A few days ahead of London Cocktail Week, Maximilian J Riedel, the 11th generation CEO & President of Riedel, visited our fair city to present their new “Bar Drink Specific Glassware” collection. For those that aren’t familiar, Riedel is an Austrian manufacturer (founded in 1756) that is for best known for its glassware designed to enhance different types of wines. Maxi likened them to Bose and Stradivarius for their commitment to excellence in their field. He also acknowledged that the world of cocktails is something that they are less familiar with as a company, and so they have smartly sought out advice from industry experts.
The six new glasses, created in collaboration with Zane Harris (Dutch Kills, Maison Premiere), were designed with great thought given to ice capacity, bartender efficiency, flavour enhancement, and carbon footprint. To show them off to us, Maxi teamed up with Max Venning at Bar Three in Spitalfields who talked us through each style whilst mixing up some delicious drinks, before letting us loose to make our own. I may well have over-diluted mine – must pay more attention and take fewer photos!
First up, the Neat Glass is similar to but smaller than the Rocks Glass. The latter is ideal for negronis and the like, taking standard ice cubes and large format ice, whilst the Neat Glass is designed with a pour of spirit or a shorter cocktail in mind, and fits nicely in the hand. Bar Three’s “Whisky + Milk” with Woodford Reserve, milk-washed Earl Grey and cedar wood made a fine cameo here.
On to the stemmed glasses, Venning whipped up a “Perfect Lady” in the Sour Glass, pointing out the outward flaring lip that allows any lingering egg white aroma to dissipate whilst also maximising the experience of the smooth mouthfeel. In contrast, the Nick & Nora Glass curves inwards at the top, keeping flavours and aromas in, and allowing one to take smaller sips of stronger drinks, such as Bar Three’s “Apple + Plum” (see below).
Finally, we explored the Highball Glass and Fizz Glass via Bar Three’s “Rhubarb Spritz” and “Stone Wall”. The Highball Glass, like the Rocks Glass, is a classic shape that will take standard ice cubes and large format ice – great for tall drinks topped with sodas for example. The Fizz Glass however is thinner, encouraging smooth drinks to slip down more easily – not dissimilar to a kölsch glass!
Just to make sure that we fully experienced the glassware, we hung around for a while drinking a variety of Max’s finest concoctions – it’s a tough job. Riedel have crafted beautiful, classy vehicles for booze, and the collection is sure to be a huge hit when it is released. Keep an eye out for them early next year!
Riedel – www.riedel.com
Thanks to Maxi, Max, Helena & co. for inviting us along to check them out.