Let's say that you were me. That would mean that you:
- are more about the accouterments than about the thing itself.
- confess to being a big fan of all things retro
- are a leetle bit of a snobby elitist whenever you could afford it
- derive satisfaction from things that nobody else knows or cares about.
Then let's say that you were all worked up over the stupid and awkward giant V-shaped 11 oz. martini glasses that pollute the landscape everywhere you go. You couldn't control that, but you sure could do something the barware that you bring into your own home.
This has been my progression, friends:
- enormous handpainted V-shaped martini glasses with 5" stems.
Lovely to look at, delightfully whimsical but the curse of the big-boobed woman is that you have to sit straight up like you were wearing a back brace, otherwise the base bumps into your boobage and you can't get your lips to the rim of the glass without dumping it all over yourself.
- cheap set of 4 10 oz. plain V glasses with 4" stem
nice basic set on sale at Bed Bath and Beyond. for a ridiculous $11.99. Came with a Boston-style shaker that you could never get the hang of. Fail! Also, not good because of the slow realization that your drink was warm by the time you got to the bottom of it.
- cheaper set of 8 oz plain V glasses with 3" stems
Mr.Sami, always on the hunt for a bargain no matter what it is, spotted this set on top of the freezer section in the supermarket. 4 glasses and small metal shaker for - get this: $4.00. The glasses are smaller, shorter made of thinner glass - all satisfactory. The shaker top goes over the bottom instead of tucking into the bottom and I have never yet made a drink in it that didn't blow up on me. I need to be served by either of two somewhat recalcitrant family members who seem to be able to manage it.
So now I'm thinking that the next logical steps is some saucer-shaped, small bowl cocktail glasses. You take your average B&W movie from the 40's and you don't see any V-shaped monstrosities there. No you see 4 0z glasses in a bell or saucer shape. In fact, in my obsessive internet reading of all things Mad Men, I came across an interview with one of the set designers who said that the three-martini business lunch was absolutely accurate, but the martinis were much, much smaller then. Three sips and you were ready for a refill. Compare that to today's standard 11 oz of gin or vodka per pop. No one could do business after three of those.
So that takes us directly to eBay. Now, assuming that you are still me, which of the following selections shall we bid on?:
Nice! Shortish stems, simple design. thin and elegant bowls. Famous vintage glassware pattern called "Candlewick". 5" tall; 4" across flared bowl. Starting bid $14.99 for 4.
Another well-known name in vintage glassware. Fancy, bordering on ornate. Well, all the way to ornate I guess. Product of Ohio. 5 1/2" tall; 3 1/4" across bowl. Starting bid $9.99 for 4.
Superbonus points for shortness! The 2 glass sets above were fine crystal, this one is thick glass. Common and cheap. You can usually find sets of 8 or 12 for 3 bucks on eBay. I love this stuff and I can totally see myself sipping daintily from these. Disclosure: My family had six 5 oz footed juice glasses like these that we used once a year to drink wine at Christmas dinner. Let's all cry now. 4" tall; 5 oz. High starting bid of $6.99 for 6.
Elegant, fancy and fine. Unnamed pattern, they have the highly desirable shortness. Starting bid $16.00
Drool! Short, tissue thin crystal and so clean and simple it just about breaks your heart. 3" tall; holds 6 oz, 2 for $29.00
Yes, they're V-shaped, BUT they're short and they have translucent glass olives in the stems. 6 oz. $25.00 for 4
So, now that we're saying that you're me, which of these should we get?
Bonus history lesson: Another reason to repudiate Jimmy Carter:
Some specifically ascribe the demise of the three-martini lunch to Jimmy Carter, who condemned the practice during the 1976 presidential campaign. Carter portrayed it as part of the unfairness in the nation's tax laws, claiming that the working class was subsidizing the "$50 martini lunch." ... His opponent, incumbent President Gerald R Ford, responded with: "The three-martini lunch is the epitome of American efficiency. Where else can you get an earful, a bellyful and a snootful at the same time?"