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For our Provisions shop, we search for the best and most beautiful things for our kitchen and home. And since we like to think outside the box, we’re showing you all of the different ways to use some of our favorite products.
The first time I saw someone sip through a glass straw, I was a little baffled. Glass? On glass? Won’t it break? Isn’t it too delicate? More importantly, how can I chew on it?
But then I tried it. The clink-clink of glass on glass, the delicate edges of the straw, and the feeling of drinking my iced tea out of something pretty and permanent made these straws one of my new favorite kitchen items (right behind my immersion blender and wooden spoons). And they're eco-friendly. You can use them over and over again instead of throwing them away, and they don’t leach any unknown toxins into your drink the way plastics might.
You thought those colored swirly straws were cool? These are better.
Here are six things we love to sip through glass straws.
1. Water. Not the most earth-shatteringly exciting drink, but certainly the most essential. I can’t always make myself hydrate all day, but glass straws are a nice encouragement. I like to drink mine out of a wide-mouth mason jar.
2. Iced coffee. I used to buy coffee on my way to work every day, but two things have changed my routine: Glass straws, and Merrill’s trick for making espresso ice cubes. Now I fill a jar with coffee ice and milk at home, let it melt together on my commute, and drink it with a straw at the office.
3. Lemonade. A summertime drink that begs you to find a sunny spot, sit down, and relax, lemonade is even lovelier in a nice glass with big square ice cubes and a straw. Watermelonade and sparkling rhubarb lemonade are a welcome change of pace.
4. Smoothies. When I have an excess of fruit, I usually just improvise my smoothies in the morning with a loose formula of 3 parts frozen fruit to 1 part yogurt to 1 part milk. If I’m feeling jazzy (hey, it happens), I’ll throw in some cardamom or mint. But if you want guidelines, this morning date smoothie with cinnamon is a perfect replication of my all-time favorite smoothie from a tiny falafel shop in the West Village, and it never disappoints. For smoothies, milkshakes, boozy ice cream shakes, and the like, a highball-type glass is best (more height means more milkshake, obviously).
5. Cocktails. A good cocktail speaks for itself and doesn’t need to be dressed up. That said, I’m always thrilled by citrusy, salted garnishes and voluptuously curved glassware. When making big batches of drinks, I don’t have the wherewithal to get too fancy, but I do use glass straws -- and they always earn me lots of compliments. For cocktails, I use medium-sized tumblers with a curved edge (so you can slosh your drink without spilling, should the evening come to that).
6. DIY grenadine in seltzer. Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s excellent recipe for DIY grenandine yields a syrup that bears little resemblance to the cloyingly sweet base I remember from years of Shirley Temples. I stir it into seltzer water, pour it into a tumbler, and add a glass straw: instant upscale beverage.
Now you try it! What would you use these straws for?
Coffee photo by Posie Harwood; All other photos by James Ransom