Drink out of a smoking pipe or a light bulb

While some patrons welcome quirky glassware and vessels, there is a growing section, who have taken to social media to vent their frustration

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Drink out of a smoking pipe or a light bulb

Last year, a plateless wasteland led to the creation of Instagram account #We Want Plates, rebelling against food served in quirky objects like slates, shopping carts, etc. This year, it’s the turn of cocktail and mocktail lovers to kick up a storm over the use of anything apart from regular glasses to serve their favourite drinks. The movement, if you can call it that, has been kicked off on, Twitter by social media users using the #We Want Glasses, sharing images of drinks served in bizarre objects from bath tubs, measuring jars and even a replica of a human heart, etc.

Looking for reasons why? If you go back to social media, it throws up an odd mix — those who welcome the quirky presentation and those who simply can’t stand it. The reasons for the latter vary from struggling to finish an expensive drink from oddly shaped containers to feeling short-changed because of the minuscule amount served thanks to the design of the container, to simply being put off by the idea of getting a drink in what looks like a replica of a human heart. Considering that, more and more watering holes are serving drinks in quirky glassware, we decided to quiz them why?

Quirky v/s utilitarian

A section of cocktail and mocktail lovers are putting up a fight to savour their choice of poison. Preparing for what they see as an onslaught of quirky glassware that’s making regular glasses redundant. But behind all that white noise, there is another side to the story that can have a happy ending if both sides work together. Sonali Mullick, regional manager, Hitchki, definitely seems to think so, and makes a pitch for using both quirky and functional glassware. She says, “There is an endless debate over the use of quirky v/s utilitarian glasses for cocktails. At Hitchki, we make sure the customers get a mix of both worlds. We use quirky glasses only for certain themed drinks, such as Boot-e-licous that is served in a boot-shaped glass because it adds an artistic expression and goes well with the theme. Besides, we cannot use the same glasses for every drink. At the same time, we cannot use fancy and super expensive glasses for all the drinks just because they add character to the drink, which is not practical either.” She goes on to inform us that not all glasses are excellent for stirring or mixing. Keeping this chain of thought in mind, they choose only those quirky glasses that are not very tough to handle and are practical to use.

Thinking out of the box

For some mixologists, it’s the challenge to create and serve a drink  out of the box that motivates them to look for quirky glassware that can not only add to the overall experience but also leave a lasting impression. Himanshu Desai, head mixologist, Massive Restaurants Private Limited, seems to echo this trend of thought in his reasoning. He shares, “Serving cocktails innovatively is as important as serving a drink, the classic way. There are patrons who prefer to experiment and try something different, while many prefer to enjoy their cocktails and spirits in classic style. At Kode, we serve the Life of Pie cocktail in a unique vertical, cube vessel and the inspiration behind it is the phrase “think outside the box.” Then there are those who believe that sticking to basics works. As in the case of Anish Hasan, head bartender at British Brewing Company, who says, “While it might be novel to serve guests in quirky glasses, we’ve always believed what’s inside of the glass counts more!”

Getting both to work!

Clearly, it’s a matter of perspective, and no one knows that better than chef and  restaurateur chef Farrokh Khambata. Rather than looking at it as two opposing sides of the spectrum, he makes a pitch for using both styles to one’s advantage. He says, “At Joss, we serve a Smoking Cosmo, and as the name suggests it is supposed to give the guest a feeling of smoking a pipe whilst sipping on a classic cosmopolitan. The pipe itself is used as it has a separate opening to sip the drink and the other through which the drink is poured and dry ice is placed. The dry ice reacts with the Cosmo to give out vapour to complete the smoking effect. While serving drinks in regular glasses is kind of classic, using modern apparatus to a limited extent does help in the presentation of the beverages.”

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