Best Cocktail Glasses: Level Up Your Glassware

I’m sure you pay a lot of attention to what goes inside the glass, but how much time have you spent considering the glass itself?

While there’s certainly no harm in serving your drinks in a stemless wine glass from Ikea, consider this: if you’re investing time and effort into crafting cocktails for your home entertainment, why not elevate the entire experience with some serious glassware?

Whether you’re mixing one of our best whisky cocktails or adding a creative twist to a classic margarita, upgrading your glass can make a big impact.

It’s time to level up your glassware game:

Best Cocktail Glasses

You might be wondering, “what’s all the fuss about a cocktail glass”? Well, it’s not just about how the glass looks on your bar cart— there’s a whole lot more to it.

See, the right glass can change the game completely. It can make your drink smell better, feel better on your lips, and even stay at the perfect temperature for longer. But don’t get us wrong, a good-looking glass can definitely add that extra bit of pizzazz to your cocktail experience. After all, we do drink with our eyes first, don’t we?

Martini Glasses

Martini Glass

Recognisable by its iconic V-shape, the Martini glass is a symbol of elegance and sophistication. It’s perfect for serving a classic Martini, where the wide brim allows the aroma of the gin and vermouth to reach your nose. It’s also great for a Cosmopolitan, allowing the vibrant colour of the cocktail to shine.

  1. Riedel Vinum – The classic Martini Glass, with perfect thin glass for an upgraded mouthfeel. Get it on Amazon
  2. Riedel Extreme – A modern take on the classic shape. Sipping from that curve will make any martini taste better. Order now on Amazon
  3. Handpainted Rennesance Romantic – Add a splash of colour to your next cocktail party. Get it now from Amazon

Coupe Glasses

Coupe Glass

With its broad, shallow bowl, the Coupe glass is a classy choice for cocktails without ice. It’s a great choice for a Sidecar, where the wide surface area allows the cognac’s aroma to shine, or a classic Daiquiri, where the cocktail’s vibrant colour can be appreciated.

  1. Ridel Veritas – A classic coupe glass, with perfect thin glass for an upgraded mouthfeel. Get it on Amazon
  2. Zieer Nostalgic – Check out the curve on that coupe! You’ll be sure to impress, with a cocktail in this glass. Order now on Amazon
  3. Luigi Bormioli – Get a vintage look with this 70’s style coupe glass. Get it now from Amazon

Nick & Nora Glasses

Nick & Nora Glass

Smaller than a Martini glass, the Nick & Nora glass is a vintage choice that’s making a comeback. It’s great for shorter, stronger drinks that are smaller in volume. The narrow rim helps concentrate the aroma of the cocktail, enhancing the overall drinking experience.

  1. Riedel Nick & Nora – A classic Nick & Nora glass, with perfect thin glass for an upgraded mouthfeel. Get it on Amazon
  2. Bormioli Rocco – Add a touch of flair with this vintage 20’s American style glass. Order now on Amazon
  3. Libbey Tiki – Your Mai Tai’s have never looked so good. Get it now from Amazon

Margarita Glass

Characterised by its double-bowl shape, the Margarita glass adds a festive touch to any cocktail. It’s the traditional choice for serving a Margarita, where the wide rim is perfect for the salt garnish, and the broad bowl showcases the vibrant colour of the cocktail.

  1. Sur La Table Recycled Glass – Made Mexico with recycled glass, each one features a vibrant cobalt hue and subtle variations in its appearance due to the glass-blowing technique. Get it on Amazon
  2. Libbey Cactus Margarita Glasses – This festive glass might not make the margaritas taste better, but they will get the good times rolling. Order now on Amazon
  3. Lysenn Stemless Margarita Glasses – Level up your Margies with this stemless Margarita glass. Get it now from Amazon

Wine Glasses

Wine Glass

While not typically thought of as a cocktail glass, the Wine glass is perfect for serving wine-based cocktails or sangria. Its wide bowl allows the wine to breathe, enhancing the flavour of the cocktail, while the stem keeps your hand away from the drink to prevent it from warming up.

  1. Maxwell & Williams Verona – A touch ornate, but the embossed diamond-cut band on this glass will add a bit of flair to your wine based cocktails. Get it on Amazon
  2. Plumm Pinot/Chardonnay Glass – With plenty of room the the bowl, this wine glass will be perfect for any aromatic cocktails. Order now on Amazon
  3. Luigi Bormioli Bach Red Wine – These art deco inspired glasses, are a great shape for serving your sangria over ice. Get it now from Amazon

If you’d like to go deeper on the best wine glasses, you can dig into our take on the best Riedel Wine Glasses.

Flute Glasses

Flute Glass

Tall and narrow, the Flute glass is the preferred choice for bubbly cocktails. It’s perfect for a Bellini, where the narrow shape helps preserve the bubbles, or a Champagne Cocktail, where the tall glass allows the sugar cube to fizz and bubble.

  1. 1500° C TABLETOP Champagne Flutes – with a beautiful gold rim and a hammered glass texture. Get it on Amazon
  2. Riedel Performance Champagne – intensifies cocktail aromas and bubbles with its unique egg-shaped design and larger rim. Order now on Amazon
  3. Luigi Bormioli Jazz Flute Glass – Stylish, vintage art deco inspired glass. Perfect for a Bellini. Get it now from Amazon

If you’d like to go deeper on the best campange glasses, you can dig into our take on the best Riedel Glasses.

Highball Glasses

Highball Glass

aka. the Collins Glass

This tall and straight-sided glass has a narrow rim that helps keep any carbonated mixers fizzy. The height of the glass accommodates the soda water top-up in a Tom Collins drink, or a Mojito, where the mint leaves and lime have plenty of room to infuse their flavours.

