You’ve Been Drinking Gin & Tonic Wrong!

You’ve Been Drinking Gin & Tonic Wrong!

Gin is most certainly ‘in’. From the gin festivals sprouting up all over the country to the 16% increase in sales last year that smashed the £1billion figure for the first time in UK history. It’s clear as day to see. Not since the Gin Craze in the 18th century has Britain been so infatuated with Madam Geneva.

Despite the increase in sales, there hasn’t been an equal increase in the accurate way to consume the delightful, juniper-based spirit. More often than not, if you order a good ol’ G&T in a bar, you’ll be served your request in a tall Tom Collins style glass. This though, is a sore mistake to make. With a long tall glass, you’re stifling the gin. You’re oppressing the gin. You’re not giving the gin room to breathe!

Literally though… to ensure you get the most out of this stylish spirit, a different glass has to be used. The solution – A glass with a balloon shaped bowl. Also known as the ‘Copa De Balon’, this bulbous-type glass dates back to 16th century Spain and was quite popular in speakeasies during prohibition America. It also happens to be one of gin’s best friends, after tonic perhaps.

The reason it works so well for gin is all down to the bowl, or balloon contour. The bulbous shape works to enhance and spread the botanicals, which makes for a wonderful aroma. The larger capacity also means that ice will melt much slower which eliminates the issues of quick dilution and taste weakening. The greater volume also allows for more fruit and garnishes which really help enrich the gin drinking experience.

Here at Stephensons, we’ve handpicked a selection of suitable vessels that incorporate the balloon-esque shape. The glasses listed below should help you on your way to getting the most out of your gin!


Gin-credible! - 2016 Gin Statistics

Bottles Sold

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Sales Rise From 2015

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US Exports up (last decade)

Gin & Tonics Sold 2016



Party Stemmed Gin Glass

This party gin glass from Arcoroc features the bulbous, balloon shaped bowl that will permit you to enjoy a gin in the best manner possible. The wide aperture allows for easy filling and a robust stem means this glass is more than capable of withstanding the rigours of a busy commercial environment.
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Speakeasy Gin Glass

Boasting an air of elegance, twinned with premium quality, this Speakeasy style glass will enhance the drinking experience for your guests and is ideal for the growing trend for gin and flavoured spirits.
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Enoteca Gin Glass

The Enoteca Gin Glass offers a simple silhouette but is packed with features to enhance the gin & tonic drinking experience. The large bowl of this glass has enough room for large ice cubes and garnishing, the stem prevents hot hands touching the glass and warming the drink up whilst the tapered edge prevents the aromas of the beverage escaping too quickly.
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Juniper Stemmed Gin Glass

With a full rounded open bowl, these Juniper Stemmed Gin Glasses have an elegant yet bold tabletop presence. This large bowl is ideal for holding ice, garnishes and the other ingredients that make your signature gin so special.
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Be Prepared For Oktoberfest!

Be Prepared For Oktoberfest!

Oktoberfest is becoming big business in the UK. We’ve not quite reached the 7.7million litres consumed at the German event in 2013, but with themed events popping up everywhere from Edinburgh to Shoreditch, and with over 50,000 people last year heading to the London events alone, we’re certainly on our way.

As a number of Oktoberfest events are set to turn many UK cities into boozy Bavarian wonderlands over the next two months, why not join in on the festivities and give your customers a traditional German experience? Here at Stephensons, we’ve picked out some perfect products that will help transform any bar into a bier-hall!



Moldau Pint-To-Brim Tankard

This toughened tankard is one of the only pint-to-brim 12-sided glasses available in the UK and will eliminate any chance of wasting your glorious German beer. This glass also features a nucleated bottom to keep the contents effervescent for longer.

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Two-Pint Glass Stein

If any expression fits the spirit of Oktoberfest, it’s surely – ‘two pints are better than one’. Give your customers an authentic German glass and reduce bar trips with this durable, traditional stein. You could say… two beer-ds with one stone.

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Spielgelau Wine Glasses

Oktoberfest isn’t only beer and schnitzel. Wine fits into the festivities too, with such customary favourites as the sparkling Schlumbeger often served. These glasses come from Spielgelau, a company based in the Bavarian forest since 1521. So, if anyone knows German glassware, it’s surely Spielgelau!

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Isar Shot Mug

This quirky item is a miniature tankard repurposed to be a shot glass! It features a detailed dimple design and a sturdy handle, with a perfect serving capacity of just 1.05 oz.

What could be more German than serving shots of Jägermeister in a mini-stein?

