Time For a Cuppa’: Tea and Booze, the Perfect Lovers

The pairing of tea and booze; with two such ancient and honorable beverages it was only natural they should come together in sweet, tasty harmony. And, as more bartenders use tea, and bottles of tea-infused liquor appear in the market, this is a trend worth sampling.

“I think tea cocktails are showing up more because they have an exotic, yet familiar ingredient,” says Chris Cason, co-founder of Tavalon Tea and tea sommelier. “Bartenders are always looking for something new and trendy to add to their cocktails, and tea is the Holy Grail.”

Most of the drinks are made using a tea simple syrup and popular flavors include Earl Grey, Chinese black tea, the smoky lapsang souchong , and tisanes (meaning herbal teas) like chamomile. Cason says, “Tea lends itself well to mixing because it’s very versatile and fits in practically any recipe,” meaning, he added, that it can be hot or iced, caffeine-free or energizing, light or hearty. 

At Jbird Cocktails on the Upper East Side they make the dark, fruity Imperial March with Chinese black tea- infused Cognac 1st Cru. They also offer the light, floral, and slightly sweet Camomila Cocktail with chamomile grappa. At Pegu Club, Audrey Saunders has been serving up her creamy, dessert-like Earl Grey MarTEAni for years. The Sin Nombre Punch at Mayahuel has raspberry tea in it, and if you hit up Summit Bar you can try their barrel-aged cocktail Born & Raised, which uses honey bush tea-infused Oak Cross Scotch in the recipe.

At Bistro The Tea Set, owner Jacques Doassans has transferred his love of tea into syrup form and serves up refreshing champagne cocktails with green apple mate. He uses red peach vanilla tisane in a Grey Goose martini. Lani Kai also goes the fruity route and infuses vodka with tropical black tea for their Hawaiian iced tea. In the Hamilton Park Swizzle, they utilize Applejack with mango black tea. For a pure tea- infused cocktail experience, the branch of Alice’s Tea Cup on the Upper East Side has an array of “mar-tea-nis” to choose from, including their Manhattan with Earl Grey- infused Jack Daniels, Moda Vieja with lapsang souchong doused tequila, and the Kim Gin Il, which has rooibos-infused gin in the mix.

If you are lazy and want tea-infused liquor all ready for you, Belvedere recently came out with a smooth vodka distilled with tea and lemon. As for a do-it-yourself version, Cason suggests that when making a tea cocktail, don’t mix a light tea with a strong spirit or it will overpower. “I usually pair hearty teas, like black and oolongs, with stronger-flavored mixers and spirits, and lighter teas, like green, white and herbals, with lighter mixers and spirits,” he says. “A proper tea cocktail is like a good democracy: everyone gets a voice.” So long, England; America has taken over your favorite beverage and given it a rebel spin. 

Toast the Vernal Equinox With Belvedere Lemon Tea Vodka

Sorry, southern hemisphere. For those of us in the north, it’s the first day of spring and we’re pretty happy about it. I’ve always gotten a little psychological jolt from the vernal equinox, knowing that sunshine and warm breezes are just around the bend. It’s reason enough to raise a glass to the season of hope and promise, and today that glass ought to be filled with a refreshing, spring-like spirit I sampled recently called Belvedere Lemon Tea Vodka

Here are a couple things you should know about Belvedere Lemon Tea. Most important: it tastes great. Yes, you’ve had vodka and you’ve had lemon tea, but Belvedere Lemon Tea is more than that. For starters, it’s not just vodka and lemon tea, it’s really good vodka and really good lemon tea. Sip a chilled shot and you can taste the quality – the crispness and smoothness of the Belvedere vodka (I’ve always been a fan) and a delightful mix of fresh black and green teas. Sure, you could mix those things together in your kitchen or home bar if you like, but do you have easy access to lemongrass, chamomile, ginger, and honey? Because it has all-natural versions of those ingredients as well, in perfectly balanced proportions. The professional tasters among us may be able to identify the individual flavors in every sip, while the rest will just say yum.
 
Next, it might send you to the dictionary, because Belvedere Lemon Tea is not a blend, mix, mash-up, or infusion, it is a "maceration." At first I thought that meant a team of people were chewing on all the ingredients and spitting them into big vats, but that would make it a "mastication." Maceration, meanwhile, refers to something that has "become soft or separated into constituent elements by or as if by steeping in fluid." So that’s a bit of a relief. (Thanks, Merriam Webster!) 
 
