks served without ice like martinis, gimlets, and last words”

the collins

“…the collins is for drinks with a bit more volume like a highball, gin and tonic, or tom collins”

the rocks

“…the rocks glass is perfect for cocktails like negronis and old fashioneds that should be served on the rocks.

A little extra room on your shelf?

“If you have room for a few other glasses in your starter collection, I think large goblets and champagne flutes are winning additions. The goblet elevates gin and tonics beautifully, and the flute is great for sparkling drinks like a French 75 (one of my favorite recipes to riff on with Empress 1908— it’s delicious made with raspberry or lavender syrup).”

Choosing the right glass for your cocktail

When it comes to selecting the perfect vessel for your cocktail creations, Hannah focuses on three key deciding factors: size, temperature/dilution and tradition!


“You don’t want to serve a relatively small cocktail like a last word in a giant goblet, and it would be silly to serve a larger cocktail like a tom collins in a tiny cordial glass.”

temperature & dilution

“…deciding to put your cocktail in a glass with a stem can prevent you from warming it with your fingers— this is particularly necessary for drinks like martinis that are served without ice but are meant to be enjoyed at frigid temperatures. And for drinks that benefit from prolonged chill and a little extra dilution over time (like a negroni), you’ll want to choose a glass that isn’t hard to drink out of when it’s got ice in it


…certain glasses are customary for certain cocktails, like a julep cup for a mint julep, a rocks glass for a sazerac, or a mug for a mule, and drinking in the style of people from decades (or centuries!) before us can add romance to our drink.

Watch @spiritedla’s reel on our Instagram page!

BEYOND THE BASICS: make your glassware collection unique!

In addition to the coupe, collins and rocks, we asked Hannah how you can make your glassware collection feel unique to you!

“Drinking out of unconventional glassware can make your cocktail experiences feel even more special— I love when the unique flavors in a well-made drink are matched by an extraordinary presentation. The good news is that finding unusual glassware isn’t expensive or difficult: visiting your local thrift stores and antique marts can yield tremendous finds. Not only can you find vintage drinkware in extraordinary shapes and colors, you might also find pieces originally intended for other functions that can be repurposed for cocktails like vases, candy dishes, or even candle holders.”

“Don’t worry about all your glassware matching— giving your guests different glasses is a great conversation starter and helps everyone remember which drink is theirs.”

serving empress 1908 at its best!

When asked how best to serve Empress 1908, Hannah had some great insight into showcasing our spirit’s distinct indigo hue:

“I like to go with clear, uncolored glassware: the spirit itself is so pretty I always want to show it off rather than hide it in an opaque vessel. I particularly love serving Empress 1908 in large goblets and interesting coupes (or a coupe-esque candle holder as the case may be)— so pretty!”

And finally, meet Hannah’s favourite Empress 1908 cocktails!

I think my all-time favorite Empress 1908 cocktail was a savory Thanksgiving gibson I made a few years ago— I love how it brought out Empress 1908’s earthier notes. I also absolutely loved this lilac Empress 1908 springtime punch— I can’t wait to make it again next year when the lilacs are in season.

Learn more from Hannah on TikTok and Instagram at @spiritedLA and on her website, Be sure to check back next week when we chat with cocktail creator @moodymixologist about simple ways to elevate your garnishing game!

Sip responsibly!

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