Does the world really need another handcrafted cocktail? It depends on the glass.
Jung Lee, the founder of the eponymous New York luxury tabletop and accessories boutique Jung Lee NY, is fixated on presentation. The event designer is accustomed to bringing the sizzle to large-scale parties and press-worthy nuptials and still has the desire to set a good table at home—with real plates. “Using the right barware is an absolute must,” she says when asked about holiday hosting. “It’ll make the drink right. No one wants to drink even the best scotch in a wine glass or the best Champagne in a double old-fashioned.”
While the classics are around for a reason, an entire world of modern, artisan-conceived barware reigns as the athlesiure antidote to the predictable, formal codes of entertaining. Glassware is the best expression of this movement, bringing unexpected thrills—much like the concoctions du jour, where a splash of this and douse of that yields the mixologist’s most exciting results.
When asked about her holiday entertaining favorites, Lee did not take the predictable route. Instead, she invited us to the superb aesthetic playground of designer Vanessa Mitrani, whose Pick martini glasses and Cube whiskey tumblers flaunt that breezy, cool French attitude with a frisky, check-this-out secret. Both styles from her Gravity collection are composed of individual elements that are meant to be arranged, assembled, and handled—a sultry contrast to traditional barware, which asks for one sure thing: a solid glass.
Here, tradition is set aside in favor of soused-up theatrical display—something we enthusiastically endorse this season. “Not only is the martini Pick great and unique, it is a conversation starter,” says Lee. Handcrafted bronze bases act as prop and stage for both of Mitrani’s designs. Pick features a mouth-blown glass vessel balanced on a bronze stem that appears to pierce its more delicate companion, yet no disasters befall the rug, sofa, or trousers, at least for the first round. The Cube tumblers nestle into bases bearing their own imprint—less of a party trick perhaps, but still offering enough nighttime drama.
While wine is a safe bet, when else will you have a captive audience for those tried-and-true recipes in your evolving repertoire? What the bartender has in breadth, you have in style.