Also, it’s Belvedere’s second vodka "made to a drink." The first one was Belvedere Bloody Mary, and I’m sure it’s fantastic, but I just don’t do bloodies. Not my thing. The Belvedere Lemon Tea is made to mix with – get this – tea! But again, let’s not be snide, because you don’t just get the vodka and tea, you get those other groovy botanicals mentioned above that I all but guarantee you don’t have around the house unless you’re some kind of gourmet chef or herb collector or medieval alchemist.
 
And it’s versatile. Yes, you could add it to tea, but you can also add it to lemonade, or lemonade and tea (that would be an Arnold Palmer), or limeade, or Perrier, or your favorite fruit juice, or even a smoothie or an Italian ice. Wouldn’t that be nice?
 
So mix yourself a cocktail (or just pour it over ice), and go sit in the sunshine and watch the fluffy clouds float across the sky and think about how great it is to be alive in the northern hemisphere on a gorgeous spring day. It’s a beautiful world out there and you’re sipping a drink that represents the culmination of 5,000 years of drink-making knowledge. Relax already. You’re doing just fine. 
 
Belvedere Lemon Tea Vodka costs $30 for a 750 ml bottle and is available in better liquor stores nationwide. 

Learning to Love the Agony That is Holiday Travel

Like countless others in offices and work sites around the country, I’m looking forward to flying out to the family Thanksgiving gathering with no small amount of trepidation. Nasty weather, sluggish TSA lines, hordes of travelers even more stressed out than I am. Getting there will not be half the fun. And yet, for all the pain of harvesting it, the fruit of holiday travel is still sweet. A few precious moments with people I don’t see nearly enough, a traditional meal more enjoyable for its rituals than its flavors, an ice-cold Belvedere martini. If it wasn’t all worth it, we wouldn’t be doing it. As Graham Greene so eloquently describes in his 1928 novel, Brighton Rock (now a fine Rowan Joffe movie), we will extricate our "grain of pleasure" from the long day if it kills us.  

It won’t be easy. With the exception of a certain 1%, we’re poorer than ever. The roads, trains, and planes will be packed to the gills, and, once you get there, you’ll be besieged by demands that you explain your politics, datelessness, joblessness, and teach Grandma how the DVR works. But when you find that sublime moment—the reversion to childhood, the family pet curling up near you as if you’d never left—recognize it, appreciate it, and don’t be in a rush. 
 
Here are a few holiday travel tips that I will try, and possibly fail, to follow myself: 
 
Chill out. Even if you have to fake it at first. I’m a believer that the outer affects the inner. Yes, you’ve got a million things to do, and the world will fall apart if you don’t do them all. When you find yourself bugging out at the thought, strike a pose like you’re the calmest, coolest, most collected person around. Eventually your body will send signals to your brain that it’s time to cut off the stress chemicals. Bonus points if other travelers hate you for appearing so relaxed amid the chaos. 
 
Give yourself an insane amount of extra time. The lines will be a million times slower than you want them to be. Somehow, every time I leave the house an hour early for the airport, I end up with only ten extra minutes at the gate. I don’t know how that works, but it does. Respect the time-suck of travel. 
 
Don’t be so cheap. Public transportation to the airport is fine if you’re alone and you have all the time in the world, but a yellow cab or your local gypsy car service will cut the hassle factor significantly for a couple of twenties that you were going to spend on nonsense anyway. 
 
Be extra nice to ticket and gate agents. They receive so much verbal abuse for stuff that’s beyond their control it’s not even funny. Air travel sucks because we refuse to pay more than a few hundred bucks to fly across the country. Recognize that, and be sweeter than you need to be to those who suffer the wrath of the uncool. You just might end up with an exit row, or at least an aisle seat near the front. 
 
Finally, have some perspective. You might be trapped for hours on the tarmac in a stinky airplane, but you’re not a child soldier in Sudan, you’re not getting pepper-sprayed for sitting down on the sidewalk, and you’re not prevented from receiving food aid by some armed militia. At the risk of going all Hallmark on you, the best remedy for holiday travel hell is to be, well, thankful. Have a happy Thanksgiving. 

