Is there anything that could possibly be of a worse accident fostering design?
Seriously, it's like a miniature shallow bowl, balanced precariously on the end of a thin stem which is then filled to capacity with liquid, trusting surface tension to hold the contents in place, and indiscriminately handed to a customer who, unless it's the first one, has been imbibing a reflex dampening beverage. It's like flat out asking, "Please, allow me to dump this beverage down my front side" (sigh) Unavoidable...
Personally, I avoid such drinks that require the use of above said glass. Nope, no Cosmopolitan, Manhattan or Matadors for me. Nuh uh. However, there are 2 exceptions to this rule. Mainly because of the aromatic experience, which is what the glass is really designed for... (wet shirt aside) ...to direct the aromas of the drink towards your nose, creating a pleasing quaffing experience for your nasal passages. The 2 cocktails of which I speak are those citron laced classics known as the Side Car and the Lemon Drop.
I am going to focus on the Lemon Drop right now, because I am still trying to hunt down a good Armagnac for the side car (it can be made with bourbon, but it's best with Armagnac).
When I say Lemon Drop, I am not referring to the "shot" that has become popular of late. Though the preparation for that can range from a shot of Absolute Citron with a sugar coated lemon wedge to an actual mixed shot of Vodka and Sour mix (ick) with sugar on the rim of the shot glass. The actual cocktail is an inspired concoction for those in love with all things lemon, being modeled after the Old-Fashioned lemon drop candies, thus the combination of crystalline sugar and the intense lemon flavor. The only thing that can improve on the original is if you can get your hands on a precious Meyer Lemon.
The vodka I prefer for this is "Level", by the makers of Absolut, though it is distilled differently. I tend to avoid the prefab "infused" vodkas, because I don't really think they add any particularly stellar qualities in mixed drinks. OK, maybe the Absolut Peppar when preparing a Bloody Mary, but that is still pushing it. (Belvedere is better anyway) Level has subtle citrus & spice notes all on it's own without following the "Infusion trend", thus allowing it to truly stand out amongst other vodkas. Give it a go, you won't be disappointed.
Meyer Lemon Drop
1 Cocktail Glass (4 1/4 - 5 oz - Not the 10-12 oz over-sized ones)
1 Meyer Lemon Wedge (to rub on the rim, and to garnish)
Sugar on a plate, for rimming
2 oz Level Vodka
2 oz Meyer Lemon Juice
3/4 tsp Sugar (with regular lemon juice use 1 tsp)
Grab one of those dangerous cocktail glasses and place 2 TB of sugar on a plate.
Rub the rim VERY lightly with the wedge of lemon, don't get it too wet or you will have a gloppy mess on the rim.
Turn the glass upside down and set the rim into the sugar on the plate.
Voila, a perfect sugar rim.
Squeeze your Lemon juice and filter out the seeds (Meyer lemons have A LOT of seeds)
Place ice in glass part of the shaker
Add 3/4 tsp Sugar
Pour Meyer Lemon Juice over the sugar.
Then add Level Vodka. (preferably kept in the freezer, so it's nice and syrupy)
Pour into the metal shaker.
Strain carefully, into your cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon wedge.
Lift the drink and experience the sweet/sour hit of the sugar, the floral smell of Meyer Lemon juice mixed with alluring citrus and exotic spices. mmmmm This is what a cocktail glass is for, with each sip, your nose goes deep into the glass.... breathing deep of the vibrant aroma.
And the best part, is that there is a luscious wedge of Meyer Lemon to consume at the end,
to cleanse the palate.