Use the best glasses you can afford-graceful,thin.Some people favour stemmed wine glasses for all type of mixed drinks and wine.The stems allows you to hold it without heating the contents with your hand,if you hold the glass by its base,you keep the drink completely isolated from body heat .However tradition suggest certain shape of glass for certain drinks.Glasses should be kept spotless;shining clean.They should never be filled to the brim.


Drink                       Size              Shape
Highball (tall)         12 Ounce      Straight or slightly slanted                                                     sides;for whiskey,collin's,julep.
Old Fashioned         8-10 Ounce  Squat,Flat bottomed sloping                                                     sides.
Liquour                   1 Ounce        Various shapes normally                                                     small & short stemmed
White wine             4 Ounce        Tulip- shaped                                                      bowl ,elongated stem
Red wine                4 Ounce         Rounded bowl,                                                      shorter stem
Brandy                   4 Ounce         Very round bowl-                                                     with short stem


The occassion often dictates the type of drink to use - the weather,your mood ,the numbers.You can offer to your guests :-

Coctails     Usually made with a basic liquor plus vermouth,bitters
                 and other flavours.Always cold.
Collins       Lemon or lime juice (usually gin,rum,whisky,brandy ),
                 sugar,soda water.
Cooler       Long,iced ,summery rink made with basic liquor or
                 sherry,port or wine,lemon ,sugar and soda water,with
Flip           Whole egg ,whisky or apple brandy or cognac or
                 rum in a blender.
Frappe'     Pouring drink over cracked ice.

Highball    Spirits served with ice,soda water,ginger ale,or colas.
Julep         Fresh mint and bourbon whiskey.
Punch        Hot or cold ,usually with fruit & sugar combined in
                  sprits or wine
Sling          Spirits (usually gin,rum,whiskey) poured over
                  ice ,dissolved sugar,lemon juice,bitters.
Sour           Spirits shaken with lemon or lime juice,sugar
                  (often with white of an egg)
Toddy         Spice (cinnamon,cloves,nutmeg,lemon peel) in a glass
                   with a spirit,over which you pour hot water.


Cocktails are usually served before meals,but have one whenever impulse hits you.The objective in serving them is relaxation and enjoyment -not to knock them out.

Stir or shake?

To achieve the proper degree of chill,all drinks made with clear ingredents should be stirred with ice-not shaken.Those with fruit juices ,on the contrary,should be shaken so as to mix the spirit and the fruit properly.The harder the shake ,the colder and better they will be.Cubes of ice are best for undiluted drinks;crushed or shaved ice when sipping a flavourful concoction through a straw,with straight liquer,or a mint julep.Be sure your ice is fresh and clear.