Avoid embarrassment, use this handy guide to serve your drinks in the right glasses. When you’re perusing our online recipes, you may find references to specific cocktail glasses. Serving a drink in the right vessel is essential, so if you want to master the art of cocktail-making, you’d do well to add these to your glassware collection…
Hi-ball / Highball
Typically, a highball cocktail comprises a spirit base with a larger proportion of non-alcoholic mixture. The glass has a thick base (called a tunc) and can usually hold between 240 and 350ml of liquid.
A variant of the classic champagne coupe, the unique shape of the Margarita glass is reminiscent of an upturned sombrero. The rim is often coated with salt and lime juice to enhance the flavour of the famous tequila-based drink.
Any stemmed glass with an inverted cone bowl may be referred to as a Martini glass, but if you want to be pedantic about it, a Martini glass has specific properties such as a wider rim and a fully-conical bowl. If the bowl is flat at the bottom, then what you’re holding is simply a ‘cocktail’ glass. No excuses now.
The traditional champagne flute first appeared in the early 1700s. Its unique shape is designed to maximise the effect of the drink’s carbonation and reduces the oxygen-to-wine ratio, enhancing the aroma and taste. The tall bowl allows for a greater visual effect as bubbles rise from the bottom to the top, while the inwardly-curving rim reduces the surface area at the top and helps to retain the fizz!
Often used as an alternative to a Collins glass, these glasses are slim and elegant, typically comprising a slightly tapered cylindrical bowl with a very small stem at the base. They are perfect for lager, as well as long cocktails such as the Singapore Sling for which they were named.
Old fashioned / Lowball
Essentially, this a shorter version of the highball glass, with a thick base and a wide rim. It is used to serve shots of whiskey, with plenty of room for ice, or short cocktails such as the Old Fashioned from which it gets its name.
Coupe / coupette
It is said that the shape of the classic ‘coupe’ or ‘champagne saucer’ was modelled on Marie Antoinette’s left breast. Sadly, this cannot be true, since the glass was in fact introduced as a vessel for sparkling wine in 1663. Before filling this glass with champagne or any drink served ‘straight up’, it’s a good idea to chill it in the freezer.
A Collins glass, like a hi-ball, is used to serve long drinks, such as the eponymous ‘Tom Collins’. It is cylindrical in shape and generally narrower and taller than a hi-ball glass.
Typically taller and wider than a standard hi-ball, the Hurricane glass takes its name from the popular New Orleans cocktail. Its unique shape is designed to resemble a hurricane lamp. It typically contains 600ml of liquid and is great for long, fruity drinks.