Even for the most seasoned cocktail geek, it can seem overwhelming to build a collection of great glassware. There are many brands, styles, and quality levels available, as well as the influence of drink trends.
To help you narrow down your choices, here are the best cocktail glasses to have on your home bar.
Best Overall: Nude Hoopburn Low Ball Glasses
“Nude Glass is coming out with some really unique and gorgeous styles,” says Greg Kong, head bartender of New York’s Kimika.
He also said that the brand’s Hepburn glassware is the best for serving house drinks at the restaurant.
This set of 13-ounce, lead-free crystal glasses is great for drinking cocktails from the best cocktail glasses. To streamline your cabinet, you can also buy the rest of this collection, including matching highball glasses, coupes, and a set of mixing glasses.
Best Budget: Bormioli Rocco Stackable Bodega Glasses
Bormioli Rocco’s bodega glass is a popular choice in the industry for many reasons. The low price is just a bonus. These tumblers don’t have a price tag, but the quality of the glass is what matters. They are made from durable tempered glass and can be stacked into each other to save space.
This mini size of 7.5 ounces is perfect for cocktails, water, wine, and candles. These dishwasher-safe glasses can also be ordered in other sizes.
Best Splurge: JFR Glass Strada “Simpatico”
JFR Glass rocks glasses are beautiful and durable. They’re also functional and lightweight. The Strada glass is perfect for mixing up a cocktail of aged rum, cognac, or stirred whiskey.
Its delicate linework design will make any brown spirit pop. Each 8-ounce dishwasher-safe glass is hand-made by Jared F. Rosenacker, a glass artist.
LSA International Champagne Saucers is the best coupe
According to Kong, a Martini does not necessarily need to be served in the traditional V-shaped glass, as most glasses are not limited to just one cocktail.
“Martini [glasses], coupes, [and] Nick and Noras are all stemmed glassware commonly used for stirred drinks like Martinis, Manhattans, or shaken drinks that would not benefit from added dilution,” he says.
Kong says that this stemware comes in many shapes and sizes. Ultimately, it can come down to style.
He says that the typical Martini glass has a classic V-shape. However, coupes are wider and shallower glasses that can be used for Champagne.
“Nick’s and Noras have a smaller volume and are a mix of the Martini coupe and Noras with a more sloped and rounded V-shape.” This elegant set of 10-ounce coupes is from LSA International. These glasses can only be washed by hand.
Riedel O Whisky Tumbler: Best Rocks Glass
A good set of rocks glasses are essential if you like to drink a lot of spirits, cocktails, or other drinks that aren’t hot. Kong explains the sizes and uses of rocks glasses.
“A typical rocks glass would weigh in at 8-10 ounces and be used for neat pours and spirits on the rocks,” Kong said.
He says that double Old Fashioned glasses are more common than standard-sized glasses. They’re usually 12 to 15 ounces in weight.
Riedel, one of the most trusted brands in Kong, has a 15-ounce dishwasher-safe tumbler that can be used for wine, whiskey, or any other beverage you choose on an ice cube.
Best Martini Glass: Spiegelau Perfect Serve Cocktail Glasses
Kong says that Riedel and Spegelau have great glassware, which is both elegant and affordable. (Spiegelau is part of the Riedel brand family.
There are many styles that can be used to serve Martinis. However, the V-shaped glasses are ideal for Vespers, Dirty Martinis, and 50/50.
These Spiegelau cocktail glasses are wonderfully petite, simplistic in shape, and detailed with fine etching on the base–making them ideal for any type of Martini.
These 6-ounce glasses, which weigh 6 oz., were created in collaboration with Stephan Hinz (respected bartender). They can be washed in the dishwasher and are made of lead-free crystal.
Best Nick and Nora: Original Nick and Nora Crystal Glasses
Kong says, “I love a nice Nick & Nora–I think the shape is much more classy than your traditional Martini glass.” A Nick and Nora glass is another option for cocktails not served on ice (think Manhattans, Martinis, shaken Daiquiris, and the like), and the style tends to be easy on the eyes.
These 6-ounce glasses are made of lead-free crystal and have a design that is reminiscent of the post-Prohibition “Thin Man” films.
They can be washed in a dishwasher and are resistant to chipping. You can also chill them in the freezer for a few moments before you use them.
Kimura Kikatsu Zombie Glass is the best highball glass
If there’s one country that takes Highballs as seriously as possible, it’s Japan, without question. It’s no surprise that Kong chooses Kimura Glass to make Highball vessels.
This Japanese-based brand, which has over 1000 different styles of glassware, has been perfecting its craft for more than 100 years. This is a great place for splurging on a beautiful piece for long drinks or as a gift.
The 7-ounce Kikatsu Zombie glass with fine decorative engraving is the most striking of all the tall Kimura glasses.
KINTO Sepia Glass Cup & Saucer is the best alternative
If you’re looking to step up your cocktail presentation, Kong recommends investing in quality glass cups for warm cocktails; the temperature can be a common oversight when glassware shopping, as we subconsciously tend to think of cocktails as exclusively cold drinks.
It doesn’t matter if you’re serving hot gin punch or spiked hot apple cider, mulled wines, or Blue Blazer, having a good teacup is a must.
This retro saucer and cup set is by Japanese brand Kinto. This 9-ounce cup can also be used in the microwave or dishwasher.
It’s good to know:
You don’t have to spend a lot to create a unique and classy glassware collection for your home bar. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can get very overwhelming, so if you find something you like, go for it!” — Greg Kong, Head Bartender, Kimika