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Sunday, August 19, 2001
Sunday Activity

Make your collection a glass apart

GLASSES come in all shapes, sizes and a host of hues. They can be long-stemmed, round bottomed, tall, short, slim or big mouthedóthe variety is endless. Apart from the usual glasses used for drinking water or sipping soft drinks, there is glassware for formal occasions and special drinks. It includes the following:

Brandy snifter: This short-stemmed, small-mouthed, oversized glass is designed to be cupped in the hand so that the brandy keeps warm.

White wine glass: This tulip-shaped glass is designed for white wines, which donít need as much oxygen to bring out their flavour as reds do.

Red wine glass: The rounded bowl helps direct the wineís bouquet to the nose.

Highball glass: Tall, straight-sided, and clear, this glass is perfect for a gin and tonic or iced tea.

 


Double old-fashioned (also rocks or lowball) glass:
This squatty glass works well for on-the-rocks and straight-shot drinks.

Martini glass: Sophisticated and small, its distinctive V-shape is perfect for classic cold cocktails, such as martinis , that must be finished quickly to keep from warming.

Flute: The tall, slim shape and narrow rim help preserve the bubbles in champagne.

Pilsner: Originally designed for lager, this glass suits any kind of beer ó especially todayís popular micro-brews.

Frozen or iced beverage glass: Useful for water, iced tea, or tropical concoctions.

Single old-fashioned glass: Smaller than the double old-fashioned, it allows a drink to be finished quickly, before the ice can melt.

Balloon wine glass: The largest of all wine glasses, it allows aged red wine to breathe more effectively.

Handle with care

Since glassware is delicate and fragile, it certainly needs to be handled with care. Observing a few precautions will ensure that you donít end up with chipped glasses and donít have your elegant glassware reduced to smithereens during handling.

  • To remove hard water calcium deposits, soak glassware for a day or two in distilled water with a little vinegar added to it.

  • To remove stains from glassware, including carafes and vases, fill them with water and add 1 tsp ammonia. Soak overnight and rinse.

  • Alternatively, rub the stain with baking soda but donít use abrasive cleaners or scrubbers.

  • It is best to hand-wash fine glasses. To avoid chipping, wash them one or two at a time in plastic tub or in a sink with a rubber mat.

  • To lend that extra sparkle to the glassware, add a pinch of laundry blue or ammonia to the washing solution.

  • Use a soft cloth to wipe clean plain or etched glasses. Drain the glasses upside down in a dish rack or on a heavy towel.

  • Rub scratches on glassware with toothpaste. The toothpaste acts as a slight abrasive and smoothens out the scratches.

  • To clean the inside of a stained glass decanter, fill it half with vinegar plus 1 tbsp salt. Add crushed eggshell, some sand or raw rice grains and swill around vigorously.

Storing glassware

  • Glassware should be stored on shelves lined with thick sheets of paper or rubber mats. Donít store them for a long time on newspapers. These can bring the sodium oxide to the surface, making the glasses hazy.

  • Should stacked glasses get stuck together, put cold water in the inside glass and dunk the outside glass with warm water. Gently pry them apart.

(Compiled by Chetna Banerjee)

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