Let’s Hear It for Vodka, the Spirit For All Seasons

Autumn 2011 is nearly a month old, falling leaves, chilly nights and all. My spirits-loving friends can’t help themselves from commenting on the advent of whisky season, with its attendant tumblers filled with the warming gold liquid, to be consumed in front of a crackling fire (bearskin rug optional). For those who follow the spirits calendar, it’s time to put away the rums and tequilas of summer and shift to the fortifying flavors of bourbon, Scotch, and rye. Yet I can’t help but wonder which spirit remains appropriate regardless of the season. The answer, of course, is clear: vodka.

Perhaps it makes sense that the most neutral of all spirits – one that is supposedly odorless, colorless, and tasteless – is the year-round crowd pleaser. Vodka has no polarizing flavors that can be shunted into seasonal categories. Agave and sugar cane scream sunshine and sultry breezes, while grain and oak suggest slate skies and wool sweaters. And yet vodka’s universality comes not because it shirks from any battles, but because it has a way of satisfying the desires of summer, winter, and the shoulder seasons in equal measure.

Take my drink of choice: an extra dry vodka martini, up, with olives. Provided it’s made right, I’d be equally happy to sip a Belvedere martini on Christmas, Flag Day, the Fourth of July, or Halloween. It has the crispness and astringency to slake a summer thirst, as well as the character and strength to warm winter’s coldest bones. It just works.

If you want to dress it up for the season, get it on ice with some tonic and lime for beachside sipping at La Côte in Miami Beach, or sip a Black Russian while counting the snowflakes out the window of Montreal’s Blizzarts. But at its heart, vodka is a 365-day spirit. So if you’re ever confused about what season it is, or what hemisphere you’re currently in, and you don’t want to embarrass yourself at the bar, just order a vodka martini and relax. And one for me too, please.

[Image via Las Vegas Sun/Leila Navidi]

My Latest Cocktail Obsession: Mini Martinis

I don’t know what this says about me, but one of my first thoughts when I woke up this morning was that there should be such a thing as mini martini glasses. Much like Dorothy Parker, I love a good martini, and if I’m at some fancy cocktail lounge dropping $20 on the thing, I want it to be substantial. But for home entertaining, where I have the luxury of refills and do-overs, small, well-made, and extremely cold is the way to go. Of course, like most of my million-dollar ideas, somebody else already thought of them. I may need to purchase a set.

As drinks historian and all-around cocktail Yoda Dave Wondrich will tell you, bar glassware has gotten steadily larger over the past few decades, with small somehow being equated with lesser value, irrespective of price adjustments. But people have been warming to the beauty of the small lately in everything from cars (the new Fiat 500) to music (the iPod Shuffle). Why not embrace the idea of tiny drinks as well?

The benefits are many. First and foremost, it would help keep things in moderation. All the cool points you might gain for your snazzy outfit and gold tooth quickly go out the window once you get sloppy. Second, it would keep your drinks cold. I’m freakish about the temperature of my martinis, and when I see a bartender give my order three limp shakes before making a big presentation out of pouring it in front of me, I want to reach across the bar and throttle them. The first few sips might be good, but after five minutes, it’s bathwater. Finally, small drinks give you and your guests the opportunity to try different things. Don’t dig the habanero infusion? Pour it out and try something else. No big deal.

So I think I’m going to pick up a pair of 3 ounce martini glasses from someplace like Pier 1 Imports (Crate & Barrel has even tinier 2 ounce glasses), grab a nice bottle of Belvedere Vodka and a couple of olives, and mix up the best darn micro-tinis Brooklyn has ever seen. And if holding a comically small martini glass in my hand makes me feel like a big man, all the better.

Zac Posen Confirms: Spring Is for Brunch, Bloody Marys

When I arrived late to a brunch at Le Caprice yesterday, gentlemanly host Zac Posen interrupted his meal mid-bite to graciously welcome me to his affair. I was already riding high with anxiety—arriving late only to discover that the room was filled with the most recognizable faces in the fashion and journalism worlds. But his warm welcome, combined with the fact that I was about to enjoy some mid-day cocktails courtesy of Belvedere Bloody Mary, put me immediately at ease.

