8 Types of Cocktail Glasses Every Home Bar Needs
Most aspiring home bartenders have no trouble filling their liquor cabinets, but choosing cocktail glasses is often something of an afterthought. However, the right choice of glass can accentuate your favorite tipple just as much as a premium liquor, so it’s worth understanding your options.
This guide covers the main types of cocktail glasses, so you’ll know how to team your next shaken or stirred concoction with the vessel it deserves.
What are the main types of cocktail glasses?
With these 8 essential cocktail glasses, you’ll be covered for all your favorite cocktails as well as anything your guests might request.
Perhaps the best-known of all cocktail glasses, the martini glass isn’t just used to serve its namesake drink. It’s also a refined choice for gimlets, Manhattans, cosmopolitans, and Brandy Alexanders - among others. The conical shape keeps liquors from separating and conveniently props up skewered garnishes, while the stem prevents your hands from warming up the bowl.
For truly iconic elegance, discover Waterford’s striking Lismore Martini glasses.
Originally used for champagne, coupe glasses are now one of the most popular choices for chilled and strained cocktails. They’re similar to the martini glass but with a wider mouth that leaves plenty of room for garnishes and a more vertical sidewall beneath the rim that reduces the likelihood of a spill.
Celebrate in style with Waterford’s crystal coupes.
These tall, narrow glasses are just as suitable for non-alcoholic drinks as they are cocktails, making them a versatile must-have for every home bar cart. Their height leaves plenty of room for crushed ice, so they’re perfect for long, refreshing mixed drinks with soda, tonic, or dry ginger ale. Enjoy summertime scotch and sodas, vodka lime and sodas, or icy gin and tonics with Waterford’s hand-cut crystal highballs.
A tumbler, also known as a rocks glass or old fashioned glass, is the right choice for straight liquor served neat or over ice. For a slow, contemplative drink, make sure you choose a tumbler with a solid, heavy feel, such as Waterford’s cut crystal range. The thickness will insulate the drink from the heat of your hand and keep the liquor cool while you sip at leisure.
Double old fashioned glasses
Double old fashioned glasses are much the same as tumblers, but with a slightly larger size that makes them perfect for more elaborate whiskey cocktails - such as juleps or Manhattans served on the rocks. It’s also a flexible choice for anything from margaritas to Negronis.
Enjoy the perfect serve with Waterford’s range of crystal double old fashioned tumblers.
If you or your guests have a sweet tooth or a taste for tiki-inspired cocktails, a hurricane glass is a must. Its tall shape is well suited to blended drinks with plenty of fruit and crushed ice, such as Piña Coladas, Singapore Slings and, of course, the Hurricane.
Delight your guests with the tropical feel of the Mixology Circon Hurricane.
The large bowl of a balloon accentuates the heady aromas and botanicals of gin, whether it’s served on ice or mixed with tonic. Waterford’s crystal gin balloons are also just the right size to accommodate fragrant garnishes such as lemon and cucumber wedges or even sprigs of rosemary.
Brandy snifters are made for indulgent nighttime splashes of brandy, cognac, or even fortified wine. Its large bowl increases the surface area of the spirit, allowing rich aromatics to waft up through the glass.
Enjoy a sumptuous after-dinner drink out of the stunning snifters in the Lismore Black range.
How do you hold a cocktail glass?
Holding a cocktail glass correctly isn’t just a matter of etiquette. It’s also a way to ensure that the cocktail stays at the right temperature and doesn’t spill. Here are the most common methods.
For stemmed glasses such as coupes and martini glasses, pinch the stem between thumb and forefinger while supporting the lower part of the stem with your remaining fingers.
For balloons and brandy snifters, slip the stem between two fingers and support the base of the bowl in your palm. This is best suited to drinks served at room temperature, as your hand will warm the drink fairly quickly.
For stemless glasses such as tumblers or highballs, hold the base or body with your thumb on one side and four fingers on the other. If you’re concerned about warming up the drink, move your grip closer to the rim.
Other cocktail accessories for your home bar
A shaker allows your ingredients to mix thoroughly and, when filled with ice, instantly chills cocktails to the correct serving temperature.
Keep a ready supply of ice at the table with a clear cut crystal ice bucket and a scoop or set of tongs. Besides giving guests the opportunity to freshen their drinks, it’s also a good way to keep a bottle chilled.
Shaking up a drink with ice brings it to the right temperature, but for many cocktails, you’ll need to filter the ice out before serving. This is where a metal strainer becomes an invaluable part of the kit.
For dark spirits such as brandy, scotch, and bourbon, a crystal decanter is an elegant addition to the table that also allows you to control serving sizes poured out of your main bottles.
Crushing fresh ingredients and botanicals with a muddler (a small pestle) will infuse your cocktails with even more flavor.