Glassware Guide: Cocktail Edition

BUILDING YOUR HOME BAR

When it comes to cocktails, the right glassware makes all the difference. But what should you stock up on, and what niche glassware just gathers dust? Like almost everything, it’s a matter of taste. Our guide will help you tailor your barware to your personal style, whether you’re an occasional G&T drinker or aspiring mixologist. Determine where you fall in the spectrum of home bartenders from casual to professional-level mixologist, then peruse our glassware glossary to build your cocktail glass collection.

For Casual Bartenders

Love a good drink, but don’t want all the bells and whistles? Choose a few versatile glasses that are perfect for classic cocktails. You’ll be prepared to have friends over for drinks without dedicating a cabinet to your glassware collection.

For Craft Cocktail Dabblers

You appreciate a good drink served in the right glass, and you’re open to collecting some extra glassware. While you might want to have both a Martini glass and a coupe glass, or a set of smaller rocks glasses as well as Double Old Fashioned glasses, you can easily expand your collection with a few specialty cocktail glasses based on your favorite drinks to make at home.

For Devoted Mixologists

Committed to collecting any and all glassware for your favorite cocktails? Explore the world of Mezcal copitas, Gin & Tonic glasses, and more. Designed specifically to enhance the flavors and aromatics of each cocktail or spirit, specialty glassware is the way to a cocktail-lover’s heart.

For Whiskey Neat Purists

If you like your spirits straight, choose decanters and tumblers that complement your favorite liquor. Whiskey tumblers with a hefty base are an excellent choice for neat bourbon with ice and a splash of soda, but if you enjoy Scotch tastings or the occasional glass of brandy, you might want to invest in some whiskey glasses or brandy globes.

Cocktail Glassware ABCs

Although not a comprehensive list of cocktail glassware, this glossary includes most of the more commonly used all-purpose glasses as well as a selection of cocktail-specific glasses.

Notes:

While there are reasons you serve certain drinks in certain glassware, ultimately cocktail presentation is about creativity, intention, and personal opinion. Get glassware you like and will use.

Terminology:

Many common cocktail glasses go by multiple names. There are minor differences between similar types of glassware, but ultimately many of them are almost identical. For example, a particularly traditional bartender might have both a highball glass and a Collins glass, but for most modern bartenders, these glasses serve the same purpose.

Aperol Spritz Glass

What is an Aperol Spritz Glass?
Intended specifically for an Aperol Spritz, an Aperol Spritz glass has a large bowl and tall, elegant stem. If you don’t have a specific glass for your Aperol Spritz, you can use a large red wine glass.

How many ounces are in an Aperol Spritz Glass?
An Aperol Spritz glass usually holds 16 oz. to leave plenty of room for ice.

What drinks can you serve in an Aperol Spritz Glass?
This elegant glass is ideal for any spritz such as a Campari Spritz, Cynar Spritz, or Wine Spritzer. Try using it for a mimosa, French 75, and other champagne cocktails.

Brandy Glass

What is a Brandy Glass?
Designed with a large balloon bowl, open mouth, and short stem, a brandy glass or brandy snifter enhances the aroma and opens up the complex flavors in this spirit. Hold this glass by the bowl to gently warm your brandy and bring out the delicate caramel and fruit notes.

How many ounces are in a Brandy Glass?
A classic brandy snifter typically holds anywhere from 6 oz. to 8 oz. Generally, you serve 2 oz. of spirit in this balloon-shaped glass.

What drinks can you serve in a Brandy Glass?
Although intended for brandy, a snifter glass is perfect for dark, complex spirits such as whiskey, bourbon, Scotch, and rum, and is excellent for nosing and tasting other fine liquors.

Champagne Flute

What is a Champagne Flute?
A champagne glass or champagne flute is a variation on a wine glass with a narrow silhouette designed to keep your champagne’s carbonation from dissipating too quickly.

How many ounces are in a Champagne Flute?
Champagne flutes hold approximately 6 oz. to 8 oz. of wine, although 4–5 oz. is a typical pour for sparkling wine.

What drinks can you serve in a Champagne Flute?
Champagne flutes are ideal for any sparkling wine, Prosecco, or rosé, and are a perfect vessel for any type of champagne cocktail such as a French 75, mimosa, or Kir Royale.

