It takes more than just shaking and stirring. Mastering the art and craft of making cocktails requires creativity, finesse, and, most importantly, good drinkware. Cocktail glasses were originally created for practical purposes, such as enhancing aromas and minimizing heat loss.
Today’s cocktail glasses are just as diverse as the drinks they serve. This guide will help you narrow down the best barware for you, whether you are looking to stock up on wine glasses or show off your mixology skills with layered cocktails.
There are many types of cocktail glasses.
It’s simple: To enhance your drinking experience. Every type of cocktail glass is made to highlight the unique flavors, aromas, temperatures, colors, and aromas of the drink. Many connoisseurs also consider presentation important.
Layered and blended drinks can lose their effect if served in the wrong glass. Sometimes, it’s just more sensible to use a particular type of drinkware. For example, if you want to serve libations in the same vessel they were prepared in, this is a smart approach.
Materials for cocktail glasses
Are there any materials that you should look out for when stocking up your home bar? It all depends on the type of food you are serving. Glass is the most common, but metals like tin or copper are used frequently to insulate chilled beverages (Moscow Mules or Mint Juleps included). Acrylic drinkware is a popular choice for mixologists, particularly if they are serving drinks in casual or outdoor settings.
Cocktail glasses styles
Cocktail glasses are not only great for drinking but also enhance the atmosphere and spark conversation. It doesn’t matter what your taste, there are many options for cocktail glasses that will suit your event.
Classic stemware works well for formal events, while brightly colored barware with eye-catching themes and vibrant colors is great for casual happy hours. Having a variety of glasses available allows you to be more visible when entertaining friends and family.
A type of drinkware used to serve mixed drinks, cocktail glasses come in all shapes and sizes, making this barware as versatile as it is functional.
Tall and narrow, highball glasses are compatible with all sorts of libations, namely high cocktails such as Seven and Seven, Scotch and soda, and rum and Coke.
The drinks are often made by bartenders in highball glasses and beer can opener. The shaken ingredients are poured over ice.
This vessel holds between 8-12 oz.
Also known as an old-fashioned glass, lowball glasses are a shorter version of the highball glass and are often used for serving spirits such as whiskey.
Lowball glasses have a sturdy and wide base that makes them ideal for mixing non-liquid ingredients, such as mint or other herbs, with the main drink ingredients.
Most commonly, they are found in one size: 6-10 oz. They are most commonly found in two sizes: single (6-10 oz.) and double (12-16. oz.).
Also known as a cooler glass, the Collins glass looks very similar to the highball glass–the only difference being that this type of drinkware is taller and narrower.
Collins glasses are a great alternative to high-end cocktails served in highball glasses.
Collins glasses are cylindrical and can hold between 10-14 oz.
A staple since the 1925 Paris Exhibition, when it was introduced as a modern alternative to a coupe glass, martini glasses were originally used for the consumption of champagne.
The modern version has a longer stem to reduce heat transfer and a wider mouth that enhances the liquor’s aroma. The steep sides of the bottle prevent the separation of ingredients, and they also support garnishes such as toothpicks or skewers.
Martini glasses can be found in two sizes: the standard (3-10 oz.) and the oversized (6-12 oz. You can find Martini glasses in two sizes: standard (3-10 oz.) and oversized (6-12 oz.).
Short, broad, and sturdy, rocks glasses are used to serve spirits over ice, as well as distilled spirits and sweet drinks that are overwhelming in large quantities. Rocks glasses allow you to layer different flavors with liquor and ice.
There are two sizes of rock glasses: single (6-8 oz.) and double (10-14 oz. You can choose from single (6-8 oz.) or double (10-14 oz. ).
Experts recommend that you finish each concoction by giving it a gentle stir.
Cocktail glasses for special occasions
These specialty glasses are not too dissimilar to the cocktails glasses that we mentioned earlier. They put a fun spin both on classics and your own creative creations.
Usually associated with blended fruit concoctions, the margarita glass comes in many different styles and designs.
