When it comes to glassware, few vessels are as storied as the Nick & Nora. Its name pays homage to the detective couple of the noir novel and film “The Thin Man,” while its modern popularity owes much to the iconic Rainbow Room and bartender Dale Degroff. But its story is just one characteristic that makes the Nick & Nora glass famously beloved by bartenders.
The bell-shaped stemware, which falls somewhere between a small wine glass and a coupe, presents many advantages for drinkers. It’s easier to drink out of than a Martini glass (and the coupe, some would argue), and many bartenders choose it because of a belief that it keeps cocktails colder for longer.
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Though it’s often compared to a coupe, the Nick & Nora glass is generally a bit smaller, holding somewhere between 5 and 6 ounces of liquid, Zerrip explains. It’s frequently used to serve Martinis and spirit-forward cocktails served straight up. Even without a garnish, the Nick & Glass offers an elegant presentation that oozes pre-Prohibition glamour.
“The Nick & Nora glass not only feels classy, but it can make a lasting difference to a cocktail,” Zerrip says. Since the small bowl shape of the glass is meant to hold less liquid, cocktails served in these glasses are often accompanied by a small carafe of the remaining drink resting in a dish of ice –– better known as the side car. When served in this fashion, drinkers are able to refill their glasses at their leisure. Zerrip explains that the smaller size of the bowl also intensifies the aromas of the cocktail, further enhancing the drinking experience.
So does the Nick & Nora glass actually keep drinks colder?
Well, that’s a matter of simple science. “With a longer stem and a smaller bowl, Nick & Nora glasses mean less direct contact to the bowl itself, which can actually keep the drink colder for longer,” Zerrip says. The smaller mouth also means that the cocktail inside has a considerably smaller surface area than that of a Martini glass. In turn, the drink warms at a slower rate.
Truly an innovation and an icon, these famed glasses dissolve any fear of lukewarm cocktails while making the drinking experience a little more glamorous.