All you need to know about cocktail glassware

Smarten yourself up and impress all your friends with a little bit of cocktail glassware 101.

Food + Drink Cooking and Entertaining Koelen Andrews

This article was published on March 16th, 2019

Don’t just be that gay that only drinks the alcohol. Impress your friends and loved ones by upping your knowledge of the proper glassware to serve adult beverages in. It’s time-honored knowledge that isn’t necessarily worth a lot more than being a baller who knows his shit when it comes to cocktail consumption ware. While there are technically more than 40 types of barware, there are the 12 major cocktail glassware players every sophisticated homo should learn and memorize.

High Ball. Start with the basics with the basic bitch of glassware. Shorter and thicker than its cousin, the Collins Glass, the High Ball is often a bar’s go-to glass for cocktails, though it’s a tumbler meant for lighter mixed drinks, where the non-alcoholic part is greater than the alcohol.

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Collins Glass. Named after some dude named John or Tom Collins, the Collins Glass is taller and skinner than the high ball and meant for cocktails like a Tom Collins. Or for a cocktail with more of an equal balance of alcoholic and non.

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Rocks/Old Fashioned/Low Ball. The Old Fashioned, Rocks, or Low Ball is a smaller glass tumbler that is one of the most versatile. Originally designed with a wider rim than base for better muddling, the Old Fashioned/Rocks/Low Ball was originally meant to be used serving drinks like the Old Fashioned, and now it is most frequently used with similar cocktails with high alcohol content.

White Wine. White wine glasses are often stemmed glasses with almost a wide egg-shaped body several inches in length. While they often vary in size and shape, white wine glasses are often more cylindrical than their counterparts. 

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Red Wine. Red wine glasses have a more distinct look about them. With a smaller opening and wider bowl-shape, red wine glasses provide a sort of reservoir for the wine to breathe in.

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Champagne. Champagne glasses can sometime appear like rounded baby martini glasses; however, they most often resemble the flutes you’ll see being raised at parties and celebrations. They are thin, light wine flutes with often a long stem. Add champagne and cheers.

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Beer mug. A beer mug often resembles what an Irish Coffee mug would look like if it got wasted one night. Designed with a handle, beer mugs are meant to be stored in the fridge so that their thick tapered glass keeps your brewskie nice and cold for premium enjoyment.

All you need to know about cocktail glassware

Martini/cocktail. Carrie Bradshaw, Liza Minelli, Patsy Stone, and all the rest of us queens know damn good and well what a martini glass looks like. (There’s a martini emoji for all the millennials) Meanwhile, these glasses are meant for martinis and cocktails that require being tossed into a cocktail shaker and given the James Bond treatment: shaken or stirred? 

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Margarita/daiquiri. These bad boys should be familiar from at least one or two Taco Tuesday nights out. If you’re at a decent establishment, they will serve you a margarita or daiquiri in an actual Margarita or Daiquiri glass. These glasses are meant for blended sweet drinks meant to be enjoyed with a straw.

All you need to know about cocktail glassware

Hurricane. Leave it to New Orleans to make its mark on the world through alcohol and glassware. A Hurricane glass is hourglass in shape and will hold 20oz of alcohol, including the infamous Hurricane cocktail from Pat O’Brian’s bar in NOLA from whence it was named. Other bridal party beverages that go great in a hurricane are an Adios Mofo, Piña Colada, Singapore Sling, and Blue Hawaii…whatever the hell those are!

Hurricane cocktail

Shot. Shot shot… shot shot shot shot shot! Need we say more? 1oz of pure alcohol is all you need to get blackout Betty-ed really quick. Shot glasses are meant for doing the job efficiently or for wussing out with a mixed shot like a Kamikaze.

Irish Flag

Snifter. This one goes out to all you boojie betches out there who do classy crap like drink fine spirits late at night as aperitifs. You’re obviously so fancy that you know a snifter is a small-stemmed glassware meant to serve brown spirits like whiskey, bourbon, cognac and other brandy neat. Like in the gentlemen’s clubs of generations past, a snifter is meant to be enjoyed with company. Random fact: most snifters are designed so that the fluid will stay within the glass even if the glass was placed on its side. 

All you need to know about cocktail glassware

Now that you have been educated in the art of proper glassware placement in regard to alcohol, go forth and drink, but do so with your newfound knowledge at hand. Have a favorite glassware you love to use that we didn’t mention above? Leave us a comment below with your best libation vessel!


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