When is a glass more than just a glass? When it’s popping with personality and can draw attention from across the room—and across the country. Creative drinking vessels have grown ever more elaborate lately, making for a cocktail experience that’s sometimes silly but always memorable. These are the nine wackiest cocktail vessels around the country.
Will Lee, the beverage director of Second Best and Grey Ghost in Detroit, was inspired by dive bar shots when creating this fruity concoction. He starts with a house-made raspberry-infused vodka, then mixes in peach schnapps, citrus and 7Up and serves it over pebbled ice in a honey bear. The only question is if you should hug it or drink it.
Jamie Boudreau often starts with the vessel, not the recipe, when crafting drinks for his iconic Seattle bar Canon. He says he just “scours the web looking for unusual items that could hold liquids.” Here, a disco ball is filled with dark rum, cherry cola, falernum and lime, plus a heavy dose of Angostura bitters.
We wouldn’t recommend drinking from just any lamp, but the globe-shaped one used at Sycamore Den is specially designed for this purpose—it even has four portholes for multicolored Pyrex straws. The sharable drink inside, created by Jesse Ross, brings together fresh tangerine and lime, clove syrup, Jägermeister and vodka.
Sure, you’ve shared a punch bowl. But what about a swan? At Freehold in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, this large-format drink, created by Brad Gallagher and Brice Jones, refreshes a crowd, bringing together fresh watermelon juice, lime, sparkling wine and vodka. For a bit of extra fun, it’s garnished with watermelon Sour Patch Kids in addition to lime wedges.
The method here is “shoot-shoot-chomp,” says bar director Michael Neff of The Cottonmouth Club. You start with Slane Irish whiskey, then finish off with a dram of dill pickle juice served in a hollowed-out pickle. “It definitely has its own fan club at this point,” says Neff.
Is it a cocktail? A ship in a bottle? At The Aviary, it’s both, with a dramatic presentation to match the vessel. The drink brings together house-made hazelnut orgeat with Batavia arrack, bitters, pineapple and lime. Before pouring out the bottle’s contents, they spray a mace tincture through a candle flame onto the ceramic serving cup.