Bars are filled with a bewildering array of glasses, some of which are used for a single drink and others which serve multiple purposes. Here’s a guide to some of the most common glasses you’ll find and their uses.
This is one of the most multi purpose glasses you will find behind any bar. Generally between 12-14oz, they’re great for cocktails on the rocks, spirit and mixers, juices, soft drinks and waters. Also know as hiball glasses they’re the go to glass for many drinks.
Cocktail Glass (Martini)
While this sounds like a catch all, it’s the proper name for the V shaped glass most often used for the martini (and often called a martini glass).
These are perfect for straight up chilled cocktails like the martini, manhattan, cosmopolitan and many more. Designed like other stemware to be handled by the stem keeping the drink cold for as long as possible, they are generally small in volume, between 5-8oz, as a bigger drink would warm up too much before it was finished.
Coupette Glass (Margarita)
These glasses are classically reserved for margaritas as the rim is perfect to be dipped into salt for that iconic look. Often they are used today for frozen drinks in general, and can make any drink look fancy! Generally around 10oz in size.
Sling or Hurricane glass
These tall, often stemmed glasses have a tulip shape with an open top, and are typically see with Singapore Slings, Pina Coladas and Hurricanes. You can also use a Catalina glass which is like a tall footed pilsner for these drinks. They’re perfect for serving frozen drinks with long straws. Look for those around 14-16oz ideally.
Rocks Glass (Old Fashioned)
These are short squat glasses perfect for liquor on the rocks and short drinks. Its wide base and short stature gives it a volume slightly lower than the highball, but not as small as you’d expect. You can also drink neat spirits from these without worrying about social faux pas. Generally around 10-12oz.
If you’re looking to buy these glasses, look for those around 2oz in size – that will allow you to serve multi liquor layered shots and shaken shooters as well as straight shots of booze. Tall narrow shot glasses are best for the funky layered shots while wider bullet shaped glasses suit shaken shots and slammers the best.
Tall Wine Glass
If you’re not selling huge volumes of expensive wines in your bar, or for your home bar, a single wine glass style is fine, you don’t need to have separates for Red and White. Around 14oz when brim filled, though in the UK a 25oml large wine serving (⅓ of a bottle) will approximately ⅔ fill the glass. These are also often used to serve ice cream drinks.