Pop the champagne and get comfortable, because we are about to take your a magical journey through time to learn about the history of the coupe glass.
Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?
Pronounced ‘ko͞op,’ this stylish cocktail glass was designed in the mid 17th century in England by a Benedictine monk. Champagne coupes quickly became fashionable in France in the 1700s and were the cocktail vessel of choice for many years.
Over a decade after its introduction, tales began to surface that King Louis XVI of France is responsible for molding the shape of the glass after his wife’s breast. (Seriously, we can’t make this stuff up). And although Queen Marie Antionette left an iconic legacy behind this design can not be accredited to her majesty due to timing.
The design features a shallow, broad-bowled glass that causes champagne bubbles to disappear quickly, unlike a traditional tulip or flute champagne glass where the bubbles bounce off of each other and float playfully to the top of the glass. The shape however, eventually caused the demise of the coupe glass. Since it downplays the bubbles, the champagne flute rose to top of the bar scene once again. The popularity of the coupe dipped rapidly and finally fell flat in the 1960s.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, this elegant, new drinking glass landed in the United States. Shortly after prohibition ended, the coupe came into style from the 1930s to the 1980s. It quickly became an iconic way to sip spirits for high society New Yorkers.
While King’s and Queen’s influenced the popularity of this chic drinking glass in Europe, Hollywood royalty danced across the big screen with coupe glasses in hand causing it to become fashionable in the States. Cary Grant can be seen throughout the 40s looking oh-so suave with his coupe glass in An Affair to Remember and Roman Holiday. The iconic drinking glass pops up in many award winning movies throughout the decade including 1942 Best Picture, Casablanca.
Popularity began to dip once again once the golden age of Hollywood took a final bow, but overtime became a staple of modern mixology.
Bartenders became crafty when looking for an alternative to a martini glass. Because of the shallow-shaped bowl, the coupe became a spill-proof alternative to the martini glass. “Up” drinks -- cocktails that are shaken or stirred with ice, but poured without the cubes)-- later found a home in the coupe glasses. It also became a stand-in as an elegant desert dish, and is the main attraction for Gatsby-themed parties.
There you have it folks, the history of the coupe glass in all its glory. Now get out there and toast to this resilient and iconic cocktail glass.