Darwin was dead by the time the martini glass conquered the world. Otherwise he would have had to rethink his theory of natural selection. He would have had to explain how a species that's so spectacularly flawed in its design has come to rule the earth.
Like all cocktail glasses, the martini glass was created for two reasons: to make a snug home for a drink, and to facilitate a brief escape from life's hassles. It does neither of these things. And yet, not only has the martini glass survived, it's flourishing.
The martini itself is a flawless invention. The smooth, salty, ice-cold blend of gin, vermouth and olives is as close to genius as cocktails get. But after years spent in a rocky rapprochement with the martini glass, I've had to sever our relationship. I've soaked way too many clothesmy own, my friends', strangers'trying to navigate the glass off a bar and onto my lower lip. It doesn't take a mechanical engineer to figure out that a shallow vessel with a narrow base and a wide, gaping mouth, balanced on a skinny stem, is not an effective container for liquid. Though the glass's tall, angular shape is kind of sexy (that must be why it has spawned so successfully), it seems designed not so much to hold liquid as to spill it.