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Das Boot - Glass Beer Boot

Legend has it that a German general promised his troops could drink beer from his boot if they were victorious in battle. After the triumph, he commissioned a glassmaker to fashion his boot from glass, both fulfilling his promise and avoiding any foot-flavoured beer. Thus, the bierstiefel was born. This iconic glass is inherently tied to German culture and is a unique way to serve pitchers of beer.

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2015 Rugby World Cup Party Essentials

2015 Rugby World Cup Party Essentials

The 2015 Rugby World Cup is almost here and Stephensons catering equipment suppliers are on hand to help you celebrate! Whether you’re preparing a pub, bar or planning your own event, Stephensons have everything you need to make this World Cup a memorable one.Rugby World Cup Catering Equipment

The 2015 Rugby World Cup starts on the 18th September and lasts 6 weeks. This year’s tournament will take place across 13 venues in 11 cities throughout England and Wales and presents a great opportunity for the catering and hospitality industry to excite customers and boost income.

Henry Stephenson, Managing Director of Stephensons, said, “The Rugby World Cup will be lucrative for pubs and bars during matches and the knock on effect for restaurants, cafes and take aways makes this a great occasion for the whole industry.”

Read more about Henry’s thoughts on how the Rugby World Cup will impact the catering and hospitality industry.Plastic Disposable Glasses- pubs living wage hospitality

Here are 5 catering equipment products that are sure to make your Rugby World Cup party a success:

  1. The Yard Of Ale is a must have for any rugby themed event. Forget the scrum, the yard of ale is the true test of manliness. With a classic yard of ale shape, this glass is a rugby party must have.
  2. Ideal for parties, these Plastic Jagerbomb Tumblers are sure to set the tone for your Rugby World Cup Party. With a Jagermeister shot glass incorporated into the design, pouring the correct measure is quick and easy.
  3. There are 2 uses for Tubtrugs at a rugby party; fill one with ice for chilling drinks and use another for empties (because a party doesn’t have to be messy).
  4. Glass Beer Boots are characterful and quirky. These are great for a relaxed beer when the game is on or, for more adventurous party goers, rugby drinking games.
  5. Win or lose, nothing says ‘party’ like Red Party Cups! These disposable cups are the perfect disposable option for any party. Lose the rugby? Why not make amends and win the post match beer pong?

These 2015 Rugby World Cup essentials are fantastic for themed events and parties. Be careful not to forget the everyday essentials too. Stephensons catering equipment suppliers stock cleaning supplies, disposable glassware, beer glasses, and much more.Rugby World Cup 2015 Catering Equipment

How To Make And Serve The Perfect Gin & Tonic With Henry Stephenson

How To Make And Serve The Perfect Gin & Tonic With Henry Stephenson

When done right, gin & tonic is liquid perfection. As popular now as it ever has been, gin & tonic is thriving thanks to improved presentation and attention to detail. Gin is England’s national spirit and there are few things more English than a refreshing G&T.Gin and tonic- how to make good G&T

And yet, despite being so popular, there are so many variations on how to serve this popular drink. Which garnish should you use? How much ice should you put in? Which glass should gin & tonic be served in?

Stephensons are on hand to share our preferences for a refreshing and tasty outcome.

Henry Stephenson, Managing Director of Stephensons and former Spirit Buyer for Sainsburys, says gin has flourished in recent years,

“Previously seen as an old fashioned drink, gin has become an increasingly vibrant and diverse choice in the past decade. Gin & tonic used to be thrown in a glass with ‘ice and slice’ and with very little care or creativity, the drink really suffered. The quality of gin based drinks has improved dramatically which has been largely down to presentation.

“Simple things such as serving gin & tonic in a stemmed balloon glass with a thin slice of fresh lemon and some large ice cubes can make all the difference.

“There is no universally approved way to serve gin & tonic. Traditionally G&T is served in Stemmed Balloon Glasses or Hiballs, but modern gin bars may choose to use something different like Kilner Jars or Old Fashioned Glasses if it suits the establishment. I’ve seen gin & tonic served in anything from tall glasses to handled jars. These are usually themed or chosen to express the personality of the establishment.G&T How to make a good gin and tonic

“However, gin & tonic undoubtedly tastes at its best in a Stemmed Balloon Glass. When we apply what we learnt about wine to gin, this glassware choice makes the most sense. We want to stop the drink from warming up too quickly and control how fast the aroma escapes. The bulbous nature of the bowl, the stem and the tapered tip create a perfect combination of aroma, taste and temperature.”