Cocktail Glass

What is a Cocktail Glass?
The Cocktail Glass is often referred to as a Martini Glass interchangeably but there are slight differences between the two. A Cocktail Glass vs. Martini Glass has a gently rounded bowl, shorter stem, smaller capacity, and slightly narrower rim than the classic wide triangle silhouette of a Martini Glass.

How many ounces are in a Cocktail Glass?
It comes in different sizes, but the classic cocktail glass usually ranges from 3 oz. to 6 oz. Some extra large cocktail glasses hold 10 oz.

What drinks can you serve in a Cocktail Glass?
As indicated by the name, the cocktail glass is perfect for many cocktails, but is ideal for any drink served “up” (shaken or stirred with ice and strained into a chilled cocktail glass). Try using a classic cocktail glass for a Manhattan, Negroni, Gimlet, Whiskey Sour, Pisco Sour, Cosmopolitan, Sidecar, Boulevardier, or Daiquiri.

Coupe Glass

What is a Coupe Glass?
A coupe glass, also known as a Champagne coupe, is a stemmed cocktail glass with a wide, shallow bowl. Originally intended for Champagne, this classic stemware actually causes carbonation to dissipate more quickly and is much better suited for cocktails that are served up (shaken with ice and strained into the coupe).

How many ounces are in a Coupe Glass?
Most coupe glasses hold around 5 to 7 oz.

What drinks can you serve in a Coupe Glass?
A coupe glass is great for any drink you’d serve in a classic cocktail glass or martini glass and gives your cocktail that vintage glassware look. A Daiquiri, Aviation, Sidecar, Negroni, Manhattan, Gimlet, or Last Word are all popular cocktails that are perfect for a coupe glass.

Collins Glass

What is a Collins Glass?
A Collins glass is a tall, narrow cocktail glass with a distinctive silhouette. It’s only slightly taller than a highball glass, so a highball glass and Collins glass are often used interchangeably.

How many ounces are in a Collins Glass?
A Collins glass holds 10 to 14 oz.

What drinks can you serve in a Collins Glass?
The most common cocktails served in a Collins glass are a Mojito, Paloma, and of course a Tom Collins, but other drinks served in a Collins glass include a G&T, a Zombie, and a Dark ‘N’ Stormy.

Gin & Tonic Glass

What is a Gin & Tonic Glass?
Although you can serve a G&T in almost any tumbler, this stemmed cocktail glass is designed for gin devotees. The wide mouth enhances the botanical profile of the gin, the generous balloon bowl leaves plenty of room for ice, and the stemmed design helps keep your G&T cold and prevents excessive dilution.

How many ounces are in a Gin & Tonic Glass?
A G&T glass holds 14 oz.

What drinks can you serve in a Gin & Tonic Glass?
Although designed for a classic G&T, a gin and tonic glass is perfect for any kind of spritz or highball cocktail.

Highball Glass

What is a Highball Glass?
A highball class is a tall, narrow glass similar to a Collins glass but slightly shorter and wider.

How many ounces are in a Highball Glass?
A highball glass holds 8 to 12 oz.

What drinks can you serve in a Highball Glass?
A highball glass is one of the most versatile cocktail glasses. Use a highball glass for any tall drinks that include non-alcoholic mixers like soda, tonic, or ginger beer: gin and tonic, whiskey soda, rum and coke, Tom Collins, Mojito, Dark ‘N’ Stormy, or tiki drinks.

Hurricane Glass

What is a Hurricane Glass?
A Hurricane glass is taller, wider, and all-around larger than a highball glass or Collins glass. Shaped like a hurricane lamp with a rounded base and flared rim, it sits on a short stem and originates from New Orleans and the famous Hurricane cocktail.

How many ounces are in a Hurricane Glass?
A Hurricane glass holds 20 oz.

What drinks can you serve in a Hurricane Glass?
Although the Hurricane glass is originally intended for the classic New Orleans Hurricane cocktail, it’s also perfect for a Zombie, Singapore Sling, June Bug, Piña Colada, or any other large blended cocktail or tiki drink.

Lowball Glass

What is a Lowball Glass?
Also known as an old fashioned glass or rocks glass, a lowball glass is a short, wide tumbler with a heavy base that’s perfect for muddled cocktails.

How many ounces are in a Lowball Glass?
The capacity of a lowball glass ranges from 4 oz. to 10 oz.

