How to Keep the Stand From Sticking to Your Drink

I don’t care about expensive coasters. Large, heavy, non-absorbent discs or squares may look nice, but my favorite is the free gifts I took from the bars . These cardboard and plastic beauties are cheap (free), usually quite absorbent, easy to store, and – if you get in the habit of collecting them while traveling – they have the added bonus of making you look like an interesting person doing interesting things. Their only drawback? Some of the smoother ones tend to stick to your glass.

This is not a big problem for hot drinks, cold cans or bottles, but can be a real problem if you are drinking a cold drink in a flat-bottomed glass on a smooth base. Thanks to the surface tension created by condensation, the wet glass adheres to the smooth stand, creating a fun little vacuum between them. Eventually, the condensation will drain even more and destroy the seal, freeing the support from the glass and falling into your lap. This is not some big tragedy, but annoying.

There are, of course, mitigation strategies. If this problem bothers you at home, consider using coarser, more absorbent coasters. I release textured cardboard advertising stands whenever I see them in the wild while Joel clings to upholstery and leather swatches , but any absorbent and / or not-so-smooth material will do. Glazed ceramics, glass and sleek plastic coasters are terrible choices in this regard; Choosing slate, unglazed ceramic, naturally absorbent stone, or even knitted coasters can help prevent galling. (You can also use a drinking jar with a rough bottom; the problem occurs when there are two smooth surfaces in play.)

If you are walking around and bump into sticky coasters, simply season them with a little salt. Sodium chloride crystals break the surface tension, freeing the glass. Cocktail napkins will stick no matter what – they are almost too absorbent. I hug them and wrap the glass on the sides with a napkin so that I have a kind of built-in dish rack wherever I go. This is especially useful at weddings and other social events, when you can take a stroll with a drink. Not only will you not leave a single wet ring behind, but your hand will also remain dry.


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