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Essential. Cocktail glasses, also known as martini glasses, are used for the cocktails stirred or shaken and served straight up. The famous Y-shape makes them easily recognizable. The best are stemmed and are no bigger than 5.5oz/160ml: any larger and the contents become warm too quickly. Because the base of the glass is always narrower than the rim, it's a good idea to choose the least unstable kind you can find .Try to pre-chill them before use by placing them in a freezer or fridge, or by filling them with ice and soda water and letting them stand for a while.

Non-essential. You can always use a cocktail glass (for straight-up margaritas) or a wineglass (for frozen margaritas). Also known as a margarita glass, this glass provides you with a stylish way to serve all types of frozen cocktails. Like the cocktail glass, the coupette has a stem, which prevents the drink from getting warm too quickly. Choose one that holds around 7oz/200ml.

Non-essential. Any heat-tempered glass with a stem or a handle can be used as a hot-drink glass, but the toddy-style footed mug with a handle has become ubiquitous. Also known as an Irish Coffee glass, they tend to hold 7 – 10oz (200 – 300ml).


Essential. Also known as Collins glasses, highball glasses, chimney glasses and many more names, longdrink glasses are used for longdrink type cocktails, and you’ll need a lot of these higher volume glasses. Longdrink cocktails, served over ice, are incredibly popular. These glasses come in so many shapes and sizes it’s hard to generalize, but usually you can't go wrong with a straight-sided tall glass of about 10-12oz / 300 – 355ml.

Essential. Shortdrink glasses have many names: whisky tumbler, old-fashioned glasses, rocks glasses, and so on. They’re best suited for liquor on the rocks and cocktails like the Old Fashioned, which are served over a little ice but lower in liquid volume than longdrinks. Choose a straight-sided one with a nice thick base, and look for a size of about 10oz/300ml.

Essential. Shot glasses, also known as shooter glasses, are 1 to 2 shots (1-2oz/30-60ml) in size, and may or may not be lined to indicate the amount they contain. Shot glasses are used for certain liquors served without ice, and shooter cocktails. Shot glasses with a thick base are best, as they are well suited to bang-the-glass-on-the-bar drinks like tequila slammers.

Non-essential. You can always use a long drink glass or a wineglass. Shapely and attractive, although with tacky disco-drink connotations, a hurricane is the perfect container for large, exotic, fruity cocktails. Usually around 12-14oz/355 - 414ml.

Essential. Wineglasses are not only for wine! They are also great for blended drinks, as they have a stem which prevents your hand from warming the drink too quickly. For cocktails, a large tall wine glass, say 8.5oz/250ml or more, is ideal.

Essential. Although they aren’t used that much, there simply is no substitute for a champagne flute. Choose a tall long-stemmed one that contains 6 – 8 oz (180 – 240ml).

Essential. Although in fact these are the “wrong” type of glass to use for tasting cognac: the preferred glass is a sherry copita, a short-stemmed glass with a wide “belly” tapering to a narrower mouth. Choose a snifter between 8 and 10oz (240 – 300ml).
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