image I’ve always had an issue with Bloody Marys, the issue being that I’ve never particularly liked them. (Even though I’ve never actually ordered one, only accepted the pre-made concotions that come with pre fixe brunch menus.) With guests like Leigh Lezark, Dani Stahl, Kate Lanphear, Derek Blasberg, Gordin Nicol, Ann and Pat Cleveland, Jessica White, Marjorie Gubelman, Zani Guggleman, Masha Orloff, Stephanie La Cava, Poppy de Villeneuve, Michelle Harper, and Mia Rosing in attendance, I new that I was not about to imbibe a weak or watery concoction. In fact, Zac himself designed the special menu, including his own favorite brunch offerings to be especially paired with bespoke Bloody Mary cocktails. Indeed, these Bloodys were like no other: the classic variety on offer was made with pitch-perfect spice thanks to the incredible, award winning flavor with which the vodka is infused. It brought pep to the Pineapple Mary, the dynamic Very Mary, and the Bloody Veggie.

image

Mind you, I had to immediately head back to work — therefore I imbibed freely. Zac’s menu, which featured eggs, steak tartare, a duck salad, and a shrimp burger, was about as big of a hit as his designs. People table-hopped like mad, chatting about the news that Zac will be designing Josephine de la Baume’s wedding dress for her upcoming nuptials (she’ll marry Mark Ronson later this year). Zac also decorated the menus with sketches of Le Caprice’s chic servers. On the back of each menu he inscribed, “Being a New Yorker, born and bred, brunch is a part of my vocabulary. It’s where business deals are built.” A few weeks ago, he hosted a similar brunch with Belvedere Blood Mary at the Le Caprice in London.

Anticipating the spring weather, the meal got me incredibly excited for my next Bloody Mary (now I know I’ll have to order it with Belvedere Bloody Mary vodka), which, unfortunately won’t be happening again during the workweek. The Zac Posen Belvedere Bloody Mary menu will be available at Le Caprice New York starting this Saturday through June 26th.

Favorite Bloody Mary Cocktail Recipes: Belvedere Bloody Mary Classic 1.5oz Belvedere Bloody Mary 3 Drops Tabasco 0.5oz Lemon Juice 2 Bar Spoons Worcester Sauce 4oz Tomato Juice

Belvedere Pineapple Mary 1.5oz Belvedere Bloody Mary 3oz Fresh Pineapple Juice 0.75oz Fresh Lime Juice 2 Bar Spoons Simple Syrup 2 Dashes Orange Bitters 1/8 Bar Spoon Smoke Paprika (Hot)

Visionaire’s Halloween Party at MoMA PS1

There were many small candles on the steps of MoMA PS1 on the night of the Visionaire Halloween Party last Saturday. The party for this legendary fashion”bookzine”—each issue of which is designed by an artist or fashion designer— coincided with MOVE!, a live performance-based art and fashion event on Saturday and Sunday at MoMA PS1 featuring collaborations between designers and artists. Projected on the side of the building was a scene from a film—a woman speaking to someone in a serious and worried way. She flickered against the wall in warm tones and was gone. We followed a bloodied bride up the stairs and indoors, where someone screamed, “Help me!” The stairwell was not completely dark but not light. I heard it again. It was a recording. When we reached the top a server offered us Belvedere “Fairytale” cocktails from a small round tray. The frosted highball glasses had been chilled.

From the dark hallway you could see the light from the gallery, where most of the guests were gathered, and which, once inside, was bright and large. Around the edges of the room were white wood rectangular structures on which people sat, danced, or put their drinks. At either end of the room was a table of endlessly replenished glasses of alcohol—Belvedere cocktails at one end, Veuve Cliquot champagne on the other. Because the room was square, “walking around” felt more purposeless than usual. Still, people twirled their fingers at each other to say I’m-going-to-walk-around-the-room-now.

By the Veuve Cliquot table stood a man with a pillow tied to his neck. Kate turned him toward us by his shoulder. “I’m a bed bug,” he said. He had a drawing of a bug’s belly on his t-shirt. His friend, whose head was encased in an intricate black shellacked headdress and looked like the alien in Alien, said in a foreign accent that he was a Shaman. Their female friend waved her hand and smiled and said she was “Victorian-looking.” One man in a silvery skintight lamé outfit vogued on the white structures. He had two small monitors on his chest and one near his crotch that played videos and seemed like an homage to Nam June Paik’s TV-Bra for his “Living Sculpture.” He had a lamé bundle on his head around which he moved his hands in a “Vogue”-type way. He stuck his leg out and with control and concentration lunged forward slowly. He froze and someone took a picture.

