different drinking glasses

We bring you this article in the hopes to shed some light on the many Types of glassware and their ideal uses. Much like any tradesman, who has mastered the art of his craft, he first mastered the tools of his trade. If you enjoy drinking fine hard liquor then you should show appreciation to the vast selection of quality old fashioned glassware.

So What Kind of Alcoholic Glasses Are There?

Everyone eventually gets to learn about the different types of liquor when they go to the bar, dine at a restaurant, or when mixing their own cocktails at home. After a time, anyone can pick their poison well enough. But do they know which glass to serve their preferred liquor in and why?

Hard liquor or not, every drink should be served in the right glass. Glassware not only lend a fancy quality to a drink, but by design, they also maximize the aroma and flavors of the drink.

Glassware can come with a stem (stemware), or without a stem (tumblers). Hard liquors like whisky, vodka, and gin, as well as the cocktails based on them, are mainly served in different kinds of tumblers.

  1. Short tumblerWhiskey Tumbler

This is more commonly known as the old-fashioned, lowball, or rocks glass. It has a 6- to 10-US fluid ounce capacity typically with a wide brim and thick base.

The proper alcoholic beverages to serve in short tumblers include serving spirits like whisky either neat (without ice) or on the rocks (with ice cubes). Cocktails poured over ice can also be served in this glass.

Double old-fashioned or DOF glasses are bigger-capacity glasses that can hold 12 to 16 ounces. The whiskey glass is a special kind of short tumbler with a noticeably thick base and thinner walls.

  1. Highball or tall glass

The highball glass is mainly intended for serving highball cocktails, which are a group of mixed drinks composed of a spirit like Scotch whisky as base and a higher proportion of a non-alcoholic mixer, such as sparkling water.

This tumbler is taller than an old-fashioned but shorter and wider than a Collins glass. It can hold 8 to 12 ounces of liquid.

  1. Collins glassCollins Glass

The Collins glass is used to serve cocktails or mixed drinks that use a lot of ice cubes or crushed ice, notably Tom Collins cocktails, after which the tumbler was probably named. The exception to this is tequila-based cocktails.

This is the tallest of tumblers with a holding volume of up to 14 ounces and is similar in shape to a highball glass but narrower.

  1. Shot glassWhiskey Shot Glass

Barely a tumbler, this glass can hold up to 4 ounces of liquor, one single measure of alcohol called a “shot.” Shots are usually taken straight from the glass. Shot glasses are often decorated and sold as souvenirs and collectibles.

  1. Table-glass, granyony stakan, or granchakgranyony stakan

This tumbler originated from Russia, its name meaning “faceted glass.” It is hard and thick with a faceted form, which is intended to make the tumbler harder to break.

This drinkware is widely used in Russia and the former Soviet Union for vodka or tea, although it can also be used for other beverages. The classic Russian granchak has 14 facets, which makes it less likely to slip from hands or break when hitting the floor.

In Conclusion

However, not all hard liquors are enjoyed in tumblers. Brandies are best taken in a snifter, while cognacs are best drunk from tulip-shaped cognac glasses. Still, there are thistle-shaped glasses for enjoying whiskies.

What kind of Glassware do you prefer?

We would love to know your choice!

Ballentines Glass Photo: By Beemwej (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

10 thoughts on “

  1. Anonymous

    Hi Michael,

    Really nice article about all the different Types of drinking glasses. I really like those Collins glasses. Looks like I might have to get a few more of the tumblers, my wife keeps dropping them. Cheers.

  2. jesse

    Great article on different types of drinking glasses. My favourite drink is just ice cold vodka as a shot from shot glass. How important you think it is to drink the spirit from right glassess?

    1. Michael Abernethy

      Hello Jesse,

      A lot of it comes down to personal preference but there are some instances where particular glasses are more suitable. Take old fashioned cocktails for example, sugars are used and the process of muddling the sugar can be rough on glassware so a tumbler with a thick base is preferable. Same goes for whiskey tasting, an elongated sherry style glass is suitable for nosing and visual inspection of the Whiskey.

      Thanks for stopping by


  3. Mori

    Intriguing article on the different types of drinking glasses. I have to say I like the short tumblers best but haven’t had any for years. Maybe I will go shopping. Liked your links too, with additional information.

  4. Elasa

    Thanks for the informative article. I actually didn’t know some of these types of drinking glasses existed. Good to know which glasses to use for the different types of alcohol. I’ll just drink it from whatever I have in the cabinet lol.

  5. WhiskeyLover

    Excellent article Michael!

    Being a whiskey enthusiast I did actually have an extensive knowledge on the different types of drinking glasses out there. I am glad to meet someone else who shares the same passion.

    I am a big fan of the Glencairn Whiskey Glasses!

    Just bookmarked this site to keep an eye on the good work!



    1. Michael Abernethy

      Hey there WhiskeyLover!

      Good to meet another hard liquor enthusiast! Glencairn make some beautiful glassware. I have a nice set in my cabinet that i bring out now and then. Thanks for the bookmark and I hope to see you again soon!



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