Ever want to know the difference between a hurricane and a highball? Or why your favourite cocktails always come in the same shape glassware? It’s well known that there are an array of deliciously different cocktails, but did you know that there’s an array of different glasses to create your masterful creations in?
Whether you’re a budding bartender or an at home mixologist, find out more about the different types of cocktail glasses and how they can enhance the drinking experience in our handy guide below.
WHY DO WE USE DIFFERENT COCKTAIL GLASSES?
A glass is just a glass, right? Unfortunately it’s not quite that simple. Not only does the shape of the glass affect how the cocktail looks - just imagine a Pina Colada in a wine glass - the shape of the glass can have an effect on the aroma, temperature, and flavour of your favourite drink! So, now you know how important using the right glass is, it’s time to understand what options you have...
When you think of a glass, the highball is the quintessential glass! A standard glass tumbler that’s perfect for any kind of long drink. A ‘highball’ is in fact the name for a mixed alcoholic drink made with a shot of spirit and topped up with a non-alcoholic mixer. Whether it’s a G & T, a rum and coke or a cocktail, these glasses are the perfect fit for 240 to 350 millilitres of drink.
Bartenders tend to build drinks directly into a highball glass. Simply fill the glass with ice and pour your cocktail on top!
Also known as: Glass tumbler
A Collins glass is very similar to a highball glass. So similar in fact, that we would forgive you for mixing these two up. The biggest (or only) difference between these two glasses is that the Collins glass is taller, narrower, and has a slightly larger capacity compared to the highball. A Collins glass will hold 300 to 410 millilitres of your favourite cocktail!
If you’re making your own at home bar, you probably won't need to invest in Collins and Highball glasses - unless you’re super serious about it! Similar to highballs, cocktails and long drinks can be assembled straight into a Collins glass.
Also known as: Cooler glass
Collins glass cocktails:
Traditionally a champagne glass, the Coupe glass was created in the mid 17th century, and it is rumoured that the shape is moulded after Marie Antonette’s left breast. This eccentric rumour is unfortunately untrue, however, but it’s a great cocktail party conversation starter.
Today, people much prefer the bubble-enhancing champagne flute for their fizzy fix, with the Coupe leaving things a little bit flat! However, the Coupe Glass has been reborn and is the glass of choice for many bartenders, as it’s absolutely perfect for serving chilled cocktails in! An elegant sophisticated glass the Coupe can hold between 140 to 200 millilitres of your favourite tipple.
Also known as: Champagne saucer or Champagne Coupe
Coupe glass cocktails:
THE MARTINI GLASS
The modernists take on The Coupe. The Martini glass actually pre-dates the martini cocktail and is said to have been created to hold champagne. The longer stem of the martini glass helped to keep the drinker cooler when being held.
These days the name Martini glass tends to be synonymous with ‘cocktail glass’ (probably due to our favourite spy, Bond, James Bond). Although this is one of the best looking cocktail glasses (if we do say so ourselves), it’s not the most practical. The sloped sides make keeping your drink inside a little trickier - especially if you’ve had a few already! The Martini glass is great for shorter cocktails as it can hold between 140 to 300 millilitres of liquid.
Also known as: Cocktail glass
Martini glass cocktails:
THE ROCKS GLASS
Looking for a cocktail on the rocks? This is going to be your go to glass!
Most famous as the carrier for the much loved classic, the old fashioned cocktail, the rocks glass is a popular, functional cocktail glass.
In fact not only is it used for cocktails, this glass is also a popular choice for any spirit enjoyed on the rocks. This glass usually contains 180–300 milliliters of your favourite spirit or cocktail.
Also known as: Old fashioned glass or lowball glass
Rocks glass cocktails:
THE SHOT GLASS
When you think of shots, cocktails might not be the first thing that comes to mind (hangover, maybe). But, shot glasses are a great way to add a little fun to your mixology. The Passion Fruit Martini, the most loved cocktail, but served with a shot of prosecco to turn it into a Pornstar Martini gives this tasty mix a new edge.
Even with their teeny tiny size, a shot glass can be used as the perfect spot for cocktail creativity. Just think of layered shots!
The shot glass came to fruition in the way we know it today around the 1940’s. A shot glass is made to carry between 25 to 30 mls of your favourite concoction.
Also known as: shooter glass
Shot glass cocktails:
THE WINE GLASS
Ok, we know a wine glass isn’t traditionally a cocktail glass, but we love getting creative here at Funkin, and we believe that if there’s room to put a cocktail in it - it’s officially a cocktail glass!
