Types of Cocktail Glasses
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Types of Cocktail Glasses

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Types of Cocktail Glasses

Using the correct types of glasses for your crafted cocktails isn’t just for presentation, it also improves the drinking experience for your guests. The shape of the cocktail glass dictates how the glass is held in the hand, which affects the temperature of the drink. Some glasses are designed to hold more ice, and some glass shapes enhance the aromatics of the drink. Read on to learn about the different types of cocktail glasses and the drinks they are designed to hold.

1. Highball Glass

Highball Glass

This tall straight glass holds about 8 to 12 ounces and is meant to be filled with ice. Best used for cocktails served on the rocks, the glass shape keeps the drink cold and preserves carbonation. Often used interchangeably with a Collins glass, the traditional highball glass is slightly shorter and wider than a Collins glass. The highball glass can be used to serve these cocktails:

  • Rum and Coke

  • Gin and Tonic

  • Dark and Stormy


2. Collins Glass

Collins Glass

Sometimes referred to as a highball glass, the Collins glass is actually taller, narrower, and has a slightly larger capacity at 10 to 14 ounces. This tall glass keeps your cocktails chilled and is best used for drinks that are diluted with a lot of ice and contain more than one mixer. The Collins glass is named for the Tom Collins cocktail, but can be used for any cocktail over ice. Reach for a Collins glass if you are serving any of these cocktails:

  • Mojito

  • Paloma

  • Tom Collins

3. Zombie Glass

Zombie Glass

This glass was originally designed to hold the Zombie cocktail, a blend of juices, rum, and liqueur. The zombie glass is the tallest and most narrow of all the cocktail glasses, which helps to highlight colorful drinks. Its large capacity is meant to hold cocktails that are made with several mixers. Use a zombie glass to serve any of these eye-catching cocktails:

  • Tequila Sunrise

  • Fuzzy Navel

  • Zombie

4. Rocks Glass

Rocks Glass

Also called an old fashioned or lowball glass, the rocks glass is short and wide with a sturdy bottom. Unlike the glasses above, which are designed to hold large amounts of ice and mixers, the rocks glass holds drinks made with mostly spirits. It's named for the classic cocktail, the Old Fashioned, which contains bourbon whiskey with a couple dashes of Angostura bitters. The shape of the glass allows for muddling ingredients, stirring, and adding a large cube of ice or two. Serve these classic cocktails with a rocks glass:

  • Old Fashioned

  • Negroni

  • Sazerac

5. Coupe Glass

Coupe Glass

The coupe glass was originally designed to serve champagne. However, the broad round shape of this glass isn’t actually well-suited for carbonated drinks. The bubbles dissipate quickly due to the large surface area. Instead, this glass is best used for cocktails that need to be strained and served “up” with no ice, like a Manhattan. The shape of the glass shows off the color of the cocktail and the long stem prevents your hand from warming the glass. The elegant coupe glass is a sophisticated way to serve these cocktails:

  • Manhattan

  • Boulevardier

  • Gimlet

6. Martini Glass

Martini Glass

Probably the most recognizable cocktail glass, the martini glass looks stylish when held. It features a "v" shaped bowl design that requires the drink to be sipped, making it perfect for drinks with little or no mixers. You'll hear the martini glass often referred to as a cocktail glass, but the traditional cocktail glass is more rounded and slightly smaller. Use a martini glass to serve these strained cocktails:

  • Martini

  • Cosmopolitan

  • Sidecar

7. Copper Mug

Copper Mug

This iconic mug is great for keeping chilled drinks cool on a hot day, thanks to the conductivity of its copper construction. Historically, the copper mug has been used to serve the Moscow Mule cocktail, a blend of vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice. Copper is said to enhance the flavors of ginger beer and citrus, while also intensifying the carbonation. Most copper mugs are now lined with another material, like stainless steel, to avoid the potential for copper leaching into beverages. Try serving these drinks in a copper mug:

  • Moscow Mule

  • Mint Julep

  • Greyhound

8. Margarita Glass

Margarita Glass

The iconic margarita glass features a large, round bowl with a broad rim that provides plenty of room for garnishes. The wide bowl allows the drinker to enjoy the aromatics of the drink with each sip, while also getting a taste of the salt or sugar-coated rim. A tall stem makes the glass easy to hold, even on larger capacity sizes. The margarita glass is perfect for serving these cocktails:

  • Frozen Margarita

  • Margarita on the Rocks

  • Daiquiri

9. Hurricane Glass

Hurricane Glass

This tall glass features a tulip-like shape with a flared rim and short stem. A standard hurricane glass holds 20 ounces which makes it ideal for serving tropical cocktails made with several ingredients and mixers. Originally designed for the Hurricane cocktail, the hurricane glass can be used to serve any tropical drink. The flared lip allows for the fruity aromatics to take center stage and also provides room for garnishes. Keep your bar stocked with hurricane glasses for serving these fruity cocktails:

  • Pina Colada

  • Singapore Sling

  • Hurricane

When creating your own signature cocktails, make sure to put thought into the glass you'll use. For drinks that contain a lot of ice and non-alcoholic mixers, a tall highball glass is a great choice. If the drink contains only spirits and is strained, a rocks glass or coupe glass could be just what you need. Ultimately, the cocktail glass you choose can enhance your presentation and improve the drinking experience for your guests.

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