Entertaining

Beer, Wine, Whisky, Cocktails: Which Glass Should You Use For Each?

And learn why they come in various shapes.
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Just as there are different types of forks and knives to use depending on the dinner menu, there's a specific glass for each type of alcohol. And it’s not just for the sake of aesthetics—the shape and design enhance your drink's flavor. There's no denying the major difference between holding a red plastic Solo cup and a glass made of crystal. Below, a list of our favorite libations and their accompanying glassware.
 
WINE


The shape: Various parabolic bowls, occasionally without a stem
The drink: Red, white, sparkling, and rosé
 
The current trend is to drink sparkling from a wine glass (as opposed to a flute) so as to get a better feel for its aroma. A couple of years ago, the dispatch was to swap out all wine glasses and replace them with one universal shape. But as a rule of thumb, glasses for whites have smaller bowls so as to keep the wine cooler longer; reds are given more room for aeration and swirling.
 
MARTINI


The shape: A cone on a tall stem
The drink: Martinis and daiquiris
 
Regardless of preparation, cocktails are served in this iconic piece of stemware because it is believed to keep liquid ingredients (gin and vermouth) from separating. Sip and toast with caution.
 
COUPE


The shape: A wide and shallow bowl on a stem
The drink: Champagne and bespoke cocktails
 
It is possible to talk about the coupe and hear someone quip that it is modeled after Marie Antoinette’s breasts. Perhaps it is the irony of its curious but ultimately untrue origin story that makes this glass a favorite among hipsters. It has made a comeback and is now a fixture in speakeasies that customize drinks according to customers’ mood and tastes.
 
GOBLET


The shape: A large spherical bowl on a tall stem
The drink: Gin and tonic
 
Expect to see the gin goblet more often with the number of gintonerias on the rise. Pair the gin with a complementary aromatic and lots of ice.
 
BEER GLASS


The shape: A wide range that includes a large glass mug, a tall hourglass, a stemmed open-mouthed parabola like a thistle, and even a boot
The drink: Beer
 
Like wine, different beers are best served in different glassware. The general idea is to preserve the head of foam and showcase the beer’s color, clarity, carbonation, and, of course, volatiles from which the aroma comes from.
 
ROCKS GLASS


The shape: A short, squat glass
The drink: Whisky, scotches, sours, Old Fashioned, Negroni
 
The most pragmatic shape, the lowball, allows the bartender to assemble a cocktail and muddle its ingredients in the glass itself. It also fits a few cubes of ice and provides the drink a lot of surface area to release its aroma.
 
HIGHBALL


The shape: A wide base that tapers to a tall glass with no fuss
The drink: Highballs, mojito, Bloody Mary, collins, and carbonated cocktails
A highball glass is best for serving fizzy cocktails with lots of ice as its narrow rim prevents the bubbles from escaping too quickly. Most tropical drinks are also served in this drinkware.
 
SHOT GLASS


The shape: A miniature highball
The drink: Vodka, tequila, digestifs, schnapps, grappas, and some liqueurs
 
Not exclusively for throwing down tequila in a single gulp, the shot glass is also used to serve grappas, which is supposed to be sipped. 
 
SNIFTER


The shape: Tapered with a wide bottom and a short stem
The drink: Brandy, Cognac, bourbon, and whisky
 
Unlike the wine glass, the snifter features a short stem so that the one might warm the drink with his hand as he swirls it.
 
COPPER TANKARD


The shape: A metal mug
The drink: Mules
 
This glass keeps mules extra cold. Copper is known as a good conductor of heat, but it is likewise a good choice for refreshments. It is able to retain cold as much as it does heat.
 
MARGARITA GLASS


The shape: A tiered coupe with a smaller lower ring
The drink: Margaritas
 
Straight up, on the rocks, or ice-blended, the margarita is one of few cocktails to have a special glass. The wide bowl is rimmed with salt to bring out the sweet and sour flavors of the tequila-based concoction.
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Vincent Ong
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