Drinking in Europe

Prior to my trip to Vienna, I wrote a column in The Weekly Standard about Europeans’ disinclination to drink much water or any other non-alcoholic beverage. We’re told to consume eight glasses of water a day. And we like to drink our beverages cold, with lots of ice, and in tall containers. We are, after all, the home of the Big Gulp. Across the pond, the drinks, like Pago or San Pellegrino, come in tiny bottles. At the juice table in my hotel, the only available glasses were the kinds we use for doing shooters. (Pictured here is my large Mineralwasser at the legendary Cafe Hawelka.)

At the Blue Bar inside the luxurious Sacher Hotel, the bartender was making martinis by pouring gin in a large glass filled with ice cubes (and a couple douses of vermouth). He then covered it with a cocktail strainer with just enough room for his tall spoon to swish around. My first thought was that this is the kind of glass you’d find for our drinks at the Cheesecake Factory.

All that said, the martini was appropriately cold and smooth as silk.

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