Glassware Manifesto

So you want to throw a classy party, but all the glassware you have is a few mis-matched glasses, and a couple of dozen Christmas-themed coffee mugs (where do those things come from anyway?).

Time to break out the credit card and buy that big-ass set of glassware that you’ll end up using most of maybe twice before they start getting broken, right?

WRONG!

You can get by just fine with just 4 types of glassware, and it doesn’t need to break the bank either!

The four types you should have on hand are:

  • A “lowball” or “Old Fashioned” glass (6-8 ounces)
  • A “highball” or “Collins” glass (8-12 ounces)
  • A stemmed “wine” or “parfait” glass (4-6 ounces)
  • A “shot” glass (1.5-2 ounces)

Depending on the size and frequency of your party, your glass cabinet should have between four and eight of each of those. Do it right, and the total cost will be somewhere between $5 and $20, tops.

Now before you start sending me hate mail, and shouting ouside my window that I’m wrong, and going on about your 17th century Glencairn glasses, your margarita glasses, your stemless wine glasses, and your Brandy snifters, remember: We’re talking about how to go Classy on a Budget here. This post is aiming to get you through a decent party (no red Solo cups!) without spending a few hundred dollars on glassware that will just take up space in your cabinet for years on end, and without looking like utter crap.

I’m not saying don’t buy those (in fact, I have a lovely set of crystal cordial glasses I break out from time to time). I’m saying that there’s a time and place for them. And baby, this ain’t the time or place.

Now with that out of the way, back to the main focus of this post: Building your party collection on a budget.

As I’d mentioned, you just need those four basic types, and (depending on the number of guests you’re having over) four to eight of each one.

So where do you get them so cheaply? Check out your local “nothing over a dollar” type store! The best one I’ve found is Dollar Tree, and odds are good there’s one just down the street from you!

Yes, you heard me right. Dollar Tree is a damn wonderful place to buy REAL glassware on a budget. Just browse their site, and you’ll see what I mean.

Of course, they say all their glassware is “famous maker” or “famous brand,” but we all know it’s really just overstocks from Libbey. Which is fantastic, because that means you aren’t paying through the nose for it.

Now here’s the real kicker. Getting that wonderful glassware at $1 per piece is one thing. But here’s what I do, and every one of my parties is a hit with it.

Don’t buy glass glassware for your party.

You heard me. Go on, tell me I’m insane (I hear that enough from my friends, but they love my parties anyway). But if you’re wanting to throw a cocktail party that’s Classy but have a budget based on the change in your couch, skip the real glass, and go for the plastic-ware. Plastic can still look classy, you know. After all, at a decent cocktail party, it’s what’s IN the glass that your guests are interested in, not the glass itself.

So we have the 4 types of glassware figured out. Here’s what I buy at Dollar Tree:


Lowball
Lowball/Old Fashioned Glass. 10 of these for $1.

Water
Highball/Collins Glass. 5 for $1. These are a bit short, but work beautifully.

Stem
Stemmed Glass. 6 for $1.

And my personal favorite:
Shot
Shot Glass. 24 for $1. I keep a hundred or so of these around because they’re so handy!

If you (for whatever reason) don’t want to go with the plastic-ware, by all means buy real glass glassware. But don’t buy expensive glassware. Yes it looks beautiful, but odds are damn good that a glass is going to get broken, no matter how careful you are. And when that happens, buying a set from a place like Dollar Tree is much better than buying an expensive nigh-irreplaceable set. After all, you can always pop back down to Dollar Tree and pick up a replacement glass.

(Dollar Tree had no direct involvement in this post, and did not compensate me in any way to write it.)

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Suerte Tequila: Reposado

(This bottle was sent to me by the nice people at Suerte for review!)

Suerte_Reposado
Let me state up front that I’m not a big fan of Tequila. It’s just not my alcohol of choice. Mainly, I think due to the oily texture. But, then again, that’s just me, and my opinion.

With that said, I was a bit surprised by this one. It has the oily texture, yes. That’s a given when you’re talking about alcohol made from 100% Agave (as all REAL tequilas are). But the flavor and aroma far outweigh the texture on this one, which was very pleasant.

