There are several types of cocktail glasses you may want to acquire if you want to establish your own awesome home bar. We've all seen it in movies, when the protagonist goes home, opens their home bar and makes their own awesome cocktail after a long day at work. If you've ever been confused by the different types of cocktail glasses, this article is here to enlighten you and explain the differences between them all.
Buying different types of cocktail glasses is not as complicated as it may initially seem. In fact, they can all be acquired for reasonable prices and the good news is that if handled correctly glasses last for a very long time. When you go to a bar, you will notice that each cocktail comes in its own glass.
While the cocktail must taste outstanding, the aesthetics also play an important role. When you receive your cocktail in a specific type of cocktail glass, the visuals are meant to excite you with anticipation. The type of cocktail glass also plays an important role in how you wish to drink your cocktail. A highball glass is much easier to handle so it inspires you to drink it faster. A coupe glass, however, is usually more potent and inspires you to drink slower.
If you are excited about making your own cocktails then you will absolutely love our extensive article on cocktail glass types for entertaining your guests. To figure out which types of glasses you need for your own home, we must first discuss each glass and figure out if indeed it's useful to purchase. Or maybe see if it's worth saving your cash for an investment in a different type of cocktail glass a more versatile one which you can reuse for all types of drinks.
To begin the journey, we visited two of our favourite cocktail bars in our city. We ordered different types of cocktail, all served in different glasses and tried to understand a little more about their use and versatility.
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Types of cocktail glasses
The art of crafting cocktails is a way for mixologists to express their own creativity. From a simple margarita or gin tonic, to creating interesting crafts like a Seville Blossom or smoky spicy margarita. The use of different types of cocktail glasses is to enhance the taste, texture and the appearing of a beverage. There are as many types of cocktail glasses as beverages and that's why it's exciting to be able to pick and choose what suits your own style best.
Here's an in-depth explanation about each type of cocktail glass we learnt about during our journey of cocktail discovery.
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To create a cocktail the first and most important thing is to acquire shot glasses. Shot glasses are usually overlooked as types of cocktail glasses because they are not often used as such. However, a 4cl shot glass is essential whether you decide to make simple mixers or serve whiskey neat. One must be able to measure the amount of alcohol in order to create the perfect cocktail.
Of course, shot glasses can also be used for shots, whether you decide to have a tequila shot party or serve sugary liqueurs. In recent times, certain bars niche out on shooter cocktails.
Shooter cocktails are very small cocktails which look incredibly artistic and fun. They are usually consumed quickly in one single gulp. You can enjoy it as a side to a larger drink or on their own. Certain restaurants use non-alcoholic shooters as culinary art or as immune system boosters.
You will sometimes see Italian coffee houses using shot glasses to create different types of coffee also.
Perhaps the most versatile, the highball glass is ideal for long drinks. A long drink normally contains a shot of potent spirit and it's topped up with non alcoholic beverages like soda, coke, iced tea. You can expect to enjoy a rum and Coke or a Scotch and soda in a highball glass.
As previously mentioned, a highball glass is easy to hold and usually invites the guest to drink it a bit faster. A highball glass usually holds between 8-12 oz of beverage.
We noticed that the bartender usually pours the mixed beverages in the highball glass, over ice. Everything has already been mixed in a cocktail shaker prior to pouring. Although, in the past, we also noticed that our high glasses came with a shot of spirit over ice, and the mixer on the side so we can pour it in the glass ourselves.
You might have heard of a cooler glass in the past which is essentially a different name used for a Collins glass. This type of cocktail glass is very similar to the highball glass and one may even be forgiven for mistaking the two. The Collins glass is slightly taller and narrower and holds between 10-14 oz of drink.
A Collins glass is especially used for Collins cocktails, but can also be used for long drinks which you'd normally pour in a highball glass.
If you don't mind, you can pick between a Collins glass or a Highball glass and use either for long drinks.
