Types of Cocktail Glasses – The Best Martini, Highball, Coupe, Nick and Nora Cocktail Glasses

Like the decor of your favorite restaurant or the outfit you choose for a romantic evening, a glass does more for a cocktail than just containing the alcohol. Feel and style set the mood for your favorite beverage, imbuing your entire drinking experience with a special energy – laid back and easy, elevated and sophisticated, playful and whimsical. Not to mention that certain shapes are specifically designed to enhance the tasting experience, from long stems that keep your concoctions cold to delicate cones that transmit the flavors of the drink to you to get the most out of every nuance. Suffice to say, a cocktail glass can really make or break the drink you put in it, so ensuring your home bar is stocked with all the essential types of cocktail glasses is a must for those who take their cocktail at home seriously.

Here, the cocktail glasses that deserve some real estate on your bar cart.

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rock glasses

Lismore Diamond Straight Sided Tumbler, Set of 2

When it comes to versatility, a rock glass takes the cake. Use it for neat pouring, serving on the rocks, cocktails – heck, even juices and water feel classier in a cut crystal tumbler.

rock glasses

Schott Zwiesel Forte On the Rocks Stemless Cocktail Tumblers, Set of 6

If you prefer a more modern look for your bar, a sleek, no-frills rock glass style should be your go-to.

Martini glass

Williams Sonoma Reserve Martini Glass

There are few cocktail glasses more iconic in shape than the martini glass, so naturally every well-stocked bar cart needs a few. These mouth-blown versions have a slightly smaller bowl than the mega-sizes that took over in the 90s, ideal for classic cocktail purists.

Langley glass

A subtly hollowed-out shape gives this martini glass an irresistible classic appeal.

high ball

Club Ice Medium Whiskey Glasses, Set of 4

From classic highballs to iced tea, the highball glass is an all-around workhorse that’s as useful in your kitchen cabinet as it is in your bar cart.

high ball

Set of 2 Harmony lead crystal whiskey glasses

For pure elegance, a genuine lead crystal set will enhance anything you put in it.

Nick and Nora

Nick and Nora Glass

Named after the drinking sleuth couple Dashiell Hammett, the Nick and Nora glass is a bartender’s favorite for its sleek yet understated shape, perfectly proportioned size and the fact that it’s less likely to tip over than a certain another triangular cocktail glass…

Nick and Nora

Zelda Fitzgerald “New Yorker” Cocktail Glass, Set of 2

If you really want to embrace this vintage The thin man persona, opt for a more ornate and engraved version

Spirits Glass

Riedel VINUM whiskey glass, set of 2, transparent

Serious spirit drinkers can get the most out of a neat pour in one of these small stemware. The slender shape helps concentrate the aromas of whiskeys, rums and anjeo tequilas and channel them to your nose in the same way that wider highball glasses simply cannot, so you won’t miss a thing. never a shade.

Whiskey glass

Glencairn whiskey glass, set of 2

For Scotch, a Glencairn glass with its thick stem and tapered shape is traditional. The slightly narrower mouth and wider bowl allow you to judge both the smell of the whiskey and the alcohol content – no wonder it’s a favorite of whiskey pros.

We challenge you not to feel sophisticated and playful when sipping a cocktail (no, never champagne) in a coupe, and these adorable blush pinks take that whimsical touch to the next level.


Borough Cocktail Saucers, Set of 4

Modern versions of the coupe come in many variations, from stark geometric lines to esoteric sizes. We love this slightly boxy version (which is also deeper, so you can put more cocktail in it!) that effortlessly splits the difference between mod and traditional.

pint glass

Pint glass, set of 4

It might not be the flashiest part of your glassware collection, but a sturdy pint glass is unequivocally essential. After all, you can never pour a perfect pint of beer if you don’t have the right glass.

Daisy glass

Sonora Etched Tritan Margarita Glass

If you’re a true margarita lover, maybe it’s time to invest in one of these fun wide-mouthed glasses. Rimmed in salt and rimmed in ice, there’s nothing better to sip around a pool.


Crystal cognac and brandy glasses, set of 2

Surprisingly divisive, the small glass has as many detractors as supporters of traditional cognac and brandy tasting. But whichever camp you fall on, it’s still a useful piece to have in your bar, whether for neat pours or as a container to show off gin and tonic or summery spritzes and tiki riffs.

shot glass

Holmegaard No. 5 liqueur glasses, set of 4

Forget the unscrupulous college bar aesthetic: a glass of vodka will feel fit for a czar in an elegant shot glass, preferably accompanied by a bite of caviar.

Hurricane Glass

Hurricane glasses from the Venezia collection, set of 4

Who doesn’t need a glass that can turn any cocktail into a mini vacation?

Glass of wine

Universal glass Zalto Denk’Art

Glass of champagne

Champagne flute Jamesse Prestige

Flutes may be the classic glass for champagne, but experts agree it’s far from the best. What do they prefer? A tulip-shaped glass, which helps hold your bubbles for maximum sparkle and also has a wider opening to allow you to breathe in the aromas of champagne.

Continued: Everything you need to know about champagne

Mixing glass

City Mixing Glass and Bar Spoon

Although not a drinking glass, this glass is nevertheless a must-have for a well-stocked bar. Use it to create all your stirred cocktails in style.

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Sarah C. Figueiredo