As soon as the guests are seated and the first course put in front of them, the butler goes from guest to guest on the right hand side of each, and asks “Apollinaris or plain water!” and fills the goblet accordingly. In the same way he asks later before pouring wine: “Cider, sir?” “Grape fruit cup, madam?” Or in a house which has the remains of a cellar, “Champagne?” or “Do you care for whisky soda, sir?”
But the temperature and service of wines which used to be an essential detail of every dinner have now no place at all. Whether people will offer frappéd cider or some other iced drink in the middle of dinner, and a warmed something else to take the place of claret with the fish, remains to be seen. A water glass standing alone at each place makes such a meager and untrimmed looking table that most people put on at least two wine glasses, sherry and champagne, or claret and sherry, and pour something pinkish or yellowish into them. A rather popular drink at present is an equal mixture of white grape-juice and ginger ale with mint leaves and much ice. Those few who still have cellars, serve wines exactly as they used to, white wine, claret, sherry and Burgundy warm, champagne ice cold; and after dinner, green mint poured over crushed ice in little glasses, and other liqueurs of room temperature. Whisky is always poured at the table over ice in a tall tumbler, each gentleman “saying when” by putting his hand out. The glass is then filled with soda or Apollinaris.
As soon as soup is served the parlor-maid or a footman passes a dish or a basket of dinner rolls. If rolls are not available, bread cut in about two-inch-thick slices, is cut cross-ways again in three. An old-fashioned silver cake basket makes a perfect modern bread-basket. Or a small wicker basket that is shallow and inconspicuous will do. A guest helps himself with his fingers and lays the roll or bread on the tablecloth, always. No bread plates are ever on a table where there is no butter, and no butter is ever served at a dinner. Whenever there is no bread left at any one’s place at table, more should be passed. The glasses should also be kept filled.