About Cold Glass

My name is Doug Ford; I’ve been writing cocktail commentary for Cold Glass since 2009.

I am not a bartender, and I have no connection to the liquor or restaurant industries. I am a consumer who delights in finding good and interesting cocktails and refining them for myself, my wife, and my friends.

Cold Glass exists because I believe that sharing my interest in well-made cocktails will encourage others to maintain high standards in their own bars, whether at home or where they’re working professionally. I encourage all of us to push away the junk so many places serve, to search out and patronize bars and taverns that take seriously the history and structure of their cocktails, and to make cocktails at home that equal the care taken by the best of today’s barmen.

Each article is a research project and an exercise in understanding; writing is my way of organizing my thoughts and recording what I’ve learned. The excitement and effort of building Cold Glass have led me to cocktails I never knew existed; my reward is the delight of discovery and the experience of new flavors. Not to mention the simple pleasure of just knowing this stuff.

Here’s what I believe:

Cold is good. There is no such thing as too much ice in a bar. You’d think everyone could get this right, but no…

Fresh is good. There are no drinks that can be made successfully with sour mix that comes from guns.

.


If you want to reach me by mail, you can leave a message right here. If you want to add to the comments, that box is at the bottom of this page. Thanks for your feedback!

37 thoughts on “About Cold Glass

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  1. Dear Cold-Glass Doug, Hey, LOVE your website. I am enjoying reading about such a variety of libations. You make this art seem intensely fascinating, imaginative and of course mouthwatering. when i am out there next i hope i can persuade you to favor me with one of your creations. i would be happy to provide whatever items that are required for the best outcome. Dave will be the designated driver… see you in October! Dr. JenSue, your Maine connection

    1. Hi, Dr. Jen, I’m delighted that you found my writings, and it’s pleasant that you approve. It’s a long time since we talked, and I will be very happy to provide some nice, fallish, catch-up cocktails. Looking forward to it!

  2. Great site and great hobby. I recently started infusing liquor and having a great time. Good luck with making it perfect.

    I am know working on a Moscow Mule. I had an excellent one at Osteria Marco (Mosca Mule · Skyy Ginger Vodka, Domaine de Canton, fresh Lime, served in an Engraved Copper Cup)

  3. Love the site! Very very cool. Makes me thirsty. :)

    And congrats on the “Freshly pressed…”. To the blogroll you go!

    Cheers!
    G-LO

    PS… Can you ever have too many exclamation points?

  4. An idea for a future post, if you fancy taking it on: as an amateur (though clearly very intoxi… I mean, _experienced_… ;) ) cocktail fan as opposed than a professional, it would be interesting to hear your thoughts as to what would be a good “practical ” range of drinks and mixers to have in stock at home, for someone having, say, a few drinks or so a week. Professional bartenders obviously have access to almost everything, but for the rest of us, we don’t want to buy things that will just sit forever at the 2/3rd full mark, having been used a few times and then not again for ages and ages, by which time freshness is lost.

    Perhaps even your thoughts on a “starter kit”, a “rather merry” range, and a “semi-pro” collection?

    Just a thought! :)

    1. Yes, it’s a very good thought. And an interesting thing that you bring it up just now, since my Bride and I were talking only last weekend about that as a possible direction for a series. < … pondering… >

  5. I happened across your blog because of Freshly Pressed, but I’m loving it. And it has a wonderful clean feel. Classy and not too flashy. Just like a good cocktail. I look forward to reading more.

  6. Sweet sophistication of your libation essays impresses me (and I don’t think I’ve had a “cocktail” since my dad bought me a Shirley Temple in the 1960s). The reading is sublime. Reminds me of my friend, Amelia Sauter, who owns Felicia’s Atomic Lounge in my town of Ithaca NY. She writes a blog, “Drink My Words,” that shares your criteria for a good cocktail plus witty observations about life, death, and everything between. Congrats on Freshly Pressed.

  7. Ah, a Civil War guy. Taught 11th grade US history 34 years. Several topics of particular interest to me: The amoral manipulations of Lincoln to keep the four border state from succeeding and how he canned John C Fremont over Missouri(Think Fremont far superior to Lincoln re character). I have written several page accounts of the role of the churches/denominations in pre war decades anti slavery and another on how the slavery issue split denominations North/South prior to war.

  8. As I sipped my first drink of April, a traditional Last Word, I read your post on it’s variants. Now I will have to call this libation One of the Last Words. Thanks for experimenting and posting.

  9. Hi Douglas!
    Love your blog! Very, very cool ;)
    I thought you might be interested in the new site that I am all about: dedicated to finding happy hours, drink deals, and food specials in major cities across the US: http://barhappy.com/

    I hope you’ll check it out and, if you like what you see, consider mentioning us in one of your posts or including us in your links, or even a twitter shout out.

    Let me know what you think!

    Best,

    Alanna

  10. So fun to find your blog! I have semi-regular Champagne Thursdays with a few friends which has recently turned into “whatever fun new cocktail recipe we’ve discovered” Thursdays! If you have any interest in a Prickly Pear Margarita made entirely from scratch check out my blog at sarahsjoys.wordpress.com under the ‘drinks’ category! I’d be happy to hear suggestions or thoughts on it. :) Can’t wait to try some of your cocktails!

    1. “Champagne Thursday,” what a fine ritual. “New Cocktail Thursday” sounds like a good idea, too. I’ll do my best to contribute ideas. Thanks for commenting.

