Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Jun 3, 2009 02:59 PM

Coupe cocktail glasses

The triangular cocktail glass, what many people think of as the classic "martini glass", didn't really catch on until the Fifties. The curved-bottomed coupe, what Marliave uses for most of its up cocktails, is actually more authentic for a place trying to recall its pre-Prohibition roots. (Check out the old movies; The Thin Man drinks his martinis out of coupes.) You'll see those glasses at a lot of high-craft cocktail bars these days. I like them, am trying to find some for my home bar, preferably vintage, but I'd settle for new.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Slim, with your seemingly endless opportunities to drink and dine around (is my envy palpable?) when would you possibly have time to have a drink at home? I also seem to remember Nick and Nora Charles drinking out of the glasses used at Marliave.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Northender

      I do assiduously carve out an inordinate amount of time and disposable income for my number-one hobby. Having the professional gigs provides a useful subsidy.

      Nick Charles is the Thin Man I was referring to, though actually in the first movie, the Thin Man was the murder victim. But moviegoers associated the title with William Powell's character, so that's how they marketed it in the five sequels.

      I actually do more pre-dinner cocktails at home now, one of my recessionary cost-saving measures. I always had a pretty elaborate home bar set-up, but it's gotten bigger since the B-Side and its successors came along. I didn't always have Benedictine or Chartreuse on hand. I just added some essentials for real Tiki cocktails: falernum, orgeat, allspice dram, more rums. Looking forward to getting the ice shaver going this summer.

      1. re: MC Slim JB

        I live vicariously through you. (falernum and orgeat? - time for a Google search I am still working on Peychaud's bitters (sp))

        Parenthetically, I think there was also, ever so briefly, a "Thin Man" TV series in the Fifties starring Peter Lawford as Nick Charles. I forget who played Nora. I was just a wee lad at the time but perhaps that is where I first became interested in properly made cocktails in appropriate stemware.

    2. I also am looking for coupe style glasses and having a hard time finding them.

      1 Reply
      1. I agree - love when a place uses coupes. And big fan of Nick and Nora - have the collection of all six Thin Man movies on DVD ; )

        BTW, I've only been to the Marliave twice, but had a nice time and enjoyed the food on both visits (especially the rarebits, clam chowder and fresh oysters). Drank wine though; the only mixed drink I've tried was a well-made Bloody Mary.

        I had a hard time finding coupes too. Best bet for finding coupes (especially sets) are second-hand or antique stores in the 'burbs. Can't seem to find any I like on Ebay or new.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Rubee

          I am a thin man nut. Though the first three are considered the best. Gotta love those tiny cocktail glasses.

          One of my favorite scenes in any movie is when he is in the park with their son 10-12 stories below in Central Park and the Nora wants to summon him.

          The maid knows just the trick and starts to shake a batch of cocktails. An impossible distance away, Nick somehow senses the inaudible tinkle of the shaker and let's their son know it's time to head upstairs ;-).

          1. re: StriperGuy

            That's too funny! My favorite scene too (I think it's in "Shadow of a Thin Man"?) - the one I tell fellow cocktail lovers about to get them to watch the movies. IIRC, he's supposed to be entertaining his son in the park, so he's reading the racing form out loud as if it's a fairytale. Hmmm...might just have to enjoy some martinis while watching the Belmont this weekend. ; )

            1. re: Rubee

              That's right, forgot the racing form bit. Awesome bit of Thin Man fun.

              1. re: StriperGuy

                Oh yah. I think drinking martinis out of coupes while watching the Belmont is officially a new tradition!

                I was oh-so-close on my Belmont exacta box (betting on first and second). Had the winner Summer Bird, but had Mine That Bird for second and he came in third. But even better pay-out is we hit the Pick 4! which restaurant should I make reservations to celebrate at tonight? ; )

        2. Well if I ever see any vintage ones, I will let you know MC. I respect the history behind the glass, but the execution of the drink is the final judgement, and a simple martini, however historically authentic, lacked what time may have perfected.

          Perhaps the glass works with their prohibition drinks better. Do they chill the coupes? I dont recall. I just recall a mediocre most basic of drinks, a dry vodka martini.

          Now that risotto dish I had a few months ago - - - sublime!

              1. re: galleygirl

                Okay, I love these, one of you should buy them, they're deal...


                1. re: galleygirl

                  Being the glass nut, I know all of those glasses above and they are all too big. Not real 1920s sized glasses intended for cocktails. The ebay ones are much more recent vintage.

                  I have some smallish vaseline glass depression era cocktails that are the traditional cocktail shape but about 1/2 to 1/3 the size of a modern cocktail. Those are the closest I have.

                  Here are some closer examples:



                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    I found about a hundred! Most give actual measurements; what are the actual measurements of coupes? I searched champagne glasses, BTW...

                    1. re: StriperGuy

                      Hmmm, I actually have one of those chrome based ones....Of course, I find it too small for a beverage; that must be why Nick and Nora were constantly mixing up more!

                      1. re: StriperGuy

                        Since you are a glass nut, maybe you can help. I bought a bunch of glasses at an online auction and they turned out to be soooo much smaller than I expected. Can you tell me for what they are used? They hold one ounce and measure only 1 1/2" high. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

                        1. re: marlaz

                          That is likely a sherbet glass, or a very small compote both for serving a dollop of sweets, that shape is too flat to have been intended for a cocktail.

                      2. re: galleygirl

                        Have a large set of these from tiny stemmed cordials, to wines, to champagnes.