Choose the right glassware for your cocktail

by | Aug 1, 2023

All this talk about glass and glass blowing has left me thinking about our favorite cocktail companion. The glassware it comes in!

Choosing the right style of glass is like finding the perfect outfit for an evening. An evening of reading your favorite novel on the couch has different requirements from meeting friends for dinner at a busy café has different requirements from Tuesday mah-jong! Orrrr, you could just wear a ballgown to everything because imo it’s never wrong to be over dressed or over educated. 😉  Anyway, with regards to choosing the glass for your drink, the style of glass enhances the flavor and experience by having the right shape for the style and texture of the cocktail as well as the ice and garnish needs. Let’s take a look at the basic types of glasses and what they are suited for:

1. The Classic Highball – Effortless Elegance
For those who love simple pleasures and laid-back vibes, the classic highball glass is your go-to choice. Its tall and slender design is perfect for refreshing beverages like Mojitos, G&Ts, and Tom Collins. In fact, this glass is also known as a Collins glass because of its association with that classic cocktail. You want this glass for drinks that have ice cubes and a bubbly mixer poured into them. A highball glass is perfect for accommodating a citrus wedge, a sprig of herbs, or a fruit slice as a garnish. I like to pour my Briar cocktail into a highball and garnish with mint.

2. The Charming Coupe – Old-School Chic
For the vintage souls among us, the coupe glass is a timeless choice. Its saucer-like shape and short stem will transport you back to the Roaring Twenties, and transport your cocktail neatly to your lips. The coupe is my favorite glassware for enjoying my favorite cocktails, that is to say the ones that are served up, i.e. with no ice. (I don’t know why! I just don’t like to have any more ice than I absolutely need. Maybe it’s my Ayurvedic type?) A coupe is perfect for savoring shaken and up drinks like a Last Word OR stirred and up drinks like a martini or Manhattan. They also work perfectly for champagne-based cocktails like French 75, which makes it my go-to for serving Frenchie. A citrus peel twist or a cocktail cherry on a pick feel right at home cozied up on a coupe.

4. The Mighty Tumbler – Versatile and Relaxed
The tumbler, aka rocks glass, has a sturdy build and no-nonsense design making it perfect for almost any cocktail, but particularly those that are served over ice but don’t have fizz. Think the classic Old Fashioned or negroni. A rocks glass can come in single or double size. Choose yours based on the total volume of your cocktail as well as your ice size and amount. A lot of large fancy ice cubes only fit in double rocks glasses. Or if you’re making a drink that’s served over a ton of crushed ice, a double rocks is often a good choice.

5. The Enchanting Wine Glass – For the Wine-Cocktail Fusion (spritz! spritz! spritz!)
Who doesn’t love to blend the best of both worlds – wine and cocktails. The wine glass is your ally in this endeavor. Perfect for a spritz or a Sangria, the capacious bowl of a wine glass lets the flavors mingle, leaves room for ice, and just generally makes you look Italian, which is always a valid goal. This is how you’re going to want to serve your Vélo spritz. Add an orange wedge, or green olives, or both!

6. The Nick and Nora – Glamour with a Twist
Less well known but absolutely wonderful, the Nick and Nora glass exudes confidence and sophistication. This type of glass is sized like a coupe but has a deeper bowl, which also makes it perfect for sipping stiff, spirit forward drinks, like a classic Martini, Paper Plane, or Cosmopolitan.  Or honestly, any other fancy cocktail that deserves the red carpet treatment.

The glass you choose can dramatically change your sipping experience. That said! The correct glass for your cocktail is the one you have. Have fun with glassware, and have fun with your cocktails. Santé!

Image of a coupe glass with a pink cocktail on a pink background with a lemon behind it.