The different types of cocktail glasses

Cocktail Glasses

Cocktail glasses

Martini glass, tumbler, collins glass,… It is sometimes hard to understand why there are so many different cocktail glasses. Via this article we guide you around in the wonderful world of the cocktail glasses.

Many people asked me if the type of glass is really that important when serving a cocktail. Occasionally it doesn’t but in most cases the right cocktail comes with the right glass.

But before we start, some good advice: make sure that your glasses are always sparkling clean. Therefore it is advised to clean and dry them by hand. It’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it…

Cocktail glass

This glass is an example of elegance. It is wide on the top with a high foot.

The design makes sure that the cocktail stays cool because our warm hands and fingers are kept away from the drink itself.

The cocktail glass is by far the most used glass when we think of serving cocktails.

Cocktail glasses are very often referred to as martini glasses. But they are different. Cocktail glasses have smaller bowls with rounded or flat bottoms. Martini glasses have larger and wider bowls. Their bowls are fully conical at the bottom.

Collins glass or longdrink glass

This is a long glass with straight sides.

Collins glass can normally contain around 35 cl but there are of course different sizes and varieties.

It is very often used for longdrinks based on fresh juices or drinks filled up with soda.

Officially, the Collins glass is a little higher than the longdrink glass.

Whiskey glass

The whiskey glass is used for shortdrinks on ice (on the rocks) or for drinks which need to be stirred.

The standard or old-fashioned glass, which is often also called a lowball glass, is perfect for this.

This whiskey glass has a thick base which makes it resist breaks when using a muddler. The wide brim allows for maximum flavor and aroma.

It contains around 25 cl and is used for the old-fashioned, the manhattan, sours and other drinks.

Liqueur glass

liqueur glass is to serve small parts of non-mixed drinks.

The  liqueur glass contains around 8 cl of liquid. It has a short-stemmed base and is used for small amounts of liqueurs and cordials.

The shape of the glass should increase the experience of drinking liqueur by accentuating the often deep color and movement of the liquid.


tumbler is a short and wide glass with cylinder form and a thick bottom. It is often used as a whiskey glass.

For whiskey with ice or whiskey mixed with water the tumbler is a good choice.

For drinking pure whiskey , a tulip shaped glass is a better choice as it holds the aroma much better.

 Cognac glass

Cognac glass is designed in such a way that it keeps the smell and the aroma of the drink very well in what is called the “ballon” of the glass.

When you hold the glass between the palms of your hands, it warms up the drink a little. This releases the aromas.

In fact  there are two type of glasses used for drinking cognac: the tulip glass and the balloon snifter.

The tulip has a long stem that climbs to a wide bell and then curves inwards. It flares out a little at the rim what makes it look like a tulip. The balloon snifter has a short stem with a wide bell that narrows at the rim.

 Champagne flute

champagne flute or champagne glass is used for sparkling wines.

The shape of the glass makes the surface where the bubbles can break smaller.

This glass best fits cocktails with champagne. If possible, use high champagne glasses.

Shorter ones tend to give a rather sober impression.

 Champagne coupe

The champagne coupe is nowadays a little outdated and old fashioned.

Nevertheless the champagne coupe fits well to certain cocktails, especially those containing ice cubes.

The champagne coupe is often used at wedding receptions. This is the glass which is stacked in layers to build a champagne tower.

The champagne coupe is now commonly used for certain cocktails such as daiquiris.

Bordeaux wine glass

The Bordeaux wine glass has a content of 50 cl. Only fill it for one third when serving wine.

The Bordeaux glass is tall with a broad bowl. It was designed for full bodied red wines like syrah or cabernet sauvignon.

The Burgundy glass is broader and has a bigger bowl to accumulate aromas of more delicate red wines such as pinot noir.

This glass also fits well to longdrinks with wine. It can be used as an alternative for a large cocktail glass.

White wine glass

The white wine glass contains 25 cl and has a high foot. The typical wineglass for white wine has a smaller bowl and taller stem.

It is picked up by the foot so that the drink doesn’t get warm from our hands.

It can be used for shortdrinks such as spritzers or punch based on wine.

White wine glasses come in different sizes and shapes: each to accentuate the unique characteristics of different styles of wine.

 Shot glass

The shot glass has a content of 5cl.

It is used for what are called the small and strong cocktails: shots and shooters. The glass of the shot glasses is mainly quite thick.

Experienced shooter or shot drinkers can explain, or better show you why.


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