Bar Exam got an e-mail recently from Designs by Lolita—"the artist behind the nation's hottest-selling, hand-painted drinkware"—bearing news of A New Trend: BYOG. Apparently, Bringing Your Own Glass to a "local watering hole, swanky club, or favorite restaurant... will set you apart from the crowd," and "more and more women are BYOG to the bar." Some of the myriad other advantages: no more mistaking someone else's glass for your own; your drink made right, according to the recipe hand-painted right on it; the opportunity to match your outfit to your glass; and extra attention (squeal!), with the possibility of glass-admirers buying you drinks. (No word on whether Designs by Lolita are roofie-attracting or -repellant.)
My ladybrain was boggled with thoughts of sartorial/glassware coordination, so I sought professional help. World-famous bartender Jamie Boudreau has been featured in every paper and magazine under the sun; he earned Vessel the honor of Esquire's "Best Bars in America" before moving on to Tini Bigs. What would he do if someone BTOG to his bar and asked him to make a drink in it?
"I would not, could not, on so many levels.
"(a) Those glasses are hideous and tacky, and yet someone else would want their drink in the same glassware. It would be a nightmare. Save the 'fun' glasses for your house parties. (b) I break enough of the bar's glass every week—I don't want to be responsible for someone else's $25 glass. Our glasswasher cleans glasses in 90 seconds, and it doesn't get to be that quick by being gentle. (c) Those glasses are huge, and most proper cocktails would make the glass look half full, sure to cause the owner to whine and try to get me to fill it. (d) The recipes on the glasses are horrendous and, in this state, illegal. The Appletini recipe is sickly sweet and calls for four and a half ounces of booze, a no-no here in Washington.
"It's obnoxious to bring your own glassware to a bar, just as it would be to bring your own booze, cutlery, and bartender. Bringing a glass like that reminds me of those pompous asses who go to the single-malt society tastings with balloon snifters bigger than their heads, begging the sales reps to give them 'just a bit more' as they swirl it around, nose in the air but eyes darting side to side to see if they can get a glimpse of someone admiring what fine connoisseurs of whiskey they must be. In reality, we all think that they're douches.Can we have a new brand of female douche here with this new 'trend'?
"Cheers, Jamie Boudreau"
Jamie Boudreau, spiritsandcocktails.com