When making a drink, the first thing a bartender will do is locate the proper glassware. And that’s because it’s important: the right shape and style glass can help elevate a cocktail and allow it to reach its fullest potential. A Nick & Nora, for example, will keep a drink cold with its long stem that prevents your hands from transferring too much heat to the cocktail, and it’ll also make you feel like you’re participating in a film noir (which is just as important).
Don’t know where to start when it comes to picking out glassware? Turns out, you can find everything need on Amazon, from the coupes and Martini glasses for your heavily chilled Vespers to the basic rocks and highball glasses that work for most drinks (alcoholic and otherwise). And don’t forget to grab some pink tumblers. It’s a summer essential.
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If you don’t have any basic rocks glasses (also known as old-fashioned glasses) in your home, that’s something you need to address. They’re perfect for such things as Negronis and Margaritas, and they technically work for water and orange juice as well.
For some reason, whiskey tastes better out of ornate glasses. These ones from Marquis by Waterford are currently heavily on sale, and they’re precisely what you need for your bar cart.
Highballs are, arguably, the most essential cocktail glasses to have in your home. They’re what you need for Mojitos, Dark ’N Stormys, and countless other tall drinks, and we especially like the clean, simple design of these ones.
Once again, a highly ornate option that happens to be on sale. Drink your next scotch and soda out of one of these.
Listen, you need some pink glassware. Otherwise, summer will never actually feel like summer, and you won’t have anywhere to put your Palomas. These ones from Bormioli Rocco are deceptively large with a nice heft to them. Also, they have a fun pattern around the outside.
A coupe glass can do anything. Well, that’s not true. But they are ideal for nearly any cocktail that isn’t served over ice. A Manhattan, for example, or a Martini. If you’re feeling especially fancy, you can also use these sturdy little glasses for champagne.
There’s nothing wrong with a classic coupe, but if your home aesthetic is a little more modern, we prescribe this angular version. It’s slightly larger than the previous coupe and will look wonderful in photoshoots.
A Nick & Nora glass essentially serves the same function as a coupe. So why do we like them and think you should get a set? Because variety is important, and sometimes you just want to drink a Gibson out of a glass shaped like this.
A slightly more modern take on the classic Nick & Nora, these Riedel glasses have a little more flair and some considerable Bond-villain energy.
Are you a purist who drinks Martinis? If so, you’re going to need some Martini glasses (as opposed to coupes or Nick & Noras). There are a lot of Martini glasses that simply don’t do it for us in terms of design, but these Riedel ones are perfectly elegant.
Or maybe you prefer something a little more nostalgic. You’ll recognize these Martini glasses from every bar you’ve ever been to since you were old enough to drink, and they’ll be there for you the next time you feel like making a Cosmo.
If you’re having a Margarita on the rocks, use a rocks glass. That should be easy enough to remember. But what if you’re making Frozen Margaritas? Well, you could also use a rocks glass. Or you could lean into the fact that you’re having a fun, slushy drink and reach for some Margarita glasses that you can technically only use while wearing sunglasses.
Yes, wine glasses can be cocktail glasses too. In fact, your favorite drink, the Aperol Spritz, is traditionally served in a wine glass - and these Zalto-adjacent ones from Schott Zwiesel are the perfect size for one of those.
This might seem like another odd addition to the list, but a Champagne flute is actually the proper glassware for certain cocktails, such as the aptly named Champagne Cocktail. Also, these are great for toasts.
What’s a mixing glass for? That’s a great question, although the answer is pretty intuitive. Mixing glasses are for mixing. When you’re making a Manhattan, for example, you’ll pour all of your ingredients in here, add some ice, then stir. (That’s how the drink gets cold and dilluted.) We’re fans of this slim, modern option from Riedel.
Another highly attractive (and cheaper) option, you’ll see this type of heavy, cross-hatched mixing glass in a good number of high-end cocktail bars.
Do you constantly find yourself making big batches of Martinis for your friends, family, and neighbors? First off, you’re a kind and thoughtful host. Also, you’re going to need this extra-large mixing glass which should be displayed in your home at all times.