10 Cocktail Glass Types to Level Up Your DIY Drinks

July 04, 2022 by Anna-Bet Stemmet

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Cocktail glass types are as varied and pretty as the drinks they contain. While some see the cocktail glass as a must-have vessel that paves the way for the perfect serve, others think of it as a cool finishing touch that’s not completely necessary for the overall enjoyment of the drink. Whatever your opinion may be about alcohol glasses, it does help to know what’s what when you start experimenting with cocktail-making at home 

So, here’s a short and sweet look at the different types of alcohol glasses out there, and which cocktails are typically served in which. 

Why are cocktails served in different glasses?

The various types of liquor glasses we know today have been developed over decades, and even centuries, mostly with aim of enhancing the drinking experience. See, different types of cocktail glasses are shaped to enhance the complexities of different layered and blended drinks in terms of colour, flavour, temperature, and aroma. 

Additionally, it also gives the avid host some versatility and variety on their tablescapes at home. Today’s beautiful cocktail glasses can really give the ambiance of a festive occasion a big boost and even stir up some conversation – handy when you’re hosting a varied crowd that may need a little common ground to start from.  

Here are ten different types of cocktail glasses to try at home that are always known to make a splash: 

10 different types of cocktail glasses to try at home

Some of the most well-known cocktail glasses used around the globe include the Martini glass, Coupe glass, Margarita glass, and more. Let’s take a look at why these gorgeous vessels are so popular and which drinks they are known to take to a whole new level.  

1. Martini glass

Front view of a Vodka Martini garnished with green olives against a light orange backdrop, set on a white surface

With so many different types of Martinis to choose from these days, the one thing they all have in common is the iconic Martini glass with its long, slender stem and wide rim. Commonly found in 90 – 300ml and 180 -360ml sizes, these glasses keep heat transfer to a minimum, while the steep slope of the sides prevents ingredients from separating. 

Drinks that are typically served in Martini glasses include the Dirty Martini, Vodka Martini, Vesper Martini, and Pornstar Martini  

2. Coupe glass

Top view of a pair of violet-tinged Aviation cocktails on a white napkin on a white table with a bowl of black olives and a metal cocktail jigger visible to the side

Also known as Champagne saucers, coupe glasses were all the rage at the turn of the 20th century thanks to its wide, shallow bowl that was perfect for enjoying the syrup-based Champagnes that ruled the roost in the early 1900s. However, it doesn’t do a lot to keep the bubbles of modern Champagne intact. So, these days it’s rather used to serve drinks like the Aviation cocktail and Sidecar cocktail, which call for a glass that boosts aeration and allows for snappy aroma development. 

3. Margarita glass

Close up front view of two Watermelon Margaritas garnished with lime, set on a grey surface with fresh limes, and slices of watermelon in view

Every writeup of the best Margarita cocktail recipe worth its salted rim calls for the use of a proper Margarita glass. With a shape that calls to mind a topsy-turvy sombrero, this particular type of glass comes in many different designs, most of which feature a welled bowl with multiple tiers.  

It is narrow near the stem for an easy grip, and then broader at the rim, which is typically salted before serving drinks like the ever-popular Strawberry Margarita. The great thing about the Margarita glass is that you can also use it to serve starters and snacks like shrimp cocktail and fruit parfait. 

4. Highball glass

Front view of a Garibaldi Cocktail against a grey wooden backdrop, garnished with an orange wedge

Highball glasses are something most folks are likely to have in their kitchen- or drinks cabinet. Holding between 240 – 360ml, it’s taller than a rocks glass and a little shorter than a Collins. Cocktails served in highball glasses include the Garibaldi and Italian Breeze. These drinks are typically combined in a shaker and then poured into the highball glass over ice. 

5. Collins glass

Close up of a bartender's hand serving a Bitter Collins in a Collins glass

Cylindrical in shape and holding 300 – 420ml, the Collins glass is very similar to a highball glass, just slightly taller and narrower. Mixed drinks like the Tom Collins and John Collins are habitually served in this type of glass – hence the name! 

6. Rocks glass

Close up front view of a pair of Old fashioned cocktails with cherry and orange peel garnish in rocks glasses on a wooden surface

Typically available in 180 – 240ml and 300 – 420ml sizes, the classic rocks glass is short and sturdy. It is mostly used to serve spirits on the rocks, as well as stronger cocktails that are best savoured in smaller quantities. Drinks that are served in rocks glasses are often built directly inside the glass itself, which makes for easy preparation and minimal clean-up – ideal for home entertaining. This includes iconic cocktails like the Old Fashioned and White Russian. 

7. Champagne glass

Front view of a trio of French 75 cocktails in Champagne flutes with twirly lemon twist garnishes againts a light blue backdrop

Also called a flute, Champagne glasses are tall and slender with a narrow bowl at the top of a long stem. This design helps to maintain the carbonation of bubbly drinks, and also enhances the visual aspect of the bubbles as they travel up to the top of the glass. When serving cocktails like the French 75, Bellini, and Blushing Bride, is recommended to hold the glass at a 45-degree angle when adding the Champagne – this minimizes the foam and prevents unwanted spillage. 

8. Copper mug

Moscow mule cocktail in copper cup with lime, ginger beer, vodka and mint garnish

The copper mug is perhaps best known thanks to the completely delicious Moscow Mule. The great thing about this type of drinks vessel is that it turns cold very quickly, and remains frosty for a long time. It also typically has a handle to minimise heat transfer from a user’s hands. 

9. Julep cup

A trio of Mint Julep cocktails served in pewter Julep cups, garnished with fresh lime and sprigs of ming, set on a grey surface with a wooden muddler, and assorted garnishes visible

Named for yet another iconic summertime drink, the Julep cup is known as the go-to vessel to serve a refreshing Mint Julep. Popularised by its prevalence at the annual Kentucky Derby in the US, these silver or pewter cups are often bought as souvenirs and also do a great job of keeping a drink icy-cold in hot-weather conditions. 

10. Nick & Nora glass

Close up of a bourbon cocktail in a Nick & Nora glass, garnished with a red cocktail onion on a wooden pick

Something of a hybrid between a martini glass and coupe, the Nick & Nora glass is named for a spiffy detective couple from The Thin Man, a 1930s novel by Dashiell Hamett that was later made into a play, film, and TV series. Its smaller circumference and higher, rounded sides make it a little steadier than a martini glass and coupe, which means it’s also more spill-proof and great for stand-around cocktail occasions. 

There you have it – now you know the look, vibe, and names of cocktail glasses that are more than likely to up your drink-making game at home! Happy pouring, and remember it’s all about having fun. You don’t have to buy all of these at once; it’s a lot of fun to collect them over the course of time (and to hint at it for birthday gifts, of course!). 

Choose the right glass



Cocktails are served in different glasses to enhance the colour, flavour, temperature, and aroma of different layered and blended drinks. Some of the most popular glasses used to serve cocktails include the Martini glass, coupe glass, highball, rocks glass, Collins glass and Margarita glass.

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