The Drinking Vessel - Mugs, Glasses, Goblets and Cups that Need Your Love
Drinking vessels play a pivotal role in our lives. A glass, mug or cup can be the deliverance of warm tidings, caffeinated awareness or solemn reflection. Make no mistake; bearing a strong golden liquor or a fresh, steaming brew of coffee or tea is no small responsibility. If you doubt my words, consider the infinite breadth of designs and graphics available for mugs, cups, glass, steins, yards and goblets.
From the simple cup of stoneware to an elaborately colored, hand blown work of art, to endless lines of coffee cups with as many different graphics, our society is passionate about what they drink out of.
Big Mouth Toys is the company that inspired me to explore this fascinating obsession with the things we drink out of. To be fair, they seem to have taken the coffee mug to a new level. Here are a few of my favorites:
The “Grenade” coffee mug. It reads “complaint department, please take a number.” Cliché’? Perhaps. Until you realize that ‘taking a number’ means pulling the pin on this explosive device! Personally, the design alone is worth my 9 bucks, it’s fun. Besides, how many other people out there took time to choose which mug they wanted to drink out of this morning?
Unique grenade shaped mug with comfortable handle. Ceramic and dishwasher safe with the graphic: "Complaint Department: Please Take a Number." Don't pull the pin!
Big Mouth has so many bizarre coffee mugs, it would be possible to devote this writing entirely to them. It would get old, though. You would get bored. More to the point, I would get bored. But there are two more I must mention. Are you ready?
“The Toilet Mug.” See, how could I pass this up. Whether or not you have ever wanted to drink out of the toilet, and I’m not saying you do, well, now you can! In total safety mind you, so long as you remembered to wash out the mug. What more can be said about drinking brown liquid out of toilet shaped mug? Ohhh, right. Well, say no more:
Only the dog drinks out of the toilet, right? Well now everyone can savor their morning brew in a handheld version of your home's water closet. Porcelain and dishwasher safe. No flushing required.
As I said, keeping the Big Mouth choices down to three was tough. It was a toss-up between the Butt Mug, the Alien tea cup and saucer and the black “Gun Mug” with, you guessed, the butt of a beretta for a handle. No, they all lost out to the bold and brash “Pimp” mug. Admit it, you would love to have a big fat mug that says PIMP in giant bling across the front of it.
It even has more bling encircling the rim. The only thing that could make it better is if the bling was real! But I suppose it wouldn’t be dishwasher safe, then. Not that I really trust that it is. Probably why they don’t offer you the extended warranty…no matter, I’m taking this one with me on my next trip to Vegas. “Bartender, gin and tonic please. Here, put it in my PIMP cup.”
You know you want it! Or maybe you know someone it would be perfect for. Either way, this is a classic. The 'bling' is all about the glitter, and dishwasher safe, would you believe?
“The Doctor Who Disappearing Tardis Mug.” Let me explain. I was on my way to discover additional treasures from this ‘Big Mouth Toys” when I came across yet another brilliantly named company, The Unemployed Philosopher’s Guild. Well, hell yes they’re unemployed! They're philosophers!
But seriously, what a clever name. I had to find out more. Besides, they have fascinating paintings on their coffee mugs. (Sorry, it actually is one of my favorite places to view fine art, so much for cultured…)
Incidentally, I looked up the Unemployed Philosopher’s Guild to learn more about them. Their origins are rumored to stretch back to the time of Socrates, who may or may not have turned to crafting coffee mugs to stave off the boredom of endless, er, Socratic, debate.
Anyway, the TARDIS stands for ‘time and relative dimension in space.’ In the stories of Dr. Who, this refers to the vessel he used to travel through space and time. As you pour hot liquid in to this mug, the TARDIS disappears! Awesome. Can somebody buy me one for Christmas?
I began to imagine I would have to travel outside the confines of the Amazon universe to bring this section to life. But alas, the Amazon universe is vast, and filled with wayward treasures, like the subtly stated “Mommy’s Sippy Cup.” Perhaps you imagine this as a wine goblet? Another coffee cup? No! Tis a goblet! Observe:
Yes, Mommy's sometimes need their own sippy cup, and this porcelain work of art can disguise anything she wishes to put into it. From the "Our Name is Mud" collection. Get it before they're gone!
This bright earthenware ‘sippy cup’ has ‘give to Mom’ written all over it. Not literally, but you should consider putting such a gift at the top of your list. When she’s done quaffing great quantities of milk (read: fermented grape juice) from this work of functional art, she can toss it in the dishwasher; or hand it to you for a refill. Right, choice number two then…
For this next choice I did have to travel to the outer reaches of the internet, and I found a tribute to art deco in these Jazz Martini glasses at artfulhome.com. (No affiliation. ) As it turns out, I’m not the only person who likes my art in a mug, or a glass. For only $130 +shipping, the Jazz art glass fan can take home these originals by George Ponzini. After looking at his other creations, this design is tame by comparison. George has been working with glass for about thirty years, and refers to his style as ‘neo-deco.’ Check it out:
Artful Home also pointed me in the direction of the “Tutti Frutti” goblets. Goblets seem to be a neglected drinking vessel these days. Perhaps shunned as a reminder of darker, less sanitary ages, the goblet deserves to be treated to a place at the table. It makes little sense to cast these thick-stemmed, substantial drinking vessels aside in favor of finer, easier to drop or break glassware.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Tutti Frutti collection by Robert Dane. Handblown glass from his workshop to your table:
Savoring the Flavor
Of all the purposes drinking vessels serve, the savoring of fine wine is arguably the most influential reason for the diversification of fine glassware. There is stemware for every varietal; the cavernous cabernet, the tall and strong pinot noir, the graceful curves of the merlot glass and what about the luxurious ‘burgundy’ glass, with a bowl reminiscent of a cognac snifter with a longer stem? Are different stems necessary for different varietals, perhaps, but who cares!?! We would buy these objets d’ art regardless.
So pour some of that Reisling into my cabernet glass, and fill up Chardonnay stems with pinot noir! The wine will be consumed, my good man. The wine will be consumed.
This creative glass will ensure dizziness after a couple of glasses. I found this “Little Hearts” glass on toxel.com, along with a gang of other creative items.
Every wine drinker, party-hoster or teetotaler who hosts the occasional gathering, should have at least two types of wine glasses. One for whites in general, and one for reds; and buy a set so they match! Just don’t forget the goblets
White wine stems suitable for everything from pinot grigio and gewurtztraminer to a buttery chardonnay or fruity white zin. A set of four quality stems at a great price.
What about the Beer?
As a beer lover, it was tough to ignore the vast libraries of beer drinking vessel history and lore. However, it did not seem like justice to pay no more homage to this topic than a brief paragraph with fleeting context. Rather, it should be explored in depth. So keep your eyes peeled, dear Beer Quaffing Reader, you’ll get what’s comin’ to ya!
In the meantime, remember, what you drink from is just as important as what you drink,; and for that matter how much and how often and of course, who pays for it. Cheers!
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