Straw Etiquette for Cocktails

On the fence

So I am on the fence when it comes to adding a straw to my cocktail creations. Should straws be considered an important component of a mixed drink? Close your eyes and think back to your last bar experience. Was there a straw in your drink and did you use it? Do you expect a straw in your drink when you purchase a cocktail at a bar? Reaching for a straw poses more questions than I would have thought possible. Cocktails are the “must have” drink for fun and festivity so I make sure to savor any drink with a paper umbrella. I try to avoid the feathery herb fan or perfectly skewered fruit towers in my cocktails. Lets ponder the average paper straw as decoration.

Cocktail decor

For the average person making a cocktail at home with very little creative inspiration, adding a straw can provide a pleasing sense of artistic balance to the humble creation. From bamboo to stainless steel, wheat grass to clay there are some great eco-friendly alternatives to the convenient but outlawed plastic. Quality party paper straws are reasonably priced and seriously attractive. Flamingo and pineapple designs cry out to be the center piece of your next girls “night in” catch up.

Dipping into drinkware

What constitutes drinkware. Quality glasses are a must of course. From highball to lowball crystal tulip tulip to champagne flutes. Martini glasses always look amazing. Like voluptuous ladies of the night the perfect glass can cause you to stop and look. Oh yes, anything with female curves sells. Nibbling on the straw in your beverage can also look pretty alluring but not all cocktails come with a straw. Now I have it on good authority that straws are only used for long drinks in tall glasses Think exotic cocktail punches fizzes and spritz. And yet how many of us feel the need to have a straw into our glass to stir the cocktail ingredients even though they have been thoroughly mixed. Pondering life down the barrel of a cocktail straw might be relaxing but doing so raises another fun question.

How many is enough?

How many are required to drink a cocktail? The answer is one straw for a Collins or Fizz. But sometimes two straws are given and this is because one straw is skinny and the flow is too slow, particularly in drinks that have a lot of crushed ice or drinks that are more viscous which can be frustrating to drink. Really! so why stick the skinny straw into the cocktail in the first place? What a waste! Then there is the question of how long? Depending in the size of the glass 13-15cm is sufficient to make the drinking experience pleasing.

Sip or stir

Getting to the bottom of straw etiquette. Nobody wants to look the fool at a crowed bar so what do you do when faced with a straw in your glass? Do you sip or stir. Another friendly bartender set me straight. I have it on good authority that bartenders place a straw in your drink to get a first sip from between the floating icebergs in your glass. Straws were invented to help navigate the flotsam and jetsam of a modern cocktail. It allows people to drink around the garnishes without them ending up in your teeth. Happy hour should be spent enjoying the beverage rather than sucking on a tooth pick. There you have it all questions answered and my problem solved. Straws are your best friend during Happy Hour.

Lip service

To be honest I wanted to find the straw a useless unnecessary item on my cocktail shopping list. Thoughts of starting a movement back to drinking out of a naked glass free of extra appendages was appealing. Back to the good old days of lips to rim and bottoms up. To what end was I thinking such thoughts and my answer is because any waste however small is cumulative which at the end of the day is bad for the environment.

Eco friendly straws

To all the eco warriors out there who shop thoughtfully recycle religiously and dispose of their waste responsibly I applaud you all and know I will be doing my bit too by using clay straws for a cocktail tasting event. These beauties easily decompose back into worm food and warm earth.

Cheers to advances in cocktail technology

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