Cocktail Glassware 101

Hungry Fan
May 9, 2017
Hosting a killer game day party means mastering the art of cocktail making. But how well do you know your glassware? Read this and find out!

Don't be an ass. Know your glass.

Sure, a Solo cup or the like might be the vial of choice on game day, especially if you're in the parking lot. Why? Because it won't break if it falls and it can be easily and readily disposed. That's fair. But if you are hosting folks at home for a good old fashioned homegate, or if you're looking to serve up a legit cocktail any other day of the week, your choice of glassware is critical. Mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts alike will tell you--the glass is everything. (And if you're a dude reading this, know that ladies will appreciate being served in the proper glass. Yeah, we fancy).

The Basics

1. Martini Glass: Used to serve drinks straight up without ice. Most common would be a Martini (where the name comes from) or a Manhattan.

2. Margarita Glass: A glass stylized like an upside down sombrero should only be used to serve a Margarita or any type of Margarita variation and nothing else. (Think frozen cocktail).

3. Pint Glass: Beer, Cider and Beer/Cider-based mixed drinks. example Black velvet, shandy or Black’n’Tans.

4. Rocks Glass/Old-Fashioned: Used to serve liquor like good quality vodka or whisk(e)y, and cocktails with ice or those served neat. Examples of different drinks that go into a rocks glass: Negroni, Old Fashioned, Margarita on the rocks, Sazerac (neat), Scotch, etc.

5. Shot Glass: The name itself says it. Plain and simple, it's used for shots. 'Nuff said.

6. Highball Glass: Used to serve long drinks, aka spirit and mixers, aka highball drinks. Examples include: The Screw Driver, Cuba Libre, Gin and Tonic, etc.

7. Collins Glass: Slightly shorter and wider than the Highball Glass, this one is used to serve a good Collins, Fizz, or Rickey.

8. Brandy/Cognac Glass: Used to serve Brandy or Cognac. Just make sure to swirl hot water inside it before pouring in the spirit. It should be served in a hot glass. (Another trick is to just pour it in and use the heat of your palms to heat the glass before drinking).

9. Wine Glass: There are different types for white or red wine but this is the standard one with which most are familiar.

10. Champagne Flute: Used to drink sparkling wine, champagne or serve the following cocktails: French 75 or a champagne cocktail such as a Kir Royale.

Now you're just being fancy....

11. Hurricane Glass: For blended frozen drinks and exotic drinks. (Think daiquiris and Piña Coladas).

12. Irish Coffee Glass: Thick Glass with a handle used for hot drinks such as the Irish Coffee, Hot Toddy or Hot Buttered Rum.

13. Coupe Glass- The coupette is another great glass with a stem used for ‘straight up’ cocktails like the martini glass.This one is good for cocktails containing egg whites. (Think Pisco Sour).

14. Grappa Glass: Used to enjoy Italian grappa. (A little goes a long, long way).

15. Absinthe Glass: Thick and beautifully designed glasses used to drink Absinthe. Serve with the iconic Absinthe spoon for the sugar.

16. Tiki Glass: There are many types of these glasses around and this is just one of them. They are ceramic and usually depict imagery from Melanesia, Micronesia or Polynesia and are especially used for ‘Tiki’-style exotic cocktails featuring rum blends and fruit juices.

17.  Buck Mug: Copper mugs used for Buck-style cocktails, the most famous of which is the the Moscow Mule.

18. Julep Cup: An iconic metal cup, it's used only for the Kentucky Mint Julep. 

19. Sour Glass: These are not used that much anymore but for years they were the official ‘Sour’ glass for sour style cocktails.

20. Tasting Glass: Used by spirit connoisseurs for tasting fine Scotch or Gin, for example.  


Thanks to the Urban Mixologist for serious know-how and assistance with this article. Cheers!