According to many sources, medieval Venice was the birthplace of the wine glass. Initially wine glasses were much smaller but as the cost of producing them decreased, the size of them increased, giving rise to the large 250ml glass of wine - thank you Italy!
White wine glasses tend to be slightly smaller than a red wine glass. They didn’t do this just for fun though, there’s a science behind it. White wine glasses need to stay chilled, making a smaller glass perfect, while red wine needs to breath, meaning a larger bowl is needed. A white wine glass holds up to 360ml of liquid, whilst a red wine glass can hold up to 415ml.
Also known as: Goblet or Chalice
Wine Glass cocktails:
THE GIN BALLOON
Who wouldn’t want their cocktail served in a balloon? Ok, a balloon glass isn’t actually a balloon. The origins of the gin balloon glass lie in the Basque region of Spain in the 1700s. Rivaled gin drinkers to the English, the Spanish opted for a circular glass over the traditional Tom Collins design - and why not?
As the name suggests this glass is perfect for a G&T, with the large round design allowing lots of space for ice and garnish. But there’s no need to stick to two ingredients with this oversized wine glass. Not only does mixing up a cocktail in a balloon glass look great, there’s plenty of room for experimenting with tasty purees and syrups.
Also known as: Copa de Balon glass, Balloon cup
Gin Balloon cocktails:
THE IRISH COFFEE GLASS
Nothing beats a big mug of coffee...except maybe a big glass of coffee with a kick of whiskey (maybe not as your morning pick me up though). Ok, so maybe this isn’t a go-to cocktail for a night out, but coffee cocktails are definitely making a comeback. Whether it’s an after dinner treat or a cold winter warmer, we love the sophistication of these creamy, caffeinated delights.
The Irish Coffee glass is designed to hold hot coffee, therefore it’s a lot thicker than other glasses. The design of the glass can vary, with some glasses having a handle and V shape, whilst other designs opt for a stem. They typically hold 200 milliliters of hot or cold drink.
Also known as: Gaelic Coffee Glass
Irish Coffee Glass cocktails:
THE HURRICANE GLASS
If you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain...then you’ll probably already know what a hurricane glass looks like. These fluted beauties are actually named after the Hurricane cocktail, which is typically served in this curvy glass.
It’s taller and wider than the highball glass so can hold more of the drinks you love, and it’s shape is close to a hurricane lamp or vase. The glass typically holds around 590ml.
Also known as: Poco Grande glass
Hurricane glass cocktails:
THE MARGARITA GLASS
Much like a two-storey Coupe glass, the Margarita glass is the perfect setting for...you guessed it, a Margarita! These double tiered glasses are typically seen with salt garnished around the rim to balance the bitter taste of the lime in a Margarita.
Although the margarita cocktail boomed in popularity the margarita glass is not necessarily growing with it, as bartenders don’t always stick with serving them in the classic glass. The glass has a similar shape to the coupe glass, however it’s second tier means it can hold a lot more liquid, holding around 250 milliliters of yummy cocktail.
Also known as: N/A
Margarita Glass cocktails:
THE SNIFTER GLASS
Ok, this glass may not have made its way into the world of cocktails...yet. But, we don’t see why you can’t use this roomy glass to create your next concoction! This short stemmed glass is typically used for brandy and cognacs due to its bowl-like shape and narrow top, which is said to enhance the flavour.
The round bowl and stem of these glasses is designed for swirling and sniffing your drink while keeping it at room temperature. This glass can hold 180–240 ml, however the glass will only ever be filled a short way up to get the effects of the bowl design.
Also known as: brandy snifter, brandy glass, brandy bowl, cognac glass, or balloon
THE TIKI GLASS
One of the most visually impressive glasses - and definitely a favourite here at Funkin. The tiki glass has an extensive history of the tiki culture behind it. Actually, more like a mug than a glass they originate from Hawaii and the Polynesian Islands.
Tiki mugs were born out of tiki bars and are said to be a take on the wooden tiki statues. The size of tiki mugs can vary greatly, so there doesn’t seem to be a set amount you’ll find in your tiki mug, it’ll just depend on the mug you buy or bar you visit!
Also known as: Tiki mugs
Tiki Glass cocktails:
We hope you've found our cocktail glasses guide helpful! If you have any other questions, please get in touch and our expert team will happily help.
If you're ready to get creative, head over to our cocktail recipes page for more mixing inspo!