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Your Guide to the Different Types of Cocktail Glasses

Your Guide to the Different Types of Cocktail Glasses

Whether you are stocking your family’s bar or creating a bar for a guest house, choosing the right cocktail glasses is an important part of the job. There are so many of these specialty glasses to choose from, though – which ones are apt for your bar?

The answer lies in what you plan to serve or enjoy drinking the most. Use this guide to some of the most commonly-used cocktail glasses to guide your purchases:

Highball and Lowball Glasses

Highball glasses and closely-related lowball glasses are essential components of any barkeeper’s glassware. They are the most basic glasses with the most versatile application and are often simple enough to suit any style. 

The highball glass is a medium-tall glass with straight sides. This moderate height gives plenty of room for lower-alcohol cocktails that need more space for things like juice or soft drinks. These ingredients may be poured over a simple shot of vodka or other liquor to make an essential cocktail. The clean presentation of a highball glass will look anything but basic on your bar table, though!

Lowball glasses are similar to their highball cousins, except they have less height and, therefore, less room inside the vessel itself. This means they are often used for cocktails with less non-alcoholic liquid. They are usually wider and sturdier in build, too, which makes them perfect for drinks like mojitos that require muddling of herbs like mint in the bottom of the glass. 

Rocks Glasses

A rocks glass is a short, wide glass built with sturdy construction. This versatile glass is essential for any collection. Typically, drinks served in these glasses are mixed in the vessel. Rather than using a shaker, bartenders or mixologists will simply pour the layers of flavour right into the glass and finish with a stir. 

There are several sizes of rock glasses designed to hold different amounts of liquid. The typical or single rocks glasses will serve between six and eight ounces at a time. The double rocks glass will give you room to mix between ten and fourteen ounces at a time. 

Tall, Straight-Sided Glasses

The tallest, straight-sided glasses in your collection may have several names. While there are definitions for each of these names, they are often used interchangeably, and all describe tall, narrow, straight-sided glasses. 

Some of the names given to these glasses include:

  • Collins glasses
  • Cooler glasses
  • Chimney glasses
  • Zombie glasses

The drinks served in these glasses generally contain a larger amount of non-alcoholic ingredients and smaller amounts of liquor. They are also generally filled with ice, which is why the glasses’ height is important.

Nick & Nora Glasses

These petite stemmed glasses were named for characters from the novel and movie “The Thin Man”. They became popular in the 1930s and offer a versatile shape and size that suits many different cocktails. 

Margarita Glasses

Margarita glasses are some of the most fun additions to any bar cabinet. These cocktail glasses are created with two different layers: a small, bell-shaped bowl with a broader bowl. This shape allows ingredients to mingle and presents an easy and fragrant drinking experience. These glasses are a great way to get any party started!

Martini Glasses

You don’t have to be James Bond to enjoy a good martini. To enjoy a good martini glass, you do not have to be a martini fan. Many people collect these glasses for their fun designs, while others love them simply because they allow liquor served inside to breathe and develop on the tongue.

Hurricane Glasses

Hurricane glass is your best bet if you want a beautiful presentation for larger cocktails and drinks. These tall, curvy glasses are most often used to serve large, colourful, fruity cocktails, such as hurricanes, daiquiris, pinacoladas, and more. 

A smaller alternative to the hurricane is the poco grande glass, which is more often used for frozen and blended drinks. If you enjoy fruity cocktails, do not skip these roomy cocktail glasses!

Copper Mugs and Julep Cups

Some cocktails are best served in more specialized cups and glasses. Some of these include the Moscow mule and the mint julep, served in copper mugs and julep cups, respectively. Serving these cocktails in metal cups helps to insulate the ingredients and adds charm to their presentation. It also adds beautiful variety to your bar cabinets!

Punch Cups

Do you host plenty of parties? If so, you should never be without a punch set – or at least some festive and versatile punch glasses. These cups can be glasses, metal, ceramic, or any material you like – as long as they match or coordinate and hold a generous serving of your favourite party punch!

Wine Glasses, Champagne Flutes, and Champagne Saucers

Of course, no bar is complete without glasses of red wine, white wine, and champagne. Whether you and your guests prefer specialty glasses for these drinks or one designated shape for all three, having these glasses keeps your bar inviting and welcoming for everyone. 

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