What drinks can you serve in a Lowball Glass?
Crystal lowball glasses are a true classic and one of the most versatile cocktail glasses available. Use your lowball glasses to serve neat pours, liquor on the rocks, or cocktails such as the Old Fashioned, Negroni, Margarita, or a simple Scotch and soda or whiskey soda.

Manhattan Glass

What is a Manhattan Glass?
A Manhattan is generally served in a Martini glass or coupe glass if served up, or in a lowball glass filled with ice if served on the rocks. The ideal manhattan glass has a triangular shape.

How many ounces are in a Manhattan Glass?
A Manhattan Glass holds around 7 oz.

What drinks can you serve in a Manhattan Glass?
Besides a classic Manhattan, a Manhattan Glass is perfect for Martinis, Gimlets, Daiquiris, and more.

Margarita Glass

What is a Margarita Glass?
With its shallow, stepped bowl and tall stem, the Margarita glass has a distinctive shape.

How many ounces are in a
Margarita Glass?

These coupes come in a variety of sizes, from 9 oz. to 12 oz. or extra large 20 oz. margarita glasses.

What drinks can you serve in a
Margarita Glass?
Besides a shaken margarita or frozen margarita, crystal margarita glasses are great for any frozen cocktails such as frosé, frozen daiquiris, or any drink you’d serve in a coupe.

Martini Glass

What is a Martini Glass?
Martini glasses are similar to cocktail glasses and coupe glasses, and often used interchangeably. However, a martini glass has a distinctive, triangular silhouette rather than a rounded bowl.

How many ounces are in a Martini Glass?
Vintage martini glasses were much smaller than modern cocktail glasses and usually held around 4 or 5 oz. Today, many martini glasses are designed to hold 8 oz. to 10 oz.

What drinks can you serve in a Martini Glass?
Besides a classic gin martini, a crystal martini glass is great for Gimlets, Margaritas, Manhattans, Whiskey Sours, and any other cocktails served up.

Mezcal Glass

What is a Mezcal Glass?
Mezcal is traditionally served in shallow clay cups called copitas rather than shot glasses, or in a rocks glass.

How many ounces are in a Mezcal Glass?
Mezcal glasses or copitas typically hold around 2 oz. to 6 oz.

What drinks can you serve in a Mezcal Glass?
Besides mezcal, crystal mezcal glasses can be used for tasting any complex, aged spirit, such as high-end rum, single malt Scotch, or blended whiskey.

Moscow Mule Mug

What is a Moscow Mule Mug?
The classic vessel for serving a Moscow Mule (vodka, ginger beer, and lime) is a striking copper mug, often with a brass handle. The copper material helps maintain the temperature of this refreshing cocktail.

How many ounces are in a
Moscow Mule Mug?

A Moscow Mule cup holds 14–16 oz.

What drinks can you serve in a Moscow Mule Mug?
The Moscow Mule Mug is more versatile than its name suggests: it’s perfect for a number of mixed drinks. Try serving a Cuba Libre, Mint Julep, Dark ‘N’ Stormy, Whiskey Ginger, Margarita, or Pimm’s Cup in a copper mug.

Negroni Glass

What is a Negroni Glass?
Designed specifically for the cult-favorite Negroni cocktail, this glass is a variation on a rocks glass and shows off the brilliant red hue of this beloved drink.

How many ounces are in a Negroni Glass?
The Negroni Glass holds 8 oz.

What drinks can you serve in a Negroni Glass?
The Negroni glass is perfect for any cocktail you’d serve in a lowball, such as an Old Fashioned, Margarita, or whiskey neat.

Nick and Nora Glass

What is a Nick and Nora Glass?
A variation on the coupe glass, the Nick and Nora glass has a small, rounded bowl and elegant stem. These vintage glasses were popularized by the film franchise The Thin Man, in which the main characters Nick and Nora Charles famously drink many, many martinis out of these vintage cocktail glasses.

How many ounces are in a Nick and Nora Glass?
A Nick and Nora Glass holds around 5 oz. and is intended for smaller drinks.

What drinks can you serve in a Nick and Nora Glass?
Nick and Nora glasses are perfect for any cocktail you’d serve in a martini glass or coupe glass, particularly spirit-forward cocktails. Try a Martini, Manhattan, or Gimlet in these vintage glasses.

Old Fashioned Glass

What is an Old Fashioned Glass?
An Old Fashioned glass is a short, wide tumbler for serving cocktails over ice. It’s often called a rocks glass, lowball glass, or tumbler.

