Ting Tang 

Duff's, 392 N. Euclid Avenue, 314-361-0522

Let's overthrow the martini glass! Who likes drinking out of them? Who, in fact, can even control them? Even the most perfect cocktail sways in the glass like a stormy sea. Even the steadiest servers can't help but lose at least 10 percent on the way to the table — and that's when the bar's empty. What a waste!

And for what? To open up a cocktail's "nose"? Can't be, because if that were the case they'd be served in a rounded receptacle — i.e. a wine glass — to trap and display the bouquet. Elegance? What, exactly, is elegant about dribbling liquid down one's chin? The design was introduced for cocktails in Paris at the 1925 International Exhibition of Modern Decorative Industrial Arts, which launched the Art Deco movement. But 80 years later, it's time for a revolution.

In the past year, Riedel stemless wine glasses have started appearing at fine restaurants, and we love the trend. They're both fancy and sturdy, so restaurants win. Breakage is down — most wine glasses snap at the stem, not the bulb.

Sound the trumpets! Kill the martini glass! With so many restaurants adding cocktail lists to their offerings, it's about time!

And sound the trumpets, too, because Duff's has added a drink menu, and they serve one of their best cocktails, the Ting Tang, not in a martini glass but in a pint glass! Woohoo! Change is afloat!

After 33 years of offering a wine list to die for and a solid selection of beer, Duff's has finally stepped into the future and concocted their own selection of mixed drinks. "It took me a while to convince the owners that it would be a good idea," says bartender Brendan Kirby, who created the list. "You get a lot of people asking for a specialty drink list, especially the younger crowd. So we figured it was time, especially now with Sub Zero down the street, and with Bar Italia's great drink menu."

And what a list it is. Among the dozen drinks, Duff's offers the Ambassador of Mirth cocktail, named after Baton Bob. It consists of Midori, apple liqueur, Cointreau and lime. The Harvestini is perfect for fall: apple cider, Captain Morgan's rum, Maker's Mark, cinnamon and a caramel rim. Kirby's even going head-to-head with Bar Italia's specialty by offering an espresso martini. He claims it's better than theirs; the not-so-secret ingredient is Tia Maria coffee liqueur.

But we love best the Ting Tang, because it's so easy to drink. Three ingredients combined to create a unique sensation: Ting grapefruit soda, made in Jamaica (but owned by Pepsi); Tanqueray gin; and a dash of cranberry juice. It's served on the rocks in a tall glass. You can't spill this drink. And you can slurp it with the provided straw, and it disappears quite quickly. And it goes quite well with a steak sandwich, to boot. Kirby's other cocktails are served in martini glasses, it is true. Sometimes revolutions take time, but the small step of the Ting Tang is a giant leap for mankind. Here's hoping the stem will soon be tossed into the dustbin of history.

Have a drink suggestion? E-mail us!

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