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Cocktail Glassware 101: Which Glass for Which Drink?

When it comes to making cocktails, the type of glassware you use can make a big difference in how your drink looks and tastes.

In addition to choosing the right glass, there are a few other things to keep in mind when it comes to cocktail presentation. One is garnishing – adding a garnish like a citrus twist, cherry, or umbrella can add a pop of color and flavor to your drink. Another is rimming – coating the rim of your glass with salt, sugar, or other ingredients can enhance the flavors of your cocktail and make it look more appealing.

The right glass can enhance the flavors and aromas of your drink, while also adding an element of style and sophistication to your presentation. But with so many different types of cocktail glassware out there, it can be overwhelming to figure out which glass to use for which drink. In this post, we’ll break down some of the most common types of cocktail glassware and explain which drinks they’re best suited for.

Highball Glass

Highball Glass cocktail
The highball glass is a tall, narrow glass that’s perfect for drinks that are served with ice and topped off with a carbonated mixer. Think classic drinks like the Gin and Tonic or the Whiskey and Soda. The height of the glass allows for plenty of ice and mixer, while the narrow shape helps to keep the drink carbonated for longer.

Martini Glass


The Martini glass is an iconic piece of cocktail glassware that’s instantly recognizable. It’s a stemmed glass with a wide, cone-shaped bowl that tapers down to a narrow stem. The classic Martini is the most famous drink served in this glass, but it’s also great for other stirred or shaken cocktails like the Manhattan or the Cosmopolitan.

Collins Glass

Bloody Mary cocktail
The Collins glass is similar to the highball glass, but it’s a bit narrower and taller. It’s perfect for drinks that are served with ice and topped off with a non-carbonated mixer, like the Tom Collins or the Bloody Mary. The tall, narrow shape helps to showcase the colors and layers of the drink.

Champagne Flute

Champagne Flute
The Champagne flute is a tall, narrow glass with a long stem and a tapered bowl. As the name suggests, it’s primarily used for serving Champagne and other sparkling wines, but it’s also great for cocktails that are topped off with a sparkling wine or soda. The shape of the glass helps to preserve the bubbles and showcase the color of the drink.

Rocks Glass

rock glassThe Rocks glass, also known as a Lowball or Old Fashioned glass, is a short, sturdy glass that’s perfect for drinks served over ice or neat (without ice). It’s the go-to glass for classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned or the Negroni, but it’s also great for serving spirits like whiskey or tequila on the rocks.

Coupe Glass

coupe glassThe Coupe glass is a stemmed glass with a wide, shallow bowl that’s perfect for serving cocktails that are strained and served without ice. It’s great for drinks like the Sidecar or the French 75, and it’s also a popular choice for serving Champagne and sparkling wine cocktails.

Shot Glass

shot glassThe Shot glass is a small, usually cylindrical glass that’s designed for serving spirits in small quantities. It’s perfect for shots of tequila or whiskey, but it’s also great for serving liqueurs or other small, intense drinks.

Pint Glass

The Pint glass, also known as a Beer glass or a Shaker glass, is a large, sturdy glass that’s perfect for serving beer or other frothy drinks. It’s also great for cocktails that are served in large quantities, like the Margarita or the Bloody Mary.

pint glassesNow that you know a little bit about the most common types of cocktail glassware, it’s important to remember that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to choosing the right glass for your drink. Ultimately, the glass you choose should depend on the type of drink you’re making, as well as your personal preferences and the style of your presentation. So whether you’re serving up a classic Martini or a fruity Margarita, choose the glass that makes your drink look and taste its best.

It’s also worth noting that some cocktails are served in more than one type of glass, depending on how they’re prepared or presented. For example, a Margarita can be served in a Pint glass with salt on the rim, or in a Martini glass with a lime twist. Similarly, a Whiskey Sour can be served in a Rocks glass with ice, or in a Coupe glass without.

When it comes to serving cocktails, presentation is everything. Choosing the right glassware, garnish, and rimming can take your cocktail from good to great, and impress your guests in the process. So next time you’re mixing up a drink, take a moment to consider which glass will showcase your creation in the best light. With a little bit of knowledge and experimentation, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a master mixologist.

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