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Guide to Glassware

Want to make impressive cocktails at home?
If the answer is yes, read on.

Whether at home with your nearest and dearest, or if your friends are over, how special to serve beverages with class. They’ll feel impressed, delighted and a little bit special with the right glass.

Check Your Cupboards

While we are happy to sell you some very well priced glasses, we also want to help. In all likelihood, you probably have some cocktail glasses already. Standard drinking glasses, wine glasses and maybe even beer glasses, (pilsner glasses for example) can easily serve you well. Check out the glass list below and compare your own glasses. Maybe a substitution will work and even though certain cocktails call for certain glasses, at least for the purists, let’s be a little more practical.
Then again there is nothing quite like the self-satisfaction you yourself gain, or the delight of your loved one or guests, or even the surprise of the gift recipient.

The Classic Bar

Copa de Balon / Gintonica

Not usually part of the bar outside Spain, it is our favourite and our namesake. It is the reason why we are inspired by the G&T as a cocktail. It is also sweeping the world, although still difficult to find down under. The Copa de Balon means Balloon Glass in Spanish and no prizes as to why the other name is a Gintonica. It is anything from 600ml to 800ml in size, the large size holds lot of ice for summer in hot countries and less prone to melt quickly. All that ice, a generous serve of gin, some garnishes and the usual 1 to 3 proportion of tonic make for a winner for you and your guests. The ration can vary from 1 to 1 to 1 to 5 for those who want a less alcoholic version. While a large burgundy glass is somewhat similar, they don’t have a round bottom, have finer glass, more delicate rims and a larger curve toward the top. This means a higher chance of damage, especially when adding the ice.

Rocks Glass

Also known as a Lowball and occasionally an Old Fashioned, this is a short glass really common for so many cocktails. It is usually 350-400ml in size. As the name implies it’s for drinking spirits on the rocks (ice) or neat (only spirit) or other spirit and simple mixer – not often thought of as a cocktail! It is also very handy for a modest G&T (Gin & Tonic), Cuba Libre (Rum, Cola, Bitters and Lemon) or The name Old Fashioned comes about because its short height makes it good for “muddling” – mixing with fruit and/or sugar, etc – the ingredients for Old Fashioned cocktails, which are made in-glass.

Martini Glass

The V-shaped version called a Martini glass is probably the most iconic cocktail glass. Volume is usually 180-300ml. The first this to mention is that the wide mouth is just asking for spillage. The stem avoids hands heating the contents. The shallow bowl does however make it easy to fish out garnishes, especially olives. The thin stem prevents warming the contents with your hands. The martini glass is elegant, even with the huge super-size glasses (usually up to 500ml), however the latter sometimes appear overdone and ridiculous and can end up warm by the time you finish – not very nice on the taste.

Coupe Glass

When a recipe calls for a Martini glass, why not consider the Coupe. The volume is similar and it is also the cocktail glass that seems to be making a comeback. Consider it a martini glass but with the sides rounded out a bit to form a bowl with a more vertical rim. Practical as spillage is a little harder. They are also versatile as they can also suitable for manhattans, brandy alexanders and champagne, which was their original purpose, and even more if needed. They have a retro feel, which is charming.

Highball Glass

The high version of the Lowball (was that worth writing??). It is meant for drinks with more ice or larger non-alcoholic portions of mixers. Size is usually 300-440ml. Quite often they may be already in your kitchen cupboard, however the official highball glass is a lot, well, better. Highball glasses also hold larger cocktails that may have fresh juice, soda water and/or fresh herbs – even a straw and decoration. Great for Bloody Marys, Collins, Long Island Iced Teas, Hurricanes, Mojitos, even blended drinks like Piña Coladas.

Tom Collins

This glass can be really stunning. It is a thinner, often taller, version of the Highball. It tends to have a similar volume, just different dimensions. It is one of the optional bar glasses, but there is something incredibly attractive about a cocktail served in a Tom Collins glass. It is said that the vertical sides prolong the bubbles in carbonated mixers. We agree!


Not really considered by many as a cocktail glass, however it can often serve as a glass for straight mixes of two spirits, if big enough, being that they can range from 30ml to 90ml. Then again, many people (or your guests) might want a straight whisky, bourbon or more recent a straight gin to be sipped. Then there is the longer, thinner version for white rum, vodka, tequila or sambuca to be slammed down.

Champagne Flute

The Champagne Flute was designed for champagne, the vertical sides keep the bubbles longer. The volume ranges from 150-200ml. The same benefit applies to the iconic French 75 and the Bellini. Surely you already have a set, however those for cocktails are usually more specific in their design. If you have flutes with fine stems, thin glass, delicate rims, overly tall and curved at the top, they can be easily broken and don’t work as well as the cocktail version.

Margarita Glass

The eponymous Margarita glass is a variant of the Coupe, but with a stepped-diameter. It is used for Champagne and has French origin, but why the shape? Allegedly it’s Marie Antoinette’s left breast – she wanted her court to toast to her health by drinking out of bosom-shaped glassware. Much later a restaurant in LA had ordered Coupes but had them delivered by error. They used them anyway for their Margaritas. Voila! Although served in many ways, this is the purist’s Margarita glass.