How To Choose The Right Glass For Booze

Always keep in mind that a flask, a Dixie cup, and cupped hands will also put liquor in your body. But glassware rules do exist.

A good drink is best enjoyed in a glass that maximizes its taste, smell, and appearance. A food critic in Atlanta slammed cocktails served in Mason jars recently, saying enough with that trend. For those who have forgotten how to drink out of anything else — totally understandable — here’s a quick guide.

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1. Rocks Glass

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Also called an old-fashioned glass, the rocks glass is a low tumbler with a thick bottom and a wide top to release aroma.

It is commonly used for muddled drinks (because of the thick bottom) and anything on the rocks.

For example:
Old Fashioned
White and Black Russians
Drinking straight booze on the rocks

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2. Highball Glass

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The highball glass is tall with straight or slightly angled sides.

This glass is used for various mixed drinks and highball cocktails (highballs are traditionally just club soda + any spirit, but over the years the definition has loosened. There’s usually more mixer than the alcohol).

For example
Bloody Mary
Gin and Tonic
Fuzzy Navel

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3. Collins Glass

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The Collins glass is narrower and taller than a highball glass. It should come with a straw.

The highball and the Collins glasses are interchangeable.

For example:
Tom Collins
Long Island Iced Tea
Cape Codder

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4. Martini Glass

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Also called a cocktail glass, the martini glass is used basically as a matter of style or preference. It has a long base so your hand doesn’t affect the temperature of the drink, and it has a wide brim to release aroma.

For any cocktail or martini.

For example:
Gin Martini
Brandy Alexander

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5. Hurricane Glass

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Heavy on the bottom with curves toward the middle, the hurricane glass flares up top to show off a drink that’s often lavishly garnished.

Your fancy lava flow or colorful frozen tropical drink is served in this glass.

For example:
Pina Colada
Lava Flow

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This is basically a shorter version of a typical white wine glass.

For a sour, which is any drink that includes a base spirit, lemon or lime juice, and a sweetener (and traditionally, egg white).

For example:
Pisco Sour
Whiskey Sour

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Big rim = more salt. Duh. The margarita glass is a variation of the champagne coupe.

For frozen drinks like the margarita and also margaritas on the rocks.

For example:
Frozen Lime Margarita
Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri

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8. Moscow Mule Mug

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The Moscow Mule mug is a copper mug that keeps its namesake cocktail nice and cold. Find the recipe on Bon Appétit.

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9. Absinthe Glass

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An absinthe glass has a thick stem and includes a change or etching in the glass to indicate when you should stop pouring.

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10. Snifter

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A snifter is generally used for brandy or whiskey. The large bottom allows for someone to warm the glass with their hand and also for faster evaporation. The tapered top traps the aroma. You should fill the glass just enough so that if you were to tip it on its side no liquid would spill out.

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11. Champagne Flute

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Also called a tulip glass. Champagne flutes are designed so that you don’t affect the temperature of the champagne while you hold the glass. The glass is narrow to perserve carbonation.

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12. Champagne Coupe

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You might recognize these glasses from the awesomeness that is a champagne tower, wherein bubbly is poured into the top glass until it trickles down into all the others. Unfortunately, the broad lip of a coupe glass allows the champagne to lose carbonation more quickly than a flute glass — so they are more often used for cocktails. Martini glasses and coupes are interchangeable for cocktails; it’s all about style.

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Champagne tower in action

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13. Cordial Glass

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This is basically a shot glass on a pedestal — but the after-dinner drinks or liqueurs served in it are meant for sipping.

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14. Sherry Glass

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The sherry glass, or “copita,” has a narrow brim to enhance the aroma of sherry. You can also drink liqueur or port out of it.

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15. Bordeaux Glass

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Bordeaux glasses have a broad bowl and long stem. They are typically used for full-bodied wines like Cabernet Sauvignon.

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16. Burgundy Glass

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Burgundy glasses are broader than Bordeaux glasses in order to better assemble the aroma. This glass is used for more delicate wines, including Pinot Noir.

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17. Chardonnay Glass

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Chardonnay glasses have a larger bowl compared to other white wine glasses. The glass has a tapered top and a long stem to keep the wine cool.

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18. Riesling Glass

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The Riesling glass is taller and narrower than the Chardonnay glass. The glasses are made to concentrate the fruity aromas at the top of the glass.

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For ceremonial purposes and also for being a badass.

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Lil Jon And His Chalice

Like a boss.

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20. Punch, Grog, and Hot Toddy Glass

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When it comes to warm drinks or dipping in a punch bowl, a handle is a good thing.

For example:
Spiced Rum Punch
Hot Toddy
Champagne Punch

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21. Weizen Glass

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The weizen glass is roughly a little larger than a pint. The glass starts out skinny and grows wider to the top in order to trap yeast at the bottom while leaving room for a thick head of foam at the top.

For any wheat beers.

For example:
Samuel Adams Summer Ale
Blue Moon Summer Honey Wheat

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22. Pilsner Glass

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Unlike the weizen glass, which it is often confused for, the pilsner glass is evenly tapered. The glass showcases carbonation and color.

For light beers like pilsner or pale lagers.

For example:
Kirin Ichiban
Pilsner Urquell
Yuengling Premium Beer

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23. Imperial Pint or Tulip Pint Glass

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Also called the imperial pint. The glass flares out toward the top and can hold 20 fluid ounces.

For Irish or English ales.

For example:
Manns Brown Ale
Newcastle Brown Ale

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24. The English Pint Glass

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Also called the “nonic” glass. The glass has a curved lip two inches from the top and holds 20 fluid ounces.

For a wide range of beers, including English and American ales, lagers, stouts, and IPAs.

For example:
Sierra Nevada IPA
Brooklyn Brown Ale

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25. The American Pint Glass

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Also known as a shaker glass or a conical glass. It holds between 16 and 20 fluid ounces.

For American lagers and pilsners.

For example:
Miller High Life

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Like the Mason jar, the red Solo cup did not make the official list.

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