Do any bars or restaurants use small stemware any more? I’m talking about tiny wine glasses that hold a serving of sherry or port, or, for that matter, a pousse cafe. I can only recall ever seeing a shot glass in a bar or restaurant. I would imagine their fragility would pose a problem.
I use these small wine glasses frequently at home, and back in the 19th century, they evidently served as measurement tools, like jiggers, although I have trouble imagining they were ever all that standardized in volume.
In Europe, liqueur glasses still very much used in Austria and parts of Germany for eau-de-vie. In Italy, for grappa. In Spain, rustic places still use sherry glasses.
But there’s a clear trend that if the product is good, then it should be served in standard wine glass: that’s how I had amaro at various places in Italy and how we tend to get sherry, port etc in places with good selections.
I prefer using proper glassware but it depends on a couple of things. If it is appropriate to the program and if the operation can support it both financially and operationally. I was able to use smaller sherry and grappa glasses at Peacock Alley, especially in the earlier, fine-dining days only because we had our own dishwasher behind the bar and the floor team made it a point of returning the specialty glassware to the bar. If the fragile glassware ever went back to the kitchen for cleaning, it was all but over causing a financial strain to replace.
In a different operation, with limited storage space for instance, you’re probably forced down the multi-use road whether you like it or not.
Not that I’m aware of. But, then, I rarely order the kind of drinks that would traditionally come in smaller stemware. I would think the general breakability of such glasses would be a big roadblock. But I do love the idea of a wide variety of dedicated glassware.
Bars used to keep them around for Pousse Cafes. Maybe if we brought those back…
I’ve used small sherry glasses in a couple programs, and I find them wonderful for a variety of purposes behind the bar. I agree with @FrankCaiafa about the problems with breakage, but I tend towards more casual atmospheres and thrift stores (particularly on the Upper East and West Sides) have so many of these for a pittance. Mismatched glassware, sure, but elegant and certainly not lacking charm.
When I do see them behind a bar, it often feels like the forlorn Galliano bottle of yesteryear–some bar manager or overoptimistic head bartender ordered it thinking it was necessary or that they would use it in something charming and innovative. But now they gather dust and no one working the bar can even tell you why they are there in the first place.