A welled bowl with multiple levels is the most popular. It’s narrow at the stem and wide at the rim. This bowl is usually garnished with salt. Margarita glasses can also be used to serve finger food and hors-d’oeuvres. You can think of shrimp cocktails, fruit assortments, and a variety of chip and vegetable dip.
Pro tip: The type of glass margaritas you are served in will vary depending on the occasion. For example, formal dinners serve margaritas with a standard cocktail glass while casual gatherings have them in an old-fashioned glass.
Copper mugs have been associated with Moscow mules for their unique ability to quickly turn cold and keep the drink warm.
Copper mugs are typically equipped with a handle that reduces heat transfer.
Some believe that copper mugs have a metallic appearance which enhances the flavor of the beverage being served.
Smaller than other cocktail glasses, punch cups are used to serve smaller portions of stronger drinks.
Drinks from punch glasses are popular with spiked drinks that are supplied in large quantities, such as eggnog or fruity punches. The punch glasses are used to enjoy punch cocktails. First, the punch is mixed in a bowl and then it’s poured into individual cups.
A handle may be present on punch glasses, and they are usually made of silver, ceramic, or glass.
Julep cups, much like copper mugs are well-known for their ability to quickly insulate cold beverages (e.g. Mint Juleps).
Julep cups, which were popularized by the Kentucky Derby are made from silver or pewter and are highly sought-after as souvenirs.
Pro tip: Julep cups can be enjoyed with crushed or shaved ice, as opposed to copper mugs that prefer ice cubes.
The Grappa glass was named after the Italian high-alcohol beverage made from the distillate remnants of winemaking.
Grappa glasses are sensitive to temperature. They have a long-footed stem that prevents heat transfer. It also holds up a slim bowl with flared edges. They usually hold between 2 and 4 oz.
Pro tip: Grappa’s alcohol volume makes it advisable that the glass be filled to only one-third of its maximum capacity.
Wine glasses are a staple of many dinner parties. However, they may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to mixed drinks. This stemware is made with the same precision and care that goes into the wine. It can be used with both classic sangria or spritzers, and it’s very versatile.
Red Wine Glasses
Since red wine has a thicker consistency and bold flavor, the glass it’s served in typically features a large round bowl that helps increase the rate of oxidation–smoothing out the complexities in taste and aroma.
These glasses are taller than white wine glasses and have a narrower rim which helps direct the aroma and taste of the vino to the drinker’s nose, improving the drinking experience.
Red wine glasses make the perfect match for sangria, especially if they are made with Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon.
White Wine Glasses
The stemware used to serve white wines is shorter and lighter in flavor and aromas than its red counterparts.
White wine glasses have less surface area between the drink and the top of the rim, which results in less oxidation–increasing the nuances of the crisp flavors.
Make refreshing wine-based cocktails like spritzers by keeping vintage wines with strong aromas and fruity flavors within reach. Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc are two examples.
Champagne glasses are narrow with a tall bowl, a tapered rim, and a high bowl. This helps preserve the champagne’s crisp carbonation. This type of barware is similar to wine glasses. It has a stem that prevents heat transfer from your hands. To promote bubble formation, a small notch is located at the bottom.
Featuring a clean design with classic appeal, champagne flutes are a favorite addition to your next gathering.
This type of glass is tall, straight, and slim. It has a narrow bowl, which sits on top of a long stem. This design not only maintains the drink’s carbonation but also allows the bubbles to travel further as they ascend to the top of this glass.
Pro tip: When pouring champagne, keep the glass at 45 degrees to minimize foam. The glass should be half full to get the best aroma.
Champagne Tulip Glass
Tulip glasses look like a mix of a champagne flute and a coupe glass. They are also made with aromatics in the mind.
Tulips have a larger bowl than a champagne flute so you can enjoy the bubbly aromas while sipping.
Also, the glass has a slight curve which allows concentrated aeration. This keeps the scents in place and encourages bubbles to rise.