Which fruit should go in gin & tonic: lemon, lime or something else?

“Gin bars are always looking for new and innovative combinations. Traditionally, a slice of lemon is used in gin & tonic; the lemon brings out the citric flavours of the drink and adds to the aroma. Substituting lemon for cucumber, melon, raspberries, lime and other fruits has become a popular point of experimentation.

“I personally prefer adding two batons of cucumber to my gin & tonic. The cucumber adds a delicious fresh quality to the drink.”

How much ice should go in a gin & tonic?

“G&T tastes better when it is cold and ice is the best way of keeping the temperature low. Avoid small ice cubes because they melt quickly and dilute the drink. Large ice cubes will melt slowly and keep the G&T at a pleasant drinking temperature.

“I would recommend a decent quanity of large ice cubes to keep the G&T colder for longer.”

How to make the perfect gin and tonic with Stephensons Catering Equipment Suppliers

So, how does Henry Stephenson like his gin & tonic served?

“I enjoy a classic gin & tonic in a stemmed balloon glass, such as our Speakeasy Gin Glass. Start by adding some large ice cubes so the glass is almost full to the brim. I then suggest a generous serving of quality gin topped with tonic water and two cucumber batons.

“This combination brings out the flavours and aroma of the drink perfectly and is extremely refreshing.”

Here are Henry’s recommendations for when to use different glassware:

Stemmed Balloon Glasses:  This is the perfect glass for gin & tonic. 80% of the flavour of gin comes through the nose and the wide opening of these glasses and the tapered rim permits the aroma to spread without escaping too quickly. Meanwhile, the bulbous bowl is large enough for ice cubes and garnishes. The stem prevents warm hands touching the bowl and altering the temperature of the drink too quickly.

Hiball and Old Fashioned Glasses: These are great for sipping gin based cocktails through a straw and offer a casual alternative to Stemmed Balloon Glasses for gin & tonic. This shape of glass is a conventional choice in most bars and can accommodate large ice cubes and garnishes.

Martini Glasses: Martinis are possibly the most well known gin based cocktail. Martini glasses have been specially designed to control the temperature of the beverage. The long stem prevents warm hands heating the drink up whilst the large surface area of the opening allows the aromas to flourish.Gin & Tonic Glasses

Stephensons supply Mr Selfridge with stunning vintage glassware

Stephensons supply Mr Selfridge with stunning vintage glassware

Catering equipment suppliers, Stephensons supply vintage glasses for the new series of Mr Selfridge.

ITV’s period drama, Mr Selfridge returned to our screens last night with Harry and his family celebrating Rosalie’s wedding.

If you were to ask us what makes an early 20th century wedding so wonderfully grand, it would have to be the glassware. Did you see the glassware?

Well, those beautifully engraved glasses and champagne saucers were actually supplied by Stephensons catering equipment suppliers.

Champagne saucers were all the rage in the first half of the 20th century. Recognised as the original champagne glass, saucer glasses feature tall stems which contrast with the wide bowl.

Now manufactured using the original glass moulds used for production in the early 1900s, these beautifully elegant glasses are once again becoming popular thanks to the vintage revival.

Those seen in the current series of Mr Selfridge include Calice Champagne Saucers, Cristal D’arques Masquerade red wine glasses and Elegance Saucer champagne glasses.

We stock and supply a beautiful range of vintage glasses with everything from wine glasses to cocktail glasses.

For more information contact our Customer Services team on 0161 483 6256 for more information.

In the spotlight: cocktail glasses

In the spotlight: cocktail glasses

Catering equipment suppliers, Stephensons publish a beginner’s guide to cocktail glasses.

There’s no doubt that cocktail culture has soared during the past few years. There are now more cocktail bars and bartenders than at any other time in history and fuelled by the growing list of cocktails are inspiring new ways to serve them – most recently a levitating cocktail machine, don’t you know.

Whilst the latter is yet to be produced beyond a science professor’s garden shed, you’re certainly spoilt for cocktail presentation ideas here at Stephensons.

With your customers now demanding more than just fruity cocktail with an alcoholic punch, cocktail presentation is more important than ever before.

The perfect serve goes beyond enhancing the taste, flavour and aroma, it’s also important from a psychological perspective too.

Customers that see something impressive, something that they can’t recreate at home, are more likely to be prepared to pay premium for something that bit different – it’s a great way to showcase your cocktail menu and, with the rise in online picture sharing, your venue too.