If I were a big margarita drinker, This would definitely be my Tequila of choice.

RATING:

(Surprisingly fresh tasting, and not as oily as others!)

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UV Chocolate Cake

UV_Chocolate_CakeAs I’ve mentioned several times on the show, I’m a BIG fan of UV Vodka. And I can say that with a perfectly clear conscience. No sponsorships, no deals behind closed doors. They DO send the occasional bottle for review (and those will ALWAYS be duly noted in my reviews), but the reason I’m such a big fan is they make a damn good product.

Case in point: UV Chocolate Cake. It pours a very dark brown color, and the smell of chocolate simply oozes out when you open the bottle.

When you taste it, it’s definitely not a “chemical” chocolate. And by my personal classifications, it’s not a “sharp” or “hard” chocolate. It’s a “warm” chocolate. Like a fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate.

I really dislike the term “mouth feel,” but this is only the second alcohol I’ve ever tried that I can honestly say has a distictive “mouth feel.” You can almost literally feel the crumbs of cake in your mouth, to the point that you almost want to chew before swallowing. I’ve checked the bottle thoroughly (actually, this is my second bottle of it. It’s THAT good!), and I haven’t seen a single crumb anywhere in it. Chalk it up to superior filtering, I suppose. Either that, or Willie Wonka finally left the candy factory and began making alcohol.

With the first sip there’s the tiniest bit of alcohol burn. But that very quickly fades away into a beautiful mouth (and nose) filling chocolate flavor.

Subsequent sips enhance that flavor immensely. So consider this a warning, go sparingly with this one if you’re drinking it straight, or you’ll end up finishing the bottle before you realize it.

This is a very nice improvement over their other Cake flavor (haven’t reviewed it on the show yet, but when I do you’ll understand what I mean), and it’s definitely something that would work well in a mixed drink as a substitute for a dark creme de cocoa.

Rating:

(Beautiful warm chocolate flavor and aroma!)

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UV Blue

(Now that the site is up and running, DJ Skunkie and I are going back and listening to the past episodes of the shows, so we can transcribe the reviews and segments. This is the first review I did.)

uv_blueFor more years than I care to admit, I was a die-hard Stolichnaya fan. My grandfather drank it, my father drank it, and I drank it. Family tradition, you could say. But, one evening while watching Derrick’s live stream, he mentioned a flavored vodka (until then, I prefered making my own) called UV Blue.

I don’t remember exactly what he said, but a thought hit me, and I figured I’d look into it next time I was at my liquor store. Which I did. It met my first criteria right off the bat: Affordability. The price of Stoli was climbing ever higher at the time (thanks to a container ship sinking a couple of months earlier), and this vodka was just $7.99 for a litre as opposed to the $24/litre for my beloved standard.

So I bought it (along with a bottle of “plain” UV), and brought it home where it sat on the shelf until I finished off my back stock.

Now we get to the actual “review” part. When you open the bottle of UV Blue, you get the barest hint of “blue raspberry.” Yes, the neon blue Spluree, Slush Puppie, Icee, whatever your local version is, fake raspberry smell. And this is one time that I can say I don’t mind a chemical smell in an alcoholic beverage. Because in this case, it fits. Blue Raspberry is SUPPOSED to smell and taste artificial, as anyone who grew up in the 80’s knows all too well.

The color comes out quite vividly, but not as “electric blue” as much as a “sky blue.”

And then there’s the taste. Yes, compared to other flavors of UV, there is a slight harsh alcohol burn, but I believe that’s just a side effect of the “artificial flavors” that are a deep-seated part of any blue raspberry flavored product. Again, anyone who grew up in the 80’s knows exactly what I mean.

If you go back and look at all my reviews, you’ll see that UV products always get comparatively high scores. And as I always say, that’s not due to any “deals” or collusion. UV makes a damn good product fairly consistently across the board. And UV Blue is a good example of this.

Rating:

(Not my favorite flavor, but it’s still damn good.)

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