You aren’t sure which cocktails you should serve in a Tulip Glass? You can also try classic champagne cocktails, juleps, and Black velvet, Cardinales, and Twinkles.
The champagne saucer, also known as a coupe or wine glass, is less frequently used than the champagne flute or tulip glasses.
Saucer glasses are well-known for their fast aeration rate and rapid aroma development. They were popularized in the early 1900s when the shallow bowl made it easier than ever to enjoy the syrup-based champagnes.
It is not in fashion today with champagne enthusiasts. Simply put, the shape and size of the bowl make it difficult to maintain bubble flow. This means that the aroma disappears just as fast as it appears. The majority of craft cocktails are served in modern coupe glasses, such as the Sidecar, Aviation, and Martinez.
Nick and Nora Glass
This type of cocktail glass was named after Nick Charles and Nora Charles, who were the main characters in the 1934 comedy-mystery film The Thin Man. It is a special alternative to the champagne saucer.
It has a bell-shaped bowl, which sits on top of a long stem. This design is somewhat similar to white wine glasses. Nick and Nora’s glasses can be used to stir or shake drinks. They can also be used to serve drinks that aren’t served in martini glasses.
Pro tip: Some purists insist that drinks served from the Nick or Nora glass should never be drunk on the rocks. Instead, they recommend that the glass be chilled in the fridge or freezer before you pour the first drink.
Whiskey glasses are similar to lowball glasses. They can be used for both straight shots and neat pours of spirits.
Glencairn Whiskey Glass
Although it has been in existence since 2011, Glencairn whiskey glasses have already earned a reputation as the “official” whiskey glasses by many experts.
The Glencairn glass is based on traditional whiskey laps. It features a tulip-shaped, bowl-shaped Glencairn that rests on a solid base. This allows the beverage to be delivered directly to the nose.
This glass is available in three versions since its conception: the 24% lead crystal, the lead-free version, and the soda-lime. The most popular.
Glencairn glasses usually hold 6 oz.
Neat Liquor Glasses
These glasses can be used to enhance the enjoyment of brandy, bourbon and other drinks straight. They are an essential part of any home’s cigar room.
Shot glasses can be used to quickly consume straight liquor. A majority of shots can be enjoyed straight from the glass. However, a few shots can be added to a cocktail.
A taller shot glass can be used to create more imaginative concoctions.
Most shot glasses come in one size: a single (1.55 oz.). You can find shot glasses in two sizes: single (1.5 oz.) and double (2-3 Oz.).
Used to enjoy bourbon, brandy, and whiskey, snifters feature a short stem that holds up a round bowl. This design makes it easy for drinkers and heat transfer to occur since these drinks should be consumed at room temperature.
The majority of snifters have 6-8 oz.
The round bowl encourages swirling and sniffing of the drink while you are enjoying it. Snifters, like other large cocktail glasses, are meant to only be used for a fraction of their full capacity.
Cognac glasses, also known as balloon glasses, are a type of snifter.
Similar to snifters in appearance, balloon glasses have a shorter stem and a round bowl. This is for the hand to grasp in the palm.
This type of drinkware is a popular choice for those who wish to fully experience the aromas and flavors of cognac or brandy. Experts consistently recognize it as a favorite.
These glasses can be used to enhance the enjoyment of brandy, bourbon, and other drinks straight. They are an essential part of any home’s cigar room.
Resembling a shot glass, cordial glasses are designed specifically for the consumption of sweet liquors.
This type of drinkware has a shorter stem and is made of delicate glass. It can be used to serve layered drinks that are meant only one part at a time.
Cordial glasses usually hold 1.5 to 2 oz.
Irish Coffee Mug
Irish coffee mugs are the ideal choice when consuming spiked beverages served hot.
The base of the Irish coffee glasses is made of glass. It sits on top of a thick stem. The top’s rim flares outwards, which helps to keep toppings such as foam and whipped cream in place.
Many are transparent, which allows you to see the layers of your drink. Some have handles. They are great for Irish coffee and hot toddies.