  11. Hey Doug,

    I think your blog is wonderful & insightful…and coming from the customer’s end is genius letting people out there know that you don’t have to be a pro, to be a pro :) :) :).

    I have a dining blog coming from the same perspective so when you get a minute, please check it out. Maybe we can exchange links.

    Greetings.

  12. At The Rum Project we, of course, focus on uh, rum. Unlike single malt whiskey, bourbon, tequila, cognac and unflavored vodka, rum – per distiller Richard Seale and me – rum is “the wild west” of spirits. Here in the US and under the guise of the additives clause, and whether legally or not, most rum distillers favor column-stilled product that has been altered with all manner of unlabeled additives.

    Like Canadian whisky, most rum is really a mixed drink in a bottle. Ergo my question…

    Way back when (in the 1930’s) the Tiki/Polynesian movement embarked under the guidance of two extremely talented individuals: “Trader Vic” Bergeron and Donn The Beachcomer Beach. Both were fanatical about the use of top shelf, old and often pot-stilled rum and a myriad of fresh ingredients and quality components. They spent untold thousands of hours and used cases upon cases of expensive rum to develop recipes that continued to be improved.

    Both would laugh at what today we call “mixing rums”.

    Much unlike today. So (at last), what’s your take on the notion that fine drinks require fine spirits? And how do you feel about the additive laden rums of today?

    1. Thanks for the questions. They are intriguing and thought provoking, and I haven’t really had a chance to write down my thoughts on them until now.

      I suspect each person has a different point at which he determines he’s just gilding the lily. I would say that fine drinks require good spirits; fine spirits, not so much. “Junk” rums (and gins, and whiskies) don’t deserve consideration at all—there are no drinks of any kind that can cover their flaws. In the same way, there are really great and subtle spirits, best appreciated straight; mixed drinks do them no good. There seems to be a point at which subtlety and finesse provide marginal or no improvement in the cocktail at the expense of the finest features of the spirits in question.

      As for additives in rums: if you’re talking about spices, I’m not really qualified to pronounce on them, as I have very little experience with them. If the issue is whether rums should be caramelled or not, I don’t think it’s a very big issue. If it’s strictly for coloring, I’d say it’s a little tacky, but since it doesn’t seem to affect the flavor, then “no harm, no foul.” If it’s actually being used to doctor the flavor of the rum, then it comes down to whether the marketplace enjoys that flavor or not. Those who like it will drink it, and those who don’t, won’t. I guess this is one of the things that brings out my faint libertarian streak.

      1. “If it’s actually being used to doctor the flavor of the rum, then it comes down to whether the marketplace enjoys that flavor or not. Those who like it will drink it, and those who don’t, won’t.”

        Ah, but if the marketplace doesn’t know that loads of sugar are added to “premium” rums, because this is done in secrecy?

  13. Oh, YUM. I’ve just started branching out into more involved cocktail-making and loving every sip. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed- and thanks for more cocktail inspiration! Following!
    Check out theusualbliss.com sometime.

  14. Hello again, Doug!
    I’ve always loved your photographs, though I’m curious: are you a professional photographer, or more of a hobbyist?
    It’d be great to see post on how you create your photos — a bit off-topic for the blog, but interesting… and there’s the chance it would spoil the magic : )

    Keeps those cocktails coming,
    – Ian
    temperedspirits.com

    1. Thanks, Ian. I was a professional, a writer/photographer, a couple careers back, but I’m pretty solidly in the hobbyist category now. You’re right, a behind-the-scenes story would be a bit off-topic, but there seems to be some interest in the idea, so I may do that some time. Thanks for the idea.

  15. Just wish to say your article is as astonishing.
    The clearness in your post is just excellent and i could assume you are an expert on this subject.
    Fine with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep updated
    with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the gratifying work.

  16. I just stumbled up this website and I am really delighted by it! Well written, content that’s right up my alley, good web design. I am particularly interested in Pre-Prohibition cocktails and increasing my knowledge of their history and the stories associated with them. I wouldn’t mind a post on the use of bitters – I think there’s more finesse involved and I’m falling short. My other shortcoming seems to be getting cocktails really cold without the ice melting, diluting them in the process. So comments on that would also be interested. Thanks, Don!

  17. I love the amount of research you’ve done for the drinks showcased on your most awesome site! I’ve been looking for great drink recipes with a back story – some of which I’ve heard before and others not. I’m really looking forward to viewing all these that you’ve compiled & wrote about. PS: I’m enjoying an Aviation right now after seeing this on your site the other day and running around town looking for that damn difficult to find Creme De Violette. And yes – it was worth it!

  18. I have decided that summer of 2016 is my year to learn all about cocktails. My husband found your blog accidentally and we love it. We are in St. Paul! Question: I have a slight obsession with egg foam cocktails. Do you have a favorite?

    1. Hi, Alex, I’m glad you found Cold Glass.

      I don’t have a particular favorite when it comes to egg foam drinks, but the showiest of the classics are, I suppose, the Ramos Fizz. and the Pisco Sour. Among more recent foam inventions is Pip Hanson’s Oliveto, a longtime favorite at the Marvel Bar in Minneapolis.

      But it was typical in the classic cocktail age to add a portion of egg white to practically every shaken drink, sours in particular, to make the mouthfeel a bit more lush, and to help blend the flavors of the drink. Adding egg has sort of gone out of fashion in modern bars, but I do enjoy adding a bit of white to whiskey sours, and even the occasional Daiquiri. It will take more than two of us to bring egg foam back, but it’s a start. Enjoy your cocktails!

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