We took glasses of champagne. They were the kind that could have easily been arranged in a champagne tower. But these were being taken too quickly to be arranged in any way in particular. Cecilia Dean walked in. She was in what looked like an actual ballerina dress from a production of Swan Lake with a stiff radius of white tulle around her and a molded hairpiece of black and white feathers. I thought maybe she was one of Hans Christian Anderson’s Wild Swans. No one could kiss her because of the obstacle of her skirt. She stood inside the main room, or outside the entrance to the main room. Sometimes she smiled. But mostly she stood silently.

Across the hall from the main room was a similarly cubed gallery where two people dressed as Teletubbies (one pink, one blue) stood and drank champagne. I lifted an invitation off the table. It was a black square with a lenticular photograph of two images, one of a person in a pale bear mask with pink lipstick and the other of a person in a ghost sheet. It was a still from Hellish by James Franco and Carter. I wondered if that was the film projected on the front of the building as we entered.

image

Kate and I walked around looking into other galleries. One room was empty except for several old-style mirrors in shiny frames. I looked in a tall one and then in a squat one. In the next room, a woman in black pants with a mic strapped to her head was talking at us loudly, “Models, get ready,” she said. “Go, go go.” We walked down what felt like a runway but was enclosed on all sides by soft blue walls. At the end of the walkway there was a camera. Kate sached as if she was a model. I just walked. We turned and walked off into a darkened room that had two projections flickering on either wall and an elegant British voice singing “I feel pretty, oh so pretty,” from My Fair Lady. The screen showed footage from a previous Marc Jacobs fashion show with editors and celebrities in the front row. On the runway the party-guests were superimposed to look like they were walking the runway. Runway Kate sached towards us as real Kate took a picture of runway Kate as she got to the end of the runway. A man in front of me and Kate had a large red afro-wig. “Hi,” he said. “You don’t recognize me, but you were in my house for a party a few weeks ago.” It was the artist Izhar Patkin. We were in the Rob Pruitt and Marc Jacobs installation for MOVE! called “Looks.”

Back in the big room, a beautiful woman dressed all in black in a Spanish mantilla walked across the room worried as if she was a mourning widow. To our left a man in a gorilla suit had taken his head off and crossed his legs and was talking casually to a man in a doctor’s lab coat. A man whose suit was covered entirely in small round mirrors walked in. “I wonder what that’s like with a flash,” said Kate. I saw a friend. He was in a red jacket and hat and had crazy hair. “Who are you?” I said. “Cody Critcheloe from SSION.” (He pronounced it “shun,” like he was emphasizing the last syllable of the word FASHION.) He had gotten a Cheryl make-over earlier that day at the Cheryl installation with American Apparel at MOVE! He made a twirling motion with his hand and walked away.

Wearing a cardboard waffle, the model Anouck Lepere walked in. She tilted a can of whipped cream into the mouth of a guy next to her, lifted her eyebrow, and jutted out her hip. Several flashes went off. Next to her was a shorter blonde woman dressed as an orange across which was written “Joosie.” Many people came up to them and kissed their cheeks. They hardly had to move.

“You look like a whore, too,” I heard someone say. I turned around but no one was there. Two people with pink conical headdresses had arrived in the room and stood on the white structures surveying the crowd.

Three astronauts walked in. Their outfits commanded immediate respect. “I want to dance with an astronaut,” said Kate. “Hi,” I said to one of the astronauts. “My friend wants to dance with an astronaut.” They danced. I walked downstairs. The artist Terence Koh walked in front of me down the stairs and smiled. He was wearing what looked like a bed sheet wrapped around his body and draped across one shoulder. With him was a man in a sharp blue yachtsman’s cap. Outside Terence Koh said he was going to be home by midnight, which he said he tries to do these days. He has perfect smooth skin. I asked him what his next project was and he said in a quiet, gentle voice, “Tomorrow. Here. At MOVE!”

image

MOVE! MoMA PS1 Sunday October 31, 2010 2:30pm

“Come in,” a woman said to me. “He’s about to drop paint.” I walked in and sat down for the Cynthia Rowley/Olaf Breuning installation at MOVE! a two-day performance-based exhibit at MoMA PS1, which involved twelve collaborations between artists and fashion designers. People waited. A model in a dress walked into a wood stall and arranged herself like a doll, holding her skirt out. People lifted their cameras. The artist Olaf Breuning climbed a ladder and stood over her holding a can of paint. People stopped talking. Olaf Breuning talked casually about white paint. Cameras got steady. He talked about gold paint. Then he poured white and then gold paint over the model. Camera shutters fluttered for several seconds. People clapped and walked out. We exited through a sun-lit corridor where racks of paint-splattered dresses hung with tags as if for sale.