A Martini glass is a classic, unravelled in 1925. As their name suggests, they are ideal for Martini drinks, as they allow enough space for the garnishes.
What is interesting to note is that these type of cocktail glasses were an alternative to the coupe champagne glasses (see below). However, much like the coupe glasses, their opening is too wide for champagne so the bubbles despite too quickly.
A Martini glass can be used for a variety of cocktails and should be a staple in everyone's home bar. Not just for Martini based drinks, but for a variety of sours and fizzes.
These types of cocktail glasses come in two sizes 3-10 oz. and 6-12oz.
A whiskey glass is also known as a lowball glass or old-fashioned glass is a shorter version of a highball. It's ideal for serving neat spirits or whiskey on the rocks with no added mixer.
They come in two different sizes: single (6-10 oz.) and double (12-16 oz.).
Single Whiskey Glass
The single whiskey glass is short and sturdy and used to pour one single shot of spirit over ice. This type of cocktail glass is meant for drinking neat spirits only, or mixed with fresh herbs. No mixer should be added on top.
You can also enjoy liquors in this. As a tip, we recommend using a large round ice ball.
Double Whiskey Glass
A double rocks glass, also sometimes called a double old-fashioned glass should not be double the size of a single. It's meant to add just about two ounces more otherwise, it may look entirely disproportionate.
This type of cocktail glass is for a double shot of spirit served on rocks. Much like the single whiskey glass, this is for neat spirits and no mixers should be added.
If you are unsure what type of whiskey glass you should purchase, we recommend going for the double whiskey glass as it is a little more versatile. They are usually more decorative too and can be used for non-alcoholic beverages too if you are hosting non-drinking friends.
Champagne glasses are usually narrow and tall in order to help maintain the fizziness of the bubbles for a longer period of time. Throughout the years, champagne glasses evolved into different types of cocktail glasses, used for simple champagne or fizzy cocktails like blue mimosas, for example.
Flutes champagne glass
Flutes are the most used types of champagne glasses. They are classic but beautiful and the star attraction for any sophisticated party. They are usually tall, narrow and quite slender and they imply elegance.
If you are looking for one versatile type of cocktail glass for your fizzy drinks, a champagne flute is a right choice. Most high-class restaurants serve champagne in delicate flute glasses.
Nick & Nora champagne glass
While Nick & Nora is a type of champagne glass, we love it as a versatile cocktail glass. You will love the bell-shaped glass which is very similar to that of a white wine glass. When visiting a bar, you will notice many shaken cocktails served in this type of glass.
And if you are wondering why the name Nick and Nora, it is because of a movie called The Thin Man with its two main characters called Nick and Nora. The characters sip cocktails from these type of glasses throughout the film.
Tulip champagne glass
A tulip champagne glass is a sort of combination between a flute and a coupe glass. The tulip glass was designed to be tall and narrow enough to holds the bubbles for a longer time, whereas the wider bowl was created so we can enjoy the aromas of the beverage better.
They are still delicate and elegant, although a little bulkier than the ordinary flutes. However, when it comes to fizzy cocktails, a tulip champagne glass is versatile. You can serve a variety of cocktails including beer-based cocktails thanks to the shape.
Coupe Glass (Champagne Saucer)
A champagne saucer is sometimes referred to as a coupe glass, a name which we much prefer. This is because most bars use coupe glasses to serve a variety of delicate cocktails rather than just champagne.
This type of cocktail glass became popular in the 1900s. It's easy to see why this is a fantastic cocktail drink. It's relatively small, delicate and allows for sipping, which is perfect for potent drinks which should be drunk slower.
In our opinion, a coupe glass is not ideal for champagne because the openness of the glass doesn't allow for the champagne bubbles to be preserved for a long time, meaning that in a few minutes you will end up with a flat bubbly.
We do recommend purchasing coupe glasses for all sort of delicate and exquisite cocktails.
