The purpose of your spirits will determine what spirit you choose to drink. If you’re going for a mixed drink, you might get a Martini glass, a coupe, or a Rocks glass. Glencairn may be used if you are tasting Single Malt Scotch. If you want something hot, fast, and now, it’ll be a shot glass.
The world of spirits, cocktail glasses are is diverse. It’s almost like the world’s beer and wine glasses are. Each glass has a purpose, just like beer and wine. It’s unlikely that you’ll misinterpret these glasses, unlike wine and beer glasses.
As for buying glassware, it’s only a concern if you’re building a home bar or drink spirits or cocktails regularly. Start small by deciding what spirits and how you drink them. Below is a list of basic spirits and glassware for cocktail making.
Cordial: Cordial glasses are small stemmed glasses that can hold a little of your favorite cordial (sweetened, often flavored spirits-based beverage). Usually 1.5-2 ounces.
Brandy Snifter: These big balloon glasses are what spy thrillers feature arch-villains and masterminds using to drink. The shape of this glass is important. It’s wide at the base and bulbous at its top with a narrowed opening that collects all the rich aromas. Some brandy snifters have a tulip shape with an opening at their top. Grappa glasses, on the other hand, are narrower and more bulbous at the bottom.
Tumbler: A flat-bottomed glass that has a broad body and an open shape. A short tumbler can weigh 5-6 ounces, while tall tumblers can weigh 10-12 ounces.
Rocks/Old Fashioned/LowballA shorter tumbler with a straight, wide handle. There are variations in the curvature, but nothing too dramatic. It is suitable for any drink that uses ice cubes (hence the “rocks”) This classic vessel is great for Old Fashioned but can also be used for Negroni, Sazerac, or small amounts of straight spirit. The Old Fashioned can be served in 6-8 glasses. The Double Old Fashioned glass weighs 12-14 ounces.
Highball: Tall tumbler that holds 8-12 ounces. It is shorter than a Collins glass but taller than an Old Fashioned. It has a flute-like shape and promotes bubble retention.
Collins: It is essentially a taller Highball. The name refers to the cocktail that goes in it. However, you can drink any drink (typically a mixed beverage) that requires 12-16 ounces of space, such as a Mojito, or a Tom Collins.
Martini: This classic cocktail glass has a long stem with an inverted cone shape. It can hold classic cocktails like the Cosmopolitan or the Martini. No ice, no room.
Margarita: Margaritas are available in many different glasses. However, a cocktail jigger for frozen Margaritas might be best served in this wide bowl with a bulb at the bottom. Salt rim optional.
Coupe: This glass is what Flappers would use to drink Champagne between Charleston sessions. It’s a stemmed glass with an averagely wide flat bowl-shaped cup. This glass is great for cocktails with acidity strained without ice and was supposedly named after Marie Antoinette’s upper body…
Hurricane: This glass is a sign that you’re on vacation. This taller, pear-shaped glass is ideal for holding tropical garnishes or other paper umbrellas.
Spirits Tasting GlassesCopita, Glencairn, and Copita all use the same principle. This creates a small vessel that can be used to express the aromas of one spirit. The narrow opening allows the aromatics to be contained in a narrow bowl that is shaped like a tulip.