Yes it's still September, but Oktoberfest is already in full-swing! And let's face it: This German festival isn't just about beer. (Did you know there's also a wine tent?! And Champagne is served, too!)
We’ve seen plenty of lists touting essential party beers and booze (and consulted them ourselves ;) but knowledge of what glassware to use—for which beverage—isn't necessarily so straightforward. Good thing we have plenty of vintage glassware on hand!
Yes, we've done our research—and selected the essential vintage drinking glasses that will last way beyond October 4th—Oktoberfest's closing day.
1. All-purpose decanter, $125
A beverage such as wine benefits from being decanted from its original bottle: Aromas are released and sediment gets left behind. With spirits like rum, whiskey, and vodka, decanting is mainly done for looks. This fancy Waterford cut-crystal decanter was made in Waterford, Ireland, in the 1950s, and makes that next drink even more attractive.
2. Stem glass, $45 for a set of 4
Also known as an up glass, the stem glass is built for serving shaken and/or stirred drinks without ice. The glass’ stem keeps its wide, shallow bowl away from warm hands, thus keeping libations cooler longer. (Originally, fancy coupe-shaped glasses were used for Champagne, but their design counterintuitively causes it to effervesce more quickly.) This 1930s glass is perfectly suited for sidecars, Manhattans, daiquiris, and more.
3. Old Fashioneds, $35 for a set of 6; $10 for a set of 2
Old Fashioned glasses, a.k.a. lowball and rocks glasses, are ideal for serving drinks on the rocks. They are designed with wide rims and thick bases so that bartenders could easily mix and muddle non-alcoholic ingredients right inside the glass. This 1920s amber version was made in Italy (shown left), and is decorated with gold leaf and enamel flowers. Another example is this 1970s glass (shown right), which features a silver-leaf rim and blue crest.
4. Highball, $15 for a set of 2
A Highball is basically another version of the Collins glass, but is definitely the workhorse of any bar. It’s used for serving any mixed drink, but mostly those containing a non-alcoholic mixer and a smaller amount of booze. Colored glass, like this Depression-era example is a nice way to inject color to an otherwise staid bar.
5. Wine goblet, $115 for a set of 6
So many types of wine glasses. So little time. Although folks serve wine in anything now, why not break out the crystal for your fancy dinner party? Red wine, in particular, is able to properly aerate inside a large, open-bowled glass. This Hollywood Regency cut-crystal glass has a delicately flared lip and ample bowl, that’s meant to satisfy even the most irritating wine snob at the table.
6. Shot glass, $20 for a multicolored set of 8
What’s a party without shots? Perhaps the most utilitarian specimen on this list, the shot glass is meant for serving straight booze only—and quickly. Sizes vary from country to country—from a teeny tiny ½-ounce tipple to a 2-ounce monster shot. Our cut-glass example is a rather tiny cordial glass, but is ideal for serving sweet cordials, or liqueurs, like amaretto and Chambord.
7. Pilsner, $10 for a set of 2
What’s a bar without beer? Whether in a dive bar or at a baseball game, pint glasses are the basic, all-American choice. With a fluted bowl tapering into a short foot, the pilsner is ideal for lighter beers: Its height and shape displays a beer’s clarity and supports its head. This 1950s glass features a gold leaf rim and a fun, fox hunt motif.
8. Mixing glass & glass stirrer, $28 for both
Typically used to quickly chill cocktails, larger mixing glasses like this 1950s one are fun additions to any bar, especially if you don’t want to break out that dog-eared copy of Mr. Boston every time you crave a decent drink. Use its premeasured lines, fill ‘er up with the appropriate spirits and mixers, and mix with a hand-blown glass sirrer—just like they did in the old days.
9. Scotch ‘n’ soda (EDITOR'S NOTE: We just sold these #sorrynotsorry)
Its tall, slim shape (similar to the highball’s) best accommodates—you guessed it—scotch and soda. This type of glass is also perfect for any teetotalers in your midst; it rose to popularity at 1940s soda fountains when ice cream sodas and fruit punch were served inside.