The Right Glass for the Right Cocktail

WRITTEN BY REBECCA WELLWOOD

I think we can all admit at one stage (hello teenager-self) we’ve been too eager or lazy and served a cocktail in any old glassware. Maybe it was the only one you could find in the cabinet – or perhaps you didn’t believe it made a difference to the drinking experience when consuming a martini. 

But now we know better. You serve a gin gimlet in a coupe and a gin and tonic is better in a gin glass. But the question remains: why? 

It comes down to the features of the glass and how it affects the properties of the beverage inside. Read on to discover our cheats guide to what glass to choose for your next drink.

Tulip glass

Your glassware drastically alters how you experience aromas

FEATURES: 

- can be stemmed or stemless 

- bulbous body 

- flared lip 

Tulip glasses capture delicate floral and fruit aromas in your gin. Not to mention they feel comfortable to hold and conveniently fit into the palm of your hand to sip a G&T after a long, hard day. Why not check out our set of four Plumm European Tulip Crystal Gin Glasses?  

TRY: use your tulip glass for gin or wine tasting (see our blog post on hosting your own fun gin tasting event at home!), or gins with aromas you want to savour for longer. 

STEMMED GIN (COPA) GLASS

FEATURES:

- stemmed 

- balloon-like shape 

- slightly tapered rim 

A stemmed gin (or Copa) glass is designed to trap the aromas of the drink. The stem should not be too delicate either. The big bulbous shape holds a large capacity of your favourite gin, tonic, chunks of ice, plus room at the end for a generous garnish.  

Tip: collecting ample glassware can become expensive. Don’t feel like you’re missing out if you choose to use a large, red-wine style glass instead. But if you want some luxurious yet dishwasher-friendly gin glasses, we recommend our set of Plumm Crystal Stemmed Gin Glasses available in our Gin Shop. 

TRY: Your favourite G&T

CHAMPAGNE FLUTE

Champagne flutes maintain carbonation for longer than a shallower glass

FEATURES:  

- long, delicate stem 

- narrow and long, v-like shape  

The narrow flute shape helps keep the drink carbonated, so that’s why they are best for sparkling wine or prosecco cocktails. Holding a flute by its stem helps to keep the warm of your hand off the glass and transferring to the drink. 

Tip: you can drink carbonated beverages from a wine glass if you prefer, which enhances the flavour experience; however, it will be “flatter” as the amount of bubbles will be impacted. 

TRY: French 75

ROCKS GLASS

Large ice chunks slow down the rate of dilution

Also known as: tumbler, lowball, or old-fashioned glass 

FEATURES:  

- thick bottoms to withstand muddling  

- wide open rim and vertical edges  

- enough space for chunks of ice, if called for 

The wide rim of a rocks glass allows space for fumes to circle above your cocktail or gin neat. There is plenty of space for large chunks of ice to rapidly cool the drink and a garnish.  

TRY: Negroni

MARTINI GLASS

Lady Imbue is best appreciated in a martini or coupe glass

FEATURES:  

- large surface area 

- long stem  

- inverted cone bowl  

The name of the game with martinis is to be kept as cold as possible – stems keep your hot hands away from the rest of your drink, and also are easier to handle straight from the freezer. The bowl shape means vapours and fragrant components can escape which leads to a less boozy first sip compared to a rocks glass. 

TRY: Martini Journey, Lady Imbue

COUPE GLASS

Coupe stems keep your drink cool, and are the perfect size for strained cocktails

Also known as: coupette 

FEATURES:

- stemmed 

- large surface area 

- broad shallow saucer 

The shape helps blend the features of the ingredients into one tasting experience. The wide, open rim increases the surface area, which enhances the sweetness of sugars in the cocktail and the impression of alcoholic volume. A coupe is best for cocktails that are shaken or stirred and served without ice. 

TRY: Small Acre Smash

HIGHBALL

Highball glasses are great for drinks that are 'topped up' at the end with soda or soft drink

Also known as: collins, delmonico 

FEATURES:

- narrow cylinder shape 

- tall straight sides  

- enough space for lots of mixer plus ice 

Used for cocktails made up of one quarter alcohol with the rest mixer and topped with ice. Their design brings out sourness in any cocktail and can be further enhanced when serving with a sour garnish such as a lime wedge.  

Tip: while similar, Collins and highball glasses are not strictly identical. The names are sometimes used interchangeably, though. Highball glasses are slimmer and shorter, while collins glasses are slightly taller and hold more liquid. 

TRY: Finders Summer Fizz

NICK & NORA GLASS

Nick and Noras offer a smaller volume for spirit-only cocktails – a suitable alternative for a martini glass

Also known as: princess glass 

FEATURES:  

- stems to keep the cocktail cool 

- small, narrow bowl 

- a cross between a wine glass and a coupe 

While the Nick and Nora appears somewhat to look like a wine glass, it’s instead used for cocktails as they have similar qualities to martini glasses. The small bowl concentrates the cocktail flavour. We recommend the Italian crafted set of Luigi Bormioli Mixology Nick & Nora Glasses available in our Gin Shop. 

TRY: The Casino, Samphire Martini

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