5 Popular Types of Cocktail Glasses You Should Know About

published Dec 22, 2023
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

A well-stocked home bar is a mark of sophistication and sign of good hospitality. It feels so satisfying to be able to offer my guests a refreshing cocktail (with alcohol or not) when they stop by for a visit, so I always like to make sure I have a few spirits and mixers on-hand for just such an occasion.

But no less important than what I put in the glasses are the glasses themselves. Once I graduated from red plastic cups to a grown-up bar cart, I realized there’s a glass for every drink, and serving the right libation in the proper vessel is essential for the perfect drinking experience. Here are the five essential cocktail glasses you should include in your own home bar.

5 Types of Cocktail Glasses

Credit: Brittany Conerly


Also known as an Old-Fashioned glass, the rocks glass is meant for drinks that are mixed and served in the same glass. A typical rocks glass holds 6 to 8 ounces of liquid. Usually, but not always, cocktails served in a rocks glass are served with ice, or “on the rocks.”

The best-known cocktail for rocks glasses is, as its other name implies, the Old-Fashioned. Other rocks glass cocktails include the Sazerac and Negroni. A bodega glass — a stout, wide-mouth glass with straight sides — is similar to a rocks glass and may be used interchangeably. 

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk


If you’ve got a cocktail that’s fizzy and refreshing, served over ice with a straw, you’ll need a highball glass, which can hold anywhere from 8 to 12 ounces of liquid. Often, highball glasses are used interchangeably with Collins glasses, which are a bit bigger.

Most of the x-and-y cocktails — like gin and tonic, scotch and soda, rum and coke, etc. — will be served in a highball, as well as a Gin Fizz and a Bloody Mary.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk


The quintessential glass for mixed drinks, a martini glass, which also goes by the name of cocktail glass, is meant for drinks that are shaken or stirred but served without ice. By elevating the cup above the stem of the glass, the beverage stays colder longer.

In addition to the eponymous cocktail most associated with the martini glass, you’ll also find Manhattans and Aviations served in a martini glass.

Credit: Maria Do


A cousin to the more angular martini glass, coupes were originally intended for Champagne, but they are actually much better suited to cocktails.

Any cocktail served in a martini glass, including Daiquiris and Brooklyns, would be right at home in a coupe. A smaller, slightly more bell-shaped version of a coupe is known as the Nick and Nora glass.

Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaeffer; Food Styling: Nicole Rufus


A big cocktail glass (around 20 ounces) with a bell shape, hurricane glasses are the go-to vessels for fun and fruity cocktails including the eponymous Hurricane for which they were designed, as well as the Singapore Sling and the Piña Colada.