Hung in an ordered and symmetrical manner along one wall at the Cheryl/American Apparel installation were long hairpieces in blonde, brunette and chestnut. Large mirrors were dotted with cosmetic lights where make-up artists were applying glitter and teasing fake hair into glamorous nests. “The Makeover You Never Knew You Wanted” was a “psycho-immersive” environment created by Cheryl and American Apparel. Cheryl, the artists and blood-and-glitter party entrepreneurs, had thrown their own Halloween party the night before—Cherylween III. “We had over eight-hundred people,” Stina Puotinen told me about the Halloween party. “[The Bell House] was at capacity.” She had glitter on her lips. Zig-zagged in the front of the room were racks of American Apparel t-shirts, leggings and bodysuits in nude and white donated for makeovers. At the far end was a stage set with a camera and photo umbrella in front of which the face of a glittered subject lit up as the flash popped.

In another gallery exhibiting the installation by Telfar + Lizzie Fitch, Rhett Larue, Fatima Al Qadiri, Ryan Trecartin & Leilah Weinraub, four people dressed in heavy white monk-like tunics held long gold poles. Each person held his or her pole so that the tip of one person’s pole touched the tip of another person’s pole. The four people moved slowly across the gallery floor connected like this and concentrating on the tips of their poles.

At the installation by Terence Koh and designer Italo Zucchelli for Calvin Klein, two men covered entirely in silver paint including their hands, feet and long sheaths walked slowly toward each other and then away from each other in a straight line in a room that was empty except for two beams of light. They repeated this movement. They walked slowly back and forth as droning conceptual electronic music filled the room. Sometimes when the men met at the center of the room they said things to each other only they could hear and smiled or laughed but in a way that didn’t break the composure required for the piece. Sometimes I could hear the sound of their feet against the floor or could hear only the music. Sometimes the light beams gathered in startling conical clusters around their heads. I took a flashless picture. “Excuse me,” said a man next to me. “Can I take a picture of you taking a picture?” I nodded and took another picture.

Photo courtesy of Guest of a Guest.

The Manliness of the Martini Glass

As I mentioned last week, I recently did a tasting of Belvedere’s new Intense Unfiltered 80 vodka, which, unlike most super-ultra-premium vodkas, retains a hint of the flavor of the grain from which it’s made. I learned a lot about vodka that evening, but one little nugget of information stands out in my head. According to the company, Intense Unfiltered 80 was developed, in part, as a man’s vodka, and is intended to be drunk in tumblers rather than stemmed martini glasses. Apparently, martini glasses aren’t seen as manly, whereas tumblers, lowballs, rocks glasses, or whatever you want to call them, have manliness in abundance. I can get where they’re coming from, but can’t say I ever saw it that way.

I really like martini glasses. Part of the enjoyment of a martini is the elegant glass it comes in, and how nicely it looks in your hand. Of course I love a good Scotch, and wouldn’t dream of putting two fingers of Oban in a stemmed glass, but vodka in general, and martinis in particular, seems especially appropriate in a martini glass. First of all, it’s a healthy dose of booze, as those glasses are always deeper than they look. And yet, they seem to call on your best behavior – or at least balance – because it’s so easy to slosh an ounce or two over the edge if you gesticulate a bit too wildly. And furthermore, their very silhouette is the symbol of nightlife. You see the outline of a martini glass, you know there’s a party going on.

Maybe it’s the cosmopolitan that ruined martini glasses for men. For decades, they were primarily used for clear drinks, but once the color pink made an appearance – and Carrie Bradshaw and company made them indispensable accessories for the fashionable urban lady – there was no turning back the clock.

Until Mad Men came along, that is. Don Draper’s definitely a rocks-glass guy, but Roger Sterling is a martini-glass man all the way, and he makes no apologies for it. “Don’t let me see the bottom of this glass,” he says to the server as he proceeds to drink vodka and down raw oysters like, well, a 1960s advertising executive. Of course, we all know how that ends, so I guess your choice of glass hardly matters at all. Yet I think I’ll stick with martini glasses for now, regardless of how they’re perceived by some liquor company focus group. Because a rocks glass can hold anything: water, 7Up, grapefruit juice, Kool-Aid. But the only thing that goes into a martini glass is booze. It’s an honest piece of glassware, and when it comes to drinking, you’ve got to be honest with yourself.