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Your complete guide to drinks glasses

Your complete guide to drinks glasses


We’ve put together a complete guide covering everything you need to know about the different cocktail glasses available.


If you’ve been exploring the world of mixology, you’ve probably seen that different cocktails come in different glasses. Champagne is in a flute, Martinis are in wide-rimmed cocktail glasses, and whiskey is always served in a tumbler. All of these different glasses can get pretty confusing, though, especially when moving quickly from mixing one drink to the next! To make things easier, we’ve put together a complete guide covering everything you need to know about the different cocktail glasses.

Coupe Glass

Coupe glasses ooze sophistication and elegance. Legend has it that this style was invented in England in the 17th century and was originally designed for champagne (that part is definitely true!). Over the last hundred years or so, though, the glass has been repurposed for cocktails, becoming an alternative to the Martini glass. Any cocktail that’s shaken or stirred to chill - known as an “up” drink - can now be served in a Coupe glass, with the stem preventing any warmth from your hand from ruining the drink as it’s drunk.

Martini Glass

The cocktail glass alternative to the Coupe is the Martini glass. With a long stem, distinctive V-shaped cup, and circular base, it’s both beautiful and functional. The stem prevents your hand from warming chilled drinks, whilst the unique shape is meant to prevent the ingredients from a Martini from separating. Though it’s called a Martini glass, this style doesn’t discriminate and can be used for any cocktail that’s served up (chilled).

Gin Balloon Glass

The Gin Balloon glass, also known as Copa glass, has become incredibly popular over the past few years as gin has overtaken vodka to become the UK’s most beloved spirit. Go back just ten years, and a Copa glass was relatively obscure amongst non-bartenders! Now, though, they’re in homes across the country and perfect for a refreshing G&T. The glass itself is characterised by a large bowl atop a stem, which is curved to trap the aromas of the spirit and enhance the flavour. It also allows for plenty of ice and lime, which is a must in any good gin and tonic. 

Highball Glass

If a cocktail is served on the rocks, it’s often in a Highball glass. This style of glass is tall and fairly narrow, like an elongated whiskey tumbler, and can be used for a wide range of drinks. Mojitos, Tequila Sunrises, Tom Collins’, and Dark ‘n Stormy’s can all be served up in a Highball glass. However, the name is derived from the original Highball drink; Scotch whisky and soda water. If you’re using a Highball glass for the first time, drink to tradition with a Scotch and Soda. 

Old Fashioned Glass

An Old Fashioned glass is a short tumbler, most commonly with curved edges though occasionally with a shape closer to a square. You might also hear this style referred to as a lowball or rocks glass, though its original name derives from the Old Fashioned cocktail, which is served exclusively in this glass. Nowadays, a variety of drinks can be served in an Old Fashioned glass, including Mojitos, Negronis, or a simple whiskey and cola! With a heavy base and smaller size, it’s very comfortable in the hand and makes for easy sipping.

Champagne Flute

If you’re drinking a glass of champagne or sparkling wine, chances are that it’ll be served in Champagne Flute. These long-stemmed glasses are designed for bubbles, with a tulip shape and pointed base that enhances carbonisation and brings out the flavour of your drink. Of course, champagne can also be served in a Coupe, though these days, it’s far more common to raise a toast in a Champagne Flute.

Discover More Glassware at UrbanBar

At UrbanBar, we have a wide range of premium glassware that’s perfect for stocking your home bar. From gold-rimmed Coupes to vintage-style Highball glasses, every glass has been hand-selected by our experts to complement your cocktails. Browse our full range of Glassware to find your favourites.

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