The Bartender’s guide to Glassware – Bar Box

Ensuring you get it right, this guide emphasizes that serving a cocktail in the appropriate glass is paramount—some opine that doing otherwise renders the effort hardly worth bothering about.


A traditional cocktail glass is sometimes referred to as a martini glass, champagne glass or stem cocktail glass. Like a masterful dance of practicality and elegance, the stem on this glass, much like others in the realm of stemware, extends its graceful invitation, enabling the imbiber to embrace their libation without imparting the slightest impact on its delicate temperature. The shape of the glass also helps keep the ingredients from separating while the stem keeps the drink cool. Cocktail glasses are usually used to serve cocktails without ice. They vary in size and volume, but normally hold between 85 ml/3 fl oz and 170 ml/6 ft oz. A captivating twist in the realm of glassware emerges with the double martini glass, boasting an elongated and expansively welcoming aperture, standing tall as a unique variation of its kind.

Cocktail or Martini Glass

The most obvious recognizable cocktail glass . In the magnificent embrace of the Art Deco movement, the conical martini glass graced the world's stage, dazzling with its alluring geometry and timeless allure. This Y shape variety proved perfect for chilled cocktails, keeping people hands from inadvertently warming their drinks.

Champagne Flute

Embarking on a journey through time, the slender and elegant flute glass unfolds its captivating history, spanning centuries with a tale of sophistication, where its gracefully tapered silhouette has stood the test of time, preserving champagne's effervescence with unwavering dedication. However, it only became fashionable from the 1950s, possibly orher Austrian glassmaker Cous Josef Riedel began researching the way different glass shapes affect taste. Ever since that pivotal moment, flutes have gracefully usurped the coupes' throne for champagne and champagne cocktails, the transition emboldened by the practical advantage of accommodating more flutes on a single serving tray.

HighBall Glass 

Rising elegantly to the occasion, highball glasses, those tall tumblers tailored for mixer-dominant concoctions, claim their indispensable place in every home bar. Under the esteemed title of 'highball drinks,' they embrace a plethora of classic libations, from the simple yet timeless bourbon and water, to the refreshing allure of scotch and soda, and the vibrant allure of Bloody Marys and Vodka Tonics. Remarkably versatile, these glasses prove adept at seamlessly substituting for their slightly larger counterpart, the Collins glass, while also sharing a kinship with their larger Zombie and more diminutive Delmonico glass relatives, evoking a family of glassware that has withstood the test of time.

Lowball Glass

Amidst the realm of short, stout tumblers, the monikers 'lowball,' 'rocks,' and 'old-fashioned' effortlessly weave their way into conversations, evoking images of these charming vessels. As their second name implies, they take the stage as the ultimate companions for cradling ice while any 'on the rocks' libation finds its perfect abode within their depths. Not to be outdone, lowball glasses elegantly cater to short, enticing mixed drinks, like the iconic Old-fashioneds. Among their intriguing variations stands the Sazerac glass, its name a homage to the legendary New Orleans cocktail bearing cognac and bitters. Furthermore, making its appearance as 'the bucket,' the double rocks glass confidently serves as the vessel of choice for tropical punch-style concoctions, completing this delightful family of glassware.

Shot Glass 

A true home bar virtuoso, the unassuming shot glass dons a dual role, effortlessly transitioning between a quintessential essential and a prized novelty collector's gem. Standing steadfast with just the right capacity for a swift mouthful, its sturdy base confidently endures the rhythmic thumps of being slammed on the bar after the consumption of neat or mixed-spirits shooters held within. Beyond mere toasts, these standard shot glasses unveil their versatility as they boldly step into the shoes of jiggers, skillfully measuring out the perfect pours with precision and flair.

Brandy Snifter

In a world of stemware where chilly detachment is the norm, the brandy shifter emerges as an alluring exception, beckoning you to embrace its short-stemmed, bowl-shaped form within the comforting embrace of your palm, coaxing warmth into the amber-hued spirit it holds. As its generous base generously encourages evaporation, the captivating aromas are skillfully ensnared by the glass's narrowing, constricted mouth, creating an indulgent olfactory experience before you even take a sip. For optimal delight, this enigmatic snifter unfurls its true magic when only one third filled, preserving its essence for the most gratifying indulgence.

Sour Glass

Embedded within the annals of mixology history, sours, with their roots tracing back to Jerry Thomas's iconic tome "How to Mix Drinks" (1862), have taken their rightful place in the lineage of classic libations, finding their way into a diverse array of vessels, ranging from lowball to martini glasses. Yet, for the discerning purveyors of elegance, a delightful revelation awaits—the realm of standard drinkware offers a perfect match. Behold the designated glass for whiskey sours, pisco sours, and their citrusy, sugary, spirited kin, a delightful smaller modified champagne flute, graced with a slender stem and artfully expanding at the lip, welcoming these exquisite concoctions to be savored with finesse.

Wine Glass

Like a choreographer orchestrating the perfect dance, the world of wine glasses gracefully presents an array of options, with white wine glasses delicately sculpted to be slightly smaller than their red wine counterparts. Embrace your innate instincts to choose the ideal vessel for your cocktail creation. However, when the script calls for a splendid goblet, seize the stage with a red wine glass, or revel in the charm of a rounder, more curvaceous balloon wine glass, ensuring your libation takes center stage with every sip.

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