A guide to cocktail glassware

A Guide to cocktail glassware

If you are setting up a bar to create lovely cocktails at home, but don’t know the know the difference between a double Old Fashioned glass and a highball glass, a snifter from a rocks glass then we have written this guide with you in mind. In this guide we will give you simple guide to what glass goes with which cocktail. This way you can decidew whoich glasses you want in your cocktail cabinet or trolley. Many of the glasses can be picked up second hand from charity shops so its worth hunting for a bargain.

Brandy snifter: A short stemmed glass with a wide bowl that is designed to be cradled in your hand. This transfers warmth from the hand to the drink.

brandy snifter

Champagne flute: Champagne flutes are tall and slender for champagne and sparkling wine. They prevent heat transferring from your hand to the champagne and also to keep the  sparkle. 2 main types of flute glass: tulip and flutes

champagne flute

Collins glass: named after the Tom collins cocktail, a tall and skinny glass used for mixed drinks, similar to a highball glass but taller and narrower.

collins glass

Coupe glass: The coupe is a wide-bowled stemmed glass used for craft cocktails like the Side car and the Aviation.

coupe glass

Copper mug: A Moscow Mule cocktail simply must be served in a copper mug. The copper is designed to keep the cocktail chilled and includes a handle to prevent heat transfering from the drinker’s hand.

copper moscow mule mug

Cordial glass: Designed to hold a very small amount of liquid, the cordial glass (or dessert glass) is generally used for after dinner liqueurs. Like a shot glass, with a stem, and holds approx a double measure (50 ml).

cordial glass

Highball glass: Highball glasses are tall, narrow glasses, but shorter than a Collins glass, and they’re perfect for serving mixed drinks or spirits over ice.

highball glass

Hurricane glass: A flamboyantly shaped glass with arching curvature, Hurricane glasses can be large up to 1 pint in volume.

hurricane glass

Julep cup: A tin or silver cup specifically made for the Mint Julep, designed to insulate the shaved ice of a Mint Julep the official cocktail of the Kentucky Derby.

Julep cup

Margarita glass: Stemmed glasses with a very wide bowl, designed to hold blended or iced Margaritas and accommodate salt stuck to the rim for taste and texture.

margarita glass

Martini glass: A iconic cocktail glass since the early 1900s when they were invented as an alternative to the coupe glass. You are sure to have these in your  home bar to make Martinis and Manhattans.

martini glasses

Nick & Nora glass: Nick & Nora glasses are more bell-shaped than a standard coupe. Its name comes from the 1934 film The Thin man in which the main characters, Nick and Nora Charles, sip cocktails out of these glasses.

Nick and Nora glass

Rocks glass: A rocks glass set is a must have in any home bar. Reither single rocks glasses or double rocks glasses. they are used to serve spirits neat or on the rocks (over ice) as well as cocktails like the Old Fashioned or nergonis.

Rocks glass

Glencairn whisky glass: Developed as tasting glasses by the Glencairn distillery in Scotland and are now considered the standard whiskey glasses by most Scotch whisky aficionados. They are shaped like a tulip with a wide base curving up to a narrower brim.

Glencairn whisky glass

How to Choose the Right Cocktail Glasses

With all these different styles of glass its difficult to work out what you really need . Not every home bar needs to be fully stocked with every type of cocktail glass. The following will help you decide what you should get to start.

  • Cost: Cocktail and drinking glasses can be very expensive. If you’re new to mixology, consider starting with a few basic types of drinkware and then expand your collection over time.
  • Ease of use: Some cocktail glasses are easier to use and clean then others. When choosing between a normal Martini glass and a stemless Martini glass, for instance, you might want to consider which one is more durable.
  • Space: If you’re stocking a home cocktail bar with limited space, you might want to cut back on the number of tumblers and stemmed glasses you purchase. Consider how much shelving you have to store your glassware
  • Types of drinks: Before you rush out and stock your shelves with specialty cocktail glassware, ask yourself what types of drinks you’re likely to make and whether or not you have the right equipment to make them.

Make sure you invest in the right bar tools such as strainers, cocktail shakers, and cutting boards so you know what types of drinks you can make, before buying the appropriate glassware.


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