Why Standard Spoon's New Mixing Glass is at the Top of Our Wishlist
Great bartenders are known for their strong aesthetic taste. Between building gorgeous drinks and designing stunning bars, the best bartenders attend to every visual element of their jobs. It seems natural that attractive barware should be included, but so often the price or lacking functionality puts fancy bar tools out of range for staffs behind the bar.
The folks behind Standard Spoon noticed that attractive, affordable bar tools can be few and far between. “For bartenders, there's a disconnect when they show up at a beautiful bar, dressed and professional, ready to be hospitable and make great cocktails — and the tools they have at their disposal to make an Old Fashioned include a red-tipped barspoon and a pint glass,” says Rachel Eva, co-owner of Standard Spoon.
For most bars, the cost of designer bar tools, including the likes of crystal mixing glasses, is prohibitive. “So many bartenders say they prefer using a mixing glass, but the bar won't buy them because they're too pricey,” Eva says. “So they stir in pint glasses at the bar, or a Pyrex beaker, or in tins or in the glass. These gorgeous bars, many of which have won awards for design, lack a beautiful and affordable mixing glass. So we set out to solve that problem.”
The team behind Standard Spoon led the charge to design a superior mixing glass — one that was equal parts visually compelling, functional and affordable. In doing so, they took a look to the past but also pushed themselves to innovate. “With so many corners being cut in manufacturing today, our goal is to bring a standard of quality to our tools that takes us back to the era of the '40s and '50s, when products were built to last” she says. “This era also contributes to our design aesthetics, because mid-century tools were as beautiful and classic as they were sturdy.”
They were careful to make sure that their mixing glasses, first and foremost, suit the needs of bartenders. “As far as functional improvement, this Mixing Glass is better than a beaker, because it has a weighted bottom and won't slide around on the wet bar. It fits a Hawthorne Strainer like a glove. It doesn't have a bulging upper lip; it's incredibly streamlined and fits easily in your hand. It's preferred by some bartenders over thick-walled mixing glasses, because the walls are thinner, and it chills down sooner — but not as quick as stirring in a set of tins, which doesn't allow for enough dilution. It's the perfect interior diameter for stirring in a natural and effortless way. It's not heavy, so it won't be unmanageable, or contribute to wrist strain. It stands up to rapid transitions from hot to cold, and we haven't broken one yet,” says Eva of their ambitious design priorities.
Standard Spoon's Mixing Glass meets any bartender's needs: it won't slide around on the bar, it doesn't have a bulging upper lip, it fits easily in your hand and it was made to suit a Hawthorne Strainer perfectly.
And although the team achieved a beautiful glass with all the necessary functionality, they did have to make one sacrifice. “The biggest concession we had to make was that this glass is not seamless. It is heat treated for strength and durability, and it's held up in heavy service at one of the busiest cocktail bars in the nation, so it's proven strong. But we wanted to make a glass that bars and restaurants could afford, and a handmade seamless mixing glass isn't that.”
Rather than the cost prohibitive handmade glasses that can ring in anywhere between $60 and up, the glass is currently set to retail for bars at less than $30, and it can be pre-ordered by individuals for $35.
“Plus, it's beautiful,” says Eva. “The antique hammered-glass finish is like something out of Madmen. Bartenders light up when I bring it in to show them for the first time, and guests love it. That magic is worth a lot.”
Standard Spoon hopes to ship the mixing glasses in Spring 2017 — sign up here for preorder announcements.