Translated for you: the stirrup glass, a guide

Translated for you: the stirrup glass, a guide

The stirrup glass is the last drink before concluding the evening: food and wine journalist Kara Newman explains how to choose it.

The original article “What to drink before bed? There’s lots to consider ”by Robert Simonson appears in The New York Times. A guide to deciding what to drink to end the evening: we have translated it for you.

When wine journalist Kara Newman started working on her new book, Nightcap , she immediately had to deal with a burning topic: what exactly is the stirrup glass ? At first glance, the answer seems simple:the stirrup glass is the last drink of the evening, what you drink before leavingthe glass of the stirrup, in English nightcap , is the last drink of the evening , the one to end with a flourish , which gives comfort like nightcaps , the woolen skullcaps worn by those who were about to go to bed in the nineteenth century. But this definition only clarifies the time references. What kind of drinks are we talking about? Anything good for the stirrup glass? What is the broader social function of this drink? The more questions Newman found herself asking the bartenders, the less she cleared her mind. “ No one has ever told me: ‘this is not a stirrup glass’, ” he added. “ The interpretation is open to any type of drink “. She managed to establish only one rule: “Everyone I spoke to told me that the glass of the stirrup does not include the plural “. That is to say you drink one and then stop .


Newman believes that today’s drinkers don’t care much about the stirrup glass and it’s partly for this reason that she thought it might be a good topic to investigate. ” Nobody seems to want to deal with it, ” he said. He knows well that in the popular imagination the stirrup glass is always seen as a drink of a certain weight , usually a dark spirit such as brandy , whiskey , rum or an amaro . “ They are drinks that are used to warm up and that have flavors comparable to those of desserts. Vanilla, caramel and spices , ”said Newman, editor of the spirits section ofWine Enthusiast . “ They give comfort, they give pleasure and they are calming. I also think it’s not easy to drink them all in one sip “. Still, she has nothing against a good glass of smoked mezcal , if that is what she is offered. Even the Negroni , an aperitif cocktail that is usually drunk before a meal or in any case at the beginning of the evening, can be fine, even if, in its place, he recommends ordering a Boulevardier , a Negroni made with bourbon instead of with gin.


What the ultimate purpose of the stirrup glass is, however, remains difficult to understand. It does not just serve to close the evening: it represents the way in which we decide to close it, an evening . In the book, available from 16 October, he has divided the various recipes into 4 categories: “ To send you to sleep “, which includes lighter drinks with strong wines and vermouth; “ To continue chatting ”, featuring cocktails with the highest alcohol content; “ To help digestion ”, with drinks based on bitter toners; and “ To sweeten the pill ”, with dessert drinks such as Grasshopper and Brandy Alexander .


But often intent is enough to make a drink play the role of the glass of the stirrup. While Newman didn’t believe shots could act as a stirrup glass, they still make an appearance in her book with the Paper Plane shots. The recipe starts from the well-known modern cocktail (based on bourbon, Aperol, Amaro Nonino and lemon juice), which is first prepared and then divided into 4 shot glasses. The first time he saw it prepared by a barman as the last glass to offer to a customer before leaving. “ It went against all the rules ,” he said. “ It was a sour, it had an aperitif in it and at the same time it was a shot “.


But the stirrup glass, he explained, is not so much a category as an occasion . “ There were four people who toasted, shared this moment and then each went their own way. Like a delicate apostrophe “. What is Newman’s favorite stirrup glass? But it’s simple: two fingers of Armagnac . And when we pointed out that there’s a world of difference between a glass of Armagnac and a shot of Paper Plane, she shrugged and said, ” Evenings aren’t all the same .”

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