From saucers to highballs, stemless to martini, whichever glass you choose should be the right one for your choice of tipple.
Here’s our handy guide to the best glasses to have in your cocktail cabinet.
Red wine glasses should have a large, round bowl in order to swirl the wine and help aerate it. Contemporary stemless wine glasses are becoming more popular and can be stacked if you’re short on space - they are also much safer to use in the dishwasher! Some say red wine also benefits from the warmth of a person’s hand around the glass.
These glasses are generally smaller than the ones used for red wine. They have a smaller surface area to aerate, allowing the wine to retain its light, delicate notes.
Champagne and sparkling wine
Flute, saucer or tulip glasses are all suitable for Champagne or sparkling wine. The vintage-style saucer – or coupe – has a wide, shallow bowl and is synonymous with the elegant parties of the 1920s. This style is certainly charming, but if you like your Champagne full of fizz, you’ll need to drink quickly, as the large surface area means the bubbles won't last. The Champagne flute has a tall, thin shape and long stem and oozes sophistication. It also delivers when it comes to the fizz factor – the bubbles cluster together and rise to the top of the glass keeping your bubbly...well...bubbly! Older, more complex wines might suffer though, as the narrow glass doesn’t give much room for the flavours to develop. A tulip glass is slim at the base, opens to a wider bowl, and then narrows again at the top. The shape is both beneficial for bubbles and flavour development and is also lovely to look at, making the tulip glass an excellent choice.
The classic Martini glass is popular for many cocktails; its inverted cone shape is both elegant and practical, as the large surface area means the drinker can fully appreciate the scent and taste of their chosen concoction. A highball glass is a tall, straight-sided tumbler used for long cocktails served over ice with plenty of non-alcoholic mixer. The lowball glass – or rocks glass – is a short, stubby tumbler with a solid base. This type of glass is generally used for muddled cocktails. Copa, or balloon, glasses – the ones with the big bowl and long narrow stem – have become super popular for gin cocktails and the classic G&T. The large bowl is not only great for lots of ice and garnishes, it also lifts the fragrance up to your nose – perfect for all those natural botanicals.
The snifter glass has a short stem and a large bowl that is supposed to be cradled in the hand to warm the drink inside – generally brandy or whisky.