So, to make that perfect serve you’re going to need to know much more than just your martini glass from your margarita glass, although it is rather a good place to start.

Martini Glasses

Martini glasses typically hold between five and ten ounces, although there is the Grande Martini glass which holds 50oz!

These classic cocktail glasses were made famous by the world renowned secret agent who likes his martini’s shaken, not stirred.

Designed to be held at the stem rather than the bowl, the classic martini class ensures that the cocktail remains cool and refreshing.

We’d always recommend that busy cocktail bars to opt for toughened martini glasses which offer greater value in use.

The iconic martini glass design makes them particularly fragile around the rim should it fall over – toughened rims are designed withstand such impacts, saving you replacement costs.

Margarita Glasses

Traditionally featuring a low, wide and large bowl, margarita glasses are slightly larger than Martini glasses, holding between 10 and 15oz.

The wide rim bowl is usually coated with lime and salt, and other cocktail decorations.

Margarita glasses are also ideal for serving frozen cocktails like a daiquiri and can even be used to serve desserts.

Once again, toughened margarita glasses can offer better long term value, reducing breakage costs.

Pina Colada Glasses

Pina colada cocktail glasses are goblet-shaped and are designed to perfectly showcase tropical fruity cocktails at their best.

These goblet-shaped vessels are designed for the perfect mix of pineapple, coconut and rum – enough to make anyone break out into Rupert Holmes’s Pina Colada song!

Recently, we’ve seen a trend of stemmed glassware used to serve a wide variety of cocktails – trying something new and exciting is a sure-fire way of enticing extra custom.

Sharing Cocktail Glasses

Cocktail sharing glasses, punch bowls and fish bowls are a favourite among groups wanting to share the cocktail experience.

From traditional bowls to novelty fish bowls and oversized stemware, here at Stephensons we really do have it all!

If you’re going for something that bit different how about serving cocktails with Falcon enamelware, including beverage pots and cups – if enamel isn’t your thing there are plenty of ceramic and metal alternatives!

Tiki Glasses

The Tiki scene is buzzing at the moment, a revival of what was all the rage back in the 1940’s and 50’s.

From glaring glass skulls to hula tiki girls and volcano tiki bowls, our tiki cocktail range offers a fantastic opportunity for truly impressive, exotic cocktail presentation.

Choose from a growing selection of tiki glasses, mugs and bowls for a slice of Mediterranean fun.

Don’t forget to really set-off that tiki party, you’ll need plenty of lavish cocktail decoration!

Cocktail Mugs

Cocktail mugs of all shapes and sizes are increasingly served at the bar for hearty helpings of fruity infusion.

Be it a glass beer tankard, squashed tin can or a battered old enamel mug, mugs (and beverage pots) offer a unique way of serving cocktails, they’re extremely popular too!

Copper mugs are currently trending and are being used to serve more than the traditional Moscow Mule cocktail.

Go for something metal for that thirst-quenching, cool condensation appearance that will have your customers queuing at the bar.

Coffee Glasses

Cocktails are big and coffee’s big – why shouldn’t they go hand in hand?

Coffee cocktails originated in Soho, London and have since become popular across the country, giving guests a cool caffeinated kick before or after dinner.

To showcase your chilled coffee glasses, indulge in sparkling range of crystal clear glasses.

Double walled coffee glasses seem to be a favourite in venues at the moment as well as the more elegant, traditional coffee glasses.

Beer Glasses

Beer is another unusual cocktail ingredient that has taken hold recently – and we’re not talking about shandy.

Also known as cockt-ales, beer cocktails are increasingly popular and are, of course, best served in beer glasses.

The rise is likely as a result of the craft beer boom which is now seeing a whole host of additional ingredients including fruit, sprits and wood used during the brewing process.

We’ve picked out a selection in our beer cocktail range that will show off your beer based cocktails in the best possible light.

Drinking Jars

That famous Kilner glass jar is still around and is as popular as ever.

Having made the front cover of the Stephensons catalogue in 2013, the Kilner glass jar has given rise to a new era of drinking jars – you can even get drinks dispensers to match now!

Take a look through our latest selection of cocktail drinking jars which is set out tom impress.

Cocktail Glasses

As you can see, we have a vast and varied range of cocktail glasses here at Stephensons, which also includes an expanding range of plastic glasses which are ideal for those Christmas parties that you have planned!

For more information and advice, contact our Customer Services team on 0161 483 6256 and don’t forget to follow us on facebook and twitter to keep up to date with the latest products, offers and industry news!