A Hurricane glass is a type of cocktail glass perfect for serving sugary drinks like Singapore Sling, June bug, Piña colada and Blue Hawaii. This type of cocktail glass originated at Pat O'Brien's Bar in New Orleans.
The name of the glass comes from its shape, which is similar to that of a hurricane lamp. The glass comes in a 20 oz size (close to the size of an imperial pint).
Poco Grande glass
The Poco Grande glass is similar to the hurricane glass and sometimes they can be mistaken for one another. The poco grande glass has a similar fluted bowl shape but it is a little shallower with a longer stem. It can be used for similar drinks like the hurricane glass although the poco grande comes in smaller sizes (12 oz).
The Margarita glass is primarily used for serving traditional margaritas, although the glass itself can come in many styles and designs. The class version is a beautiful bowl with several tiers: narrower at the bottom and broader at the top.
You can decorate the rim of the glass with salt or other spices to make your drink more exciting. Margarita glasses are also often used for fruity drinks and blended cocktails.
I know what you are thinking: Moscow mules. Copper glasses or copper mugs are brilliant for maintaining their temperatures, thanks to the insulating properties of the copper.
This type of cocktail glasses can be quite versatile, as you can enjoy a variety of chilled beverages, including non-alcoholic iced teas.
A punch cup is a type of cocktail glass used for very potent drinks wich resembles a mug made of glass. They are perfect for punches, egg nogs or very potent fruity beverages usually made in a large batch, then poured into the cups.
You can find them in a variety of materials including ceramic but the most appealing ones are made of glass with a small handle. The idea behind the glass is to see the contents of your drink, which is a lot more appealing. In recent times punch cups have also been used to serve some types of sangrias.
Grappa glasses are specifically designed to drink Grappa from them. Grappa glasses come in different shapes, some similar to tulip champagne glasses while others resemble a mini Martini glass. You should expect to see a long stem and a slightly flared rim. Grappa glasses hold between 2-4 oz of drink.
While this type of cocktail glasses might not seem very versatile, they can be used for colourful cocktails which are simply served in smaller quantities but larger volume.
A staple type of cocktail glass, a wine glass can be found in every household, restaurant and bar. However, many associate wine glasses with wine and not cocktails. But wine glasses are a lot more versatile as they can be used for spritzers, sangrias and non-alcoholic based creations.
There are two types of wine glasses: a smaller one usually used for white wines and a larger one for red wine.
White Wine Glass
White wine glasses are usually smaller and shorter than red wine glasses. This is because they have less surface, resulting in less oxidation so the white wine remains crisp.
Red Wine Glass
Red wine is usually bolder thicker than white wine and it has a much bolder flavour. So more oxidation is required so it becomes a lot smoother sip by sip. As such red wine glasses are usually larger than white wine glasses, increasing the surface.
They also feature a narrower rim so you can really smell all the aromas and understand the complexity of your wine.
Also known as balloon glasses, a cognac class is a type of cocktail glass specifically designed for those who enjoy cognac and brandy. The shape of the glass is perfect for enthusiasts who wish to really enjoy the aroma profile of their drink.
Cognac glasses are mainly used by experts and connoisseur or drink critics.
Cognac glasses are not to be confused to snifters, which are a little taller and narrower than the cognac glasses. They are used for bourbon, brandy and whiskey and are also ideal for enjoying the flavours and aromas of the drink.
Both cognac and snifter glasses were created to ease swirling the liquid without spilling, so one can really smell the full flavour profile of the drink.
While not a type of cocktail glass, we wanted to add a beer glass to our guide. While every country has its own variety of beer glasses, we thought this is something every household will need in their own bar.
Beer glasses come in different shapes depending on the type of beer you wish to consume. Every glass helps with the development of the flavour. From specific branded beer glasses, through tall Pilsner Glasses and Wheat Beer Glasses to Imperial ale glasses found in English pubs, there is a variety to be discovered.
As a tip, we recommend buying beer glasses as souvenirs from Germany or any other country which is known to excel at beer production.