Talk of “appropriate” glassware for different types of alcoholic beverages tends to get lively quickly. There are many practical reasons to use different glasses for cocktails. Others are simply related to tradition. Bartenders and customers have strong opinions about all of them.
Here are some quick tips on the types of glassware that you will find in bars. What should they be used for? And a few objective evaluations of their utility.
Note: This guide does not cover the extensive world of wine stemware. You can read more about them here.
Coupe/CoupetteThese glasses are not based on Marie Antoinette’s left breast, contrary to popular belief. Their use dates back to the time of the late queen. These glasses are sometimes called “Champagne saucers” and were used to consume sparkling wine before it became more popular.
Coupes have resurged in cocktail bars in recent years as an alternative to V-shaped martini glasses–and are marginally less likely to slosh contents into laps. Use for drinks that are served chilled, but not with ice. Still quite annoying when the bartender fills completely to the brim, necessitating the lean-forward-and-sip-off-the-bar-without-touching technique.
Double rocksThese glasses are about two ounces bigger than regular rocks glasses. Double refers to the ability to hold a double pour and not the entire glass volume.
Flute: This glass is narrow, tapered, and stem. It reduces the surface area of carbonated drinks to keep them bubbling for longer. Use Sparkling wine You can have sparkling cocktails, but you also have any other cocktail that is served with or without ice.
Glencairn: Created by Glencairn Crystal StudioThis glass is meant for whiskey. The tapered mouth helps with aroma and alcohol perception, while the rounded bowl can be used to evaluate the spirit’s color. This is a popular option for neat pours of any type.
Collins and Highball glasses
Highball/CollinsThese are being combined, but there are technical differences. Both are straight-sided, narrow, tall glasses. Collins glasses are slightly taller than the others, but bars and other retailers often use them interchangeably.
These glasses are typically used for drinks with both ice and carbonated elements, such as soda or sparkling wine. They weigh between 8-12 ounces. They are narrower than rocks glasses and allow bubbles to be retained. However, they are wider than a flute to allow for ice.
Traditional V-shaped martini glasses
MartiniAlthough the term can be applied to many styles of glassware but here we are referring to the iconic V-shaped martini glass. It was introduced at the 1925 Paris Exhibition as an Art Deco version of the coupe glass. It was originally meant for Champagne. It is objectively the worst glass ever made. The shape of the glass means that any mistake will result in the person drinking their drink. Additionally, the high center gravity makes it easy to tip over while you are passionately telling a bar story. It is still very much in use.
Mule Cup/Julep Cup/Copper MugAlthough they may vary in design and style, the cups’ main component is generally intended for. Mint julepsAndmulesTheir material is metal, rather than glass. This is what many people believe, but it actually keeps the drink colder. Copper conducts heat well. Copper cups are more efficient at absorbing heat than glass, so if a copper cup feels colder, it is because it absorbs heat faster than glass. This makes cold drinks in copper cups ornamental. Drink quickly.
Nick and Nora: Named after the fictional detective duo Nick Charles and Nora Charles, first introduced in Dashiell Hammett’s 1933 novel The Thin ManThe glass is an alternative to coupe glasses and martini glasses. It can be used for drinks that are served straight up, without sparkling. These glasses are preferred by bartenders as they are less likely to spill.
RocksThese small, square glasses have wide mouths and can hold standard ice cubes of one ounce. Or, larger singular ice cubes with slower melting or dilution to chill your drink. Although smaller, “neat” glasses are available, the rocks tumbler is the most common glass used for neat pours.
These stemless wine glasses have thick bottoms that allow ingredients to be mixed safely and without glass cracking. They are also easier to knock over if you have a few drinks left.
SnifterThese stems are not meant to be poured from a glass, but they can be used to raise the temperature of brandy and whiskey by being held in the hands. Maximilian Riedel is president/CEO at Austrian glassware manufacturer Riedel crystal. It is called “The worst vessel for Cognac and all other beverages”
Texas-sizedSome chain restaurants offer margaritas. Although there is no standard for Texas-sized cocktails, they will usually contain an additional one-and-a-half to two ounces of liquor. These cocktails are not to be missed.
TumblerThe term is often used casually to refer to rocks glasses. However, it can also be applied to other types of glassware. This simply refers to any glass that has a flat bottom and no stem or foot.
WineThese are probably the most common items you see on this website. There are many sizes and shapes available for wine glasses. Which has the potential to be very useful people who love to argue about this sort of thing will debate it endlessly.