Test Tube Party Accessories

The test tube shot glass is one of the new promotional tools bars and nightclubs are using to help create buzz at their establishments. Test tubes may seem like a strange vehicle for alcoholic beverages—after all, most of us associate the test tube with the science lab or the doctor’s office. However, the whole test tube gimmick may have some legs and might just be the solution to how to present that next cool mixed drink you want to introduce into the line-up.

What is a Test Tube Shot Glass?

A test tube shot glass is just a shot glass in the shape of a test tube. It’s actually not really new. As far as I can tell the test tube shot glass entered the bar repertoire in the Sixties when test tube babies were in the news. That is why so many of the drinks recommended for the test tube are named “Test Tube Baby #2” or “3” etc. The classic version is Schnapps with a bit of Irish crème, a half dozen drops of grenadine, and a floating gummy bear added for effect.

Test Tube Uses

These days the test tube shot glass is used in a few different ways:

Photo Courtesy of Glen


For Promoting New Drinks: Probably the best way to use the shot glass is as a way of promoting a new drink. You can get the shot glasses in various colors (especially good if you want to promote more than one mixed drink at the same time) and have your most charismatic bar tender stand right outside on the street offering free or cheap samples early in the evening. The whole notion of the drink being an “experiment in flavors” can justify the presentation. This can work magic if you are in an area that gets good foot traffic.

For Bachelorette Parties: For reasons I can’t quite explain, these have become really popular at bachelorette parties. The girls like to wear them around their necks like necklaces. (You’ll need to get the tops for the test tubes as well for this to work.) They like it because the test tubes are “cute” and are somewhat like Mardi Gras beads for the girls. Like I said, I don’t quite get the association, but if it works, go for it.

For a Halloween Theme: During Halloween, test tubes are popular for all sorts of things, from party favors to costume accessories. If you want to go for the mad scientist’s lab theme for your watering hole, this could be the perfect way to serve drinks.

As Your Bar Theme: I suppose, if you are a pub next to a hospital or near a college known for its medical program, you could use a lab or medical theme for your whole establishment. (You could name it something like “The Cure,” “The Waiting Room” or “Tom’s Lab” and have mixed drinks with names like “the Liver Transplant” or “Coma”)

Practical Considerations

So where do you get these test tubes and how costly are they? A simple search on the internet will bring up lots of places that sell sets for as little as .25¢ per test tube.

You will also need either a test tube rack or a serving tray:

Test Tube Rack: The test tube rack is a good way to go if you are just going to have the drinks displayed on the bar counter. Most tend to hold fewer drinks but present the shots better in a stationary manner.

The Serving Tray: The serving tray is better if you are going to have your servers on the move—say stationed at the door of your establishment trying to draw business.

Oh yes and if you are curious about capacity, here is the break down. Test tube shot glasses come in various sizes, ranging from .5 oz to 1.5 oz with the larger size being by far the standard. As you probably know, your average shot glass is 1.5 oz.

Enjoy the concoctions! But be sure that what you cook up in the lab isn’t so powerful it destroys your lab and makes off with your liquor license doc!

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