Bar Glassware Guide

The transparent luminaries of the bar world at a glance.

Posted: Thursday, May 14, 2015




ROCKS: The rocks glass, also known as a lowball glass or Old Fashioned glass, is a short tumbler type glass. Rocks glasses are typically uses to serve drinks which are built directly into the glass (no shaker or mixing tin required), usually over ice or "on the rocks." Rocks glasses can vary in size, but most hold between 6-10 US fl ounces (180-300 ml).

Common drinks: Old Fashioned (hence the glass name), Negroni, White Russian, Rusty Nail, Americano


HIGHBALL: The highball glass is a tumbler which holds between 8-12 US fl ounces (240-350 ml). Highball glasses can be used for a variety of drinks, but are most commonly used for "tall" mixed drinks. Again, the highball is usually used for drinks that are built in the glass, like the rocks glass.

Common Drinks: Bloody Mary, Harvey Wallbanger, Sea Breeze, Salty Dog, Screwdriver


COLLINS: Similar to the highball glass, the Collins glass is a tumbler which is between 10-14 US fl oz (300-410 ml). The Collins glass is taller and narrower than the highball. 

Common Drinks: Tom Collins, Long Island Iced Tea

SHOT: The average shot glass is 1.5 US fl oz (45 ml) or a "pony" shot, which is 1 US fl oz (30 ml). Shot glasses can be used as a means to measure liquor into cocktails, or used to drink a spirit in one go. 


MARTINI: A martini glass is a stemmed glass with a cone shaped bowl, used mainly to serve cocktails. Most cocktails are chilled, thus the stem of the glass allows the drinker to hold the beverage without heating the elements of the drink up. A standard martini glass can range between 4-12 US fl oz (120-360 ml). 

Common Drinks: Cosmo, Martini, Appletini, Manhattan, Daiquiri


COUPE: Traditionally used to serve champagne, however, after falling out of fashion in the bubbly world, the coupe is a glass gaining popularity in the cocktail world. The coupe can be used as a substitute for martini glasses. One benefit to the coupe over the martini glass is that due to the shape of the coupe, it is less likely to tip over than martini glasses. 

BRANDY: The brandy snifter, which is characterized by a relatively narrow top and wide bottom, is typically used to serve aged dark spirits such as brandy and bourbon. The narrow top traps the aroma of the liquor inside, while the wide base allows the drinker's hands to warm the liquor. Due to the shape of its glass, the brandy snifter is also used for India Pale Ale (IPA) beers, imperial stouts, baltic porters, and barley wine. 

CORDIAL: Cordial glasses are smaller than wine glasses, holding approximately 1.5 US fl oz (45 ml), and are usually used to serve after dinner drinks or liqueurs. 

Common Drinks: Port wine, Grand Marnier, Chartreuse, Ouzo, Benedictine, Schnapps

COPPER MUG: Copper mugs have become synonymous with the Moscow Mule (vodka, ginger beer, lime). The copper is highly efficient at insulating the beverage. The handle allows the drinker to keep their hand off the beverage, allowing it to remain chilled longer. 


HURRICANE: The hurricane glass is a tumbler which holds between 20-26 US fl oz (600-780 ml) of liquid. The glass is taller than a highball glass and shaped similar to a vase or pear. It is used to serve mixed drinks, most commonly the Hurricane, which originated at Pat O'Brien's Bar in New Orleans.

Common Drinks: Hurricane, Singapore Sling, Blue Hawaii, Sex on the Beach, Pina Colada


MARGARITA: Also known as a coupette, is slightly larger than a martini glass. The glass also has a larger rim, which is ideal for holding salt for margaritas. The most typical size is 12 US fl oz (360 ml). 

CHAMPAGNE: The champagne glass resembles a thin wine glass; the small surface area of the champagne glass allows beverages to retain carbonation. The typical champagne flute holds 6 US fl oz (180 ml) of liquid.