Which Glass and Why?

A huge part of the way a cocktail is served to you is it’s glassware. You would rarely see a Bloody Mary in a martini glass and you would not see a martini in a collins glass. But why?

Martini Glass

It was created was practicality in mind. The stem controls the temperature as we are more inclined to hold the stem of the glass than the glass itself so the liquid inside doesn’t heat up. Usually serving a martini this needs to be chilled so the temperature should be kept low. The cone also maintains temperature and keep the ingredients mixed so not one thing settles to the bottom.  It doesn’t allow for ice, so a lot of the drinks are straight up. As there is more surface area this allows to smell the aromatics, particularly if you have gin in your martini. It is thought the martini glass was created in the Prohibition era so you can easily discard the drink.

Note: this is actually slightly smaller and more rounded, but the martini came from the cocktail glass.


Wine glass

Although there are many variations of a wine glass, to bring out certain flavours of the grape. There is a standard look to them – the stem controls the temperature of the wine as it steers us from holding it in our hand, which in turn warms up the wine. Wine is also about smelling, you can usually stick your nose in the glass to smell it so the opening is usually fairly large.



A small and multi purpose glass. You could put ice in and you don’t have to. Usually it is curved to hold aromas so you could put wine in it.



The idea is to only have one line of bubbles going up to the top, so there is a point at the bottom where the bubbles can go to. Again the stem controls temperature. As the aromas of sparkling wine aren’t as inportant there is a small opening also this minimises exposure to air.


Old Fashioned or Rocks Glass

Meant for ice so there is plenty of room for it but there is still space to mix your drink. The opening is large so you can really get the aromas of your cocktail. The glass is also a little thicker to allow for the stirring so the glass doesn’t break.



For fizzes the glass allows to keep fizz. They are large enough to keep ice in to control the temperature of the drink. Typically aromas are as important for the drinks in this glass so the opening isn’t as wide.


Dessert Wine Glass

Again the use of stem to control heat. They are a lot smaller as the dessert wines are higher in ABV %. The opening is also smaller because aroma isn’t as important because sweetness is usually tasted not smelt.


Grappa Glas

A lot smaller as again the drinks are not mixed and have a hefty alcohol percentage. Usually these are used as tasting glasses. There is bulb shape so the temperature is contained along with the stemware. The bulb shape also lifts the aroma up through the mouth, which is taller than other glasses to enable this.


Boston Glass

This glassware is thicker to enable the use of stirring or shaking so the glass doesn’t break. You would also serve beer in it.


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