Essential Barware Glasses To Get Started


When making cocktails at home, we can’t forget about the glassware! Here we go through the essential barware glasses to get started that will cover most drinks.

Although glassware isn’t technically a garnish, it has a huge impact on the overall look and experience of the drink. Some beautifully elegant cocktails don’t have or need a garnish, the glass IS the garnish.

We say ‘Glassware’ and yet drinks are served in many different vessels, especially these days. What it’s made from, how thick it is, the shape and size, will all have an impact on the drink itself. So, making the best out of what you can get your hands on is vital, and we wholeheartedly encourage you to get creative! 

01. Cocktail glass

‘V’ Shape Cocktail Glass (Martini Glass), Coupette , Nick & Nora…All are what we use as ‘Cocktail Glasses’ for your Martinis, Manhattans and the like. As with all stemmed glassware, the idea is that the glass is held by the stem to avoid warming the glass and the contents. 

Cocktail Glassware

Today the most famous of the cocktail glasses is the ’V’ shaped cocktail glass, although other varieties and older styles are coming back into popularity. At modern cocktail bars, the coupe may have now dethroned the ‘V’ shaped.

Cocktail glasses are great for cocktails served ‘up’, meaning they’ve been shaken or stirred with ice and then served chilled, without ice. Cocktails to make in this type of glass would be the Martini, Daiquiri, Frozen Strawberry Margarita,

Frozen Margarita in a coupe

02. Lowball

When you hear the term ‘up’ or ‘on the rocks’

Lowball, Rocks, Old Fashioned, Tumbler, Whisk(e)y Tumbler, these are all shorter glasses for neat serves and cocktails. Rocks glasses tend to be a little thicker and more angular than the classic, straight sided, round ‘Old Fashioned’ style glass.

lowball glassware
Lowball Glassware

Somewhat confusingly, the names of lowball glasses are fairly interchangeable, but when it comes down to it, they are all used in the same way. Get creative and don’t limit yourself. There are some great opportunities to repurpose jam jars or candle pots.

In this category you would have the Negroni, Old fashioned, Marmalade Bliss

Old fashioned in a rocks glass
Old fashioned

03. Highball

Highballs are all tall glasses for long drinks. Legend has it the name comes from the US rail roads, where a ball would be run up a tall pole to signal an approaching train full steam ahead, hence a “high ball”. 

Highball glassware
Highball Glassware

A ‘Slim Jim’ tends to be, well guess what, tall and slim! (but are they all named Jim?!). A Collins glass is like a stretched Rocks Glass, and tends to be thick and angular. The ‘Sling’ is a unique style of Highball that is always fluted, with a foot and stem. Regardless, they are all ‘Highballs’.

As long as it holds liquid and is taller than it is wide, all sorts of vessels can be utilised for your Highball needs; from a Collins in a marmalade jar, a Mojito in a candle holder, to Palomas in tin cans.

Whisky highball
Whiskey Highball

Bottom line, this is a guide to help you understand how to classify different shaped drinking vessels so that you can decode recipes and make the best decisions…

…If you only have a small saucepan to drink out of? Well that would be considered a low ball, so use appropriately! 

As always, don’t forget to show us what you made by tagging us!
@Candra_Drinks  #MakeBetterDrinks  #CandraDrinks

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