How many ounces are in an Old Fashioned Glass?
There are 2 sizes of Old Fashioned glass: a Single Old Fashioned Glass or SOF Glass and a Double Old Fashioned Glass or DOF Glass. An SOF glass holds 6 oz. to 10 oz. and a DOF holds 12 oz. to 16 oz.

What drinks can you serve in an Old Fashioned Glass?
A crystal Old Fashioned glass is incredibly versatile—serve any cocktail over ice or neat pours of your favorite liquor in a Single Old Fashioned or Double Old Fashioned glass.

Punch Cup

What is a Punch Cup?
A punch cup is a small glass, often with a handle, used to serve punch at parties. Usually punch cups and punch bowls come as a matching set.

How many ounces are in a Punch Cup?
Punch cups typically have a capacity of 6 oz. to 8 oz. and sometimes up to 10 oz.

What drinks can you serve in a Punch Cup?
Use punch cups to serve any batch cocktail, sangria, or mixed punch cocktail. They’re perfect for entertaining and hosting parties.

Rocks Glass

What is a Rocks Glass?
A rocks glass is a wide, short tumbler used for serving cocktails over ice, liquor on the rocks, or a neat pour of whiskey. Rocks glasses are often called lowball glasses or Old Fashioned glasses.

How many ounces are in a Rocks Glass?
A typical rocks glass holds 8 oz. to 10 oz.

What drinks can you serve in a Rocks Glass?
Use a rocks glass for any drink you’d serve in an Old Fashioned glass or lowball glass, such as an Old Fashioned, Whiskey Soda, Gin & Tonic, Negroni, Margarita, Whiskey Sour, or Scotch neat.

Shot Glass

What is a Shot Glass?
A shot glass is a small cup used for drinking vodka, tequila, and whiskey. There are many different types of shot glass, but the two most common are the standard shot glass and the tall shot glass, also known as a shooter.

How many ounces are in a Shot Glass?
A standard shot glass holds anywhere from 1 oz. to 1.25 oz. to 1.5 oz. A tall shot glass or shooter generally has at least a 2 oz. capacity.

What drinks can you serve in a Shot Glass?
Shot glasses are perfect for knocking back tequila shots, vodka shots, whiskey shots, boilermakers, and other liquor, but they’re also great for serving party shots such as a B-52, Kamikaze, Apocalypse Now, or Alabama Slammer.

Scotch Glass

What is a Scotch Glass?
With a rounded bowl, tapered shape, and slightly flared rim, a Scotch Glass is ideal for sipping Scotch, whiskey, mezcal, or any complex spirit.

How many ounces are in a Scotch Glass?
A Scotch Glass typically holds 7 oz. or 8 oz., but generally is used to serve 2 oz. of your preferred spirit.

What drinks can you serve in a Scotch Glass?
Although designed specifically for Scotch, a Scotch glass can also be used for any sipping spirit, aperitif, or digestif such as Fernet Branca, Calvados, vermouth, port, or any amaro.

Tiki Mug

What is a Tiki Mug?
A tiki mug is a large ceramic cocktail cup, often carved with decorative designs in a tropical theme, used to serve tiki cocktails and other tropical beverages.

How many ounces are in a Tiki Mug?
Tiki mugs are intended to leave lots of room for crushed ice or pebbled ice. The capacity of a tiki mug ranges from the standard 15 oz. to extra large scorpion bowls meant to be shared.

What drinks can you serve in a Tiki Mug?
Although tiki mugs are most commonly used for rum tiki cocktails like the Mai Tai, Planter’s Punch, Hurricane, Zombie, Navy Grog, Jungle Bird, and Painkiller, you can serve any highball cocktail or tall blended drink in these fun glasses.

Whiskey Glass

What is a Whiskey Glass?
While there are many different types of whiskey glass, most use an Old Fashioned glass for sipping their whiskey. However, for tasting single-malt Scotch or fine aged Bourbon, a whiskey snifter with its short stem, full bowl, and narrow flared rim is ideal.

How many ounces are in a Whiskey Glass?
A whiskey glass has a capacity of 6 oz. to 8 oz., but usually only 2 oz. of whiskey are served in the glass.

What drinks can you serve in a Whiskey Glass?
A whiskey snifter is excellent for tasting whiskey, rum, gin, vodka, tequila, mezcal, and any other spirits. The shape enhances the experience of straight liquor and decreases the harsh alcohol while concentrating the aroma and flavor.

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