  1. Maxwell & Williams Verona Highball – An Italian-made, crystalline glass with a diamond-cut band. The perfect shape for enhancing cocktail aromas. Get it on Amazon
  2. Villeroy & Boch Boston Green Highball – Serve a splash of colour with this highball featuring a vintage, honeycomb-textured design and a heavyweight, rounded base. Order now on Amazon
  3. Riedel Highball Glass – slightly taller than usual, this glass is more ice giving the illusion of a larger cocktail. Get it now from Amazon

Lowball Glasses

Lowball Glass

aka. the Rocks Glass or an Old Fashioned Glass

This short and sturdy vessel is ideal for drinks served on the rocks. It’s perfect for an Old Fashioned, allowing the large ice cube and whisky to take centre stage, or a Whisky Sour, where the wide brim lets the citrus aroma reach your nose.

  1. Riedel H2O Old Fashioned Glass – A simple shortglass with an impressively thin lip for a superior mouthfeel. Get it on Amazon
  2. HolaJia Flat Bottom Crystal Whiskey Glasses – with a heavy base, designed for oversized ice cubes or whiskey stones. Order now on Amazon
  3. Viski Beau Lowball Glasses – these Art Deco lowball glasses add pizazz to any craft cocktail. Get it now from Amazon

Shot Glasses

Shot Glass

Small but mighty, the Shot glass is the standard for straight-up spirits or mini cocktails. It’s perfect for a straight shot of your favourite spirit, or for mini cocktails like the Kamikaze, where the small size ensures the cocktail is consumed in one go.

  1. Luigi Bormioli Mixology Shot Glass – vintage-inspired shot glass from the upscale brand Luigi Bormioli, featuring a unique textured design.. Get it on Amazon
  2. Sdatook Shot Glass – with a diamond pattern, perfect for cocktails or mixed shots. Order now on Amazon
  3. Villeroy & Boch Boston Blue Crystal Shot Glass – features a striking facet pattern on robust, high-quality crystal glass in modern colours. Get it now from Amazon
  4. QUAFFER Double Bubble Layered Shot Glass – It’s odd, but the hourglass shape of this glass, allows the your layered shots to stay separate. Order it now on Amazon

Balloon Glasses

Balloon Glass

aka. a Snifter or a Brandy Glass

The Balloon glass is used for cocktails that need to be swirled to release their aroma. It’s perfect for a Brandy Alexander, where the wide bowl and narrow rim concentrate the aroma of the brandy.

  1. Riedel Vinum Cognac-Hennessy Snifter – Tall and slim, so be careful not to knock it over. Get it on Amazon
  2. Luxbe Bourbon Snifter – A more modern shape for the Snifter, definitely a talking piece. Order now on Amazon
  3. Riedel Vinum Brandy/Cognac Snifter – You’ll roll your eyes that the price, but this glass leaves an impression. Get it now from Amazon

Irish Coffee Glasses

Irish Coffee Glass

Designed for warm cocktails like an Irish Coffee or a Hot Toddy, the Irish Coffee Glass is a versatile addition to any bar. The clear glass showcases the colour of the cocktail and the separate cream layer of an Irish Coffee. The handle keeps your hand away from the hot glass, preventing burns and keeping your drink warm for longer.

  1. Libbey Georgian Irish Coffee Glass – a traditional Irish coffee glass, just slightly elevated. Get it on Amazon
  2. Glasmark Krosno – basic, but functional and much cleaner than your usual glass. Order now on Amazon

Mule Mugs

Mule Mug

Made of copper, the Mule Mug is the traditional choice for a Moscow Mule. The copper material keeps the cocktail cold, enhancing the refreshing qualities of the ginger beer and lime.

  1. Moscow mule Mark Cup – A classic hammered coopper style, but a more modern shape. Get it on Amazon
  2. Staglife Moscow Mule Copper Cups – The black coating will polish away over time, leaving you with a unique patina. Order now on Amazon
  3. Viski Summit Faceted Moscow Mule Mug – A super modern take on the Moscow Mule cup. Get it now from Amazon

Tiki Mugs

Tiki Mug

Full of personality, the Tiki Mug is a fun choice for tropical cocktails. The ceramic material helps keep the ice insulated and the cocktail cold. Typically used for rum-based cocktails, the Tiki Mug helps to hide the colour of a brown-looking cocktail, adding an element of surprise to your drink.

  1. Beeline Creative Chewbacca Mug – Plenty of novelty Tikis out there, but this would be my pick. Get it on Amazon
  2. Peohud Ceramic Tiki – Play with shape and size with these Tikis. Order now on Amazon
  3. Ceramic Tiki Mugs – Add some serious colour to your bar cart. Get them now from Amazon

Hurricane Glasses

Hurricane Glass

With its tall, curved shape, the Hurricane glass is the perfect vessel for tropical drinks. It’s ideal for a Hurricane cocktail, where the tall glass accommodates the layers of fruit juice and rum, or a Piña Colada, where the curved shape adds a tropical touch.

  1. Viski Angled Hurricane Glass – A modern take on the classic shape. Get it on Amazon
  2. Libbey Tiki Pineapple Glasses – Fun pineapple-shape and texture gives your drinks a tropical vibe without any hand-cramping fruit carving. Order now on Amazon
  3. JoyJolt Terran Pina Colada Glasses – Extra curves, for an extra cocktail. Get it now from Amazon

Every Cocktail Glass Explained By A Bartender

The main source for this article is a great video from Bon Appétit’s YouTube Channel. Tim Sweeney is the Head Bartender of Pebble Bar, a legendary cocktail spot in Manhattan at Rockefeller Center.

He joined Bon Appétit to break down every glass that he serves a cocktail in—when and where they originated, how they came to prominence, and why certain cocktail ingredients demand a particular presentation.


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