Drinking isn’t all about the drink you choose, but it’s also about the experience you have, and your type of drinking glass will play a huge role. If you want to relish your experience to the fullest, having the correct types of drinking glasses on hand makes all of the difference in the world.
From margaritas to cocktails, drinking is an experience of many textures and flavors infused together. For each premium liquor out there, there is a specific type of drinking glass that has special features to enhance your drink’s properties. Some glasses come with a narrow mouth to help retain aroma while others have a long stem to prevent your body temperature from warming up the glass.
However, due to the sheer number of drinks and types of drinking glasses out there, it can be hard to decide which one is going to be best for your experience. This is why we’re going to outline 40 types of drinking glasses for you to consider adding to your home bar or kitchen below.
Drinking Glasses by Bernal Saborio / CC BY-SA 2.0
40 Staple Types of Drinking Glasses
Below, we’ll touch on 40 popular types of drinking glasses for different atmospheres, locations, and liquors. Knowing the correct glasses will help you impress at your next gathering.
All-purpose types of drinking glasses are slightly different from standard mixing glasses when it comes to the design. However, mixing glasses have clear, straight sides while many all-purpose beverage glasses have a pattern or textured sides that add a boost of aesthetic to your drinking experience or tabletop.
A chalice is very similar to a traditional goblet glass but it’s broader and shorter at the widest point. They have a short stem with a medium width foot, and the glass is usually thin and clever so you can see the dark beer that goes best in this glass, like a porter or stout. You’ll usually get served a high-gravity, nice bear in this type of drinking glass, and they usually have a thin head. Even though it’s not easy to tip over, they’re also very likely to break if you get them made out of glass due to how thin the sides are.
A cocktail glass has an inverted cone shape. It’s a short type of drinking glass but it has a full mouth on it. The glass gets used to serve cocktails that have varying aromas and blends. The comprehensive mouth on this glass allows your nose to come close to the drink. In turn, you can enjoy the aroma and the taste of your cocktail. Some may have long stems, but the trend is now turning toward stemless glasses.
Cocktails! By Gabrielle Ludlow / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
As the name suggests, this type of drinking glass is used to serve different mixed drinks like John Collins or Tom Collins. A Collins glass looks like a highball glass, but it’s taller and narrower than a regular highball glass. This glass is also cylindrical and it can hold 410 milliliters of liquid when it’s full. They’re also commonly used to serve a mix of vodka and iced tea called an Arnold Palmer. They sit nicely on your kitchen island.
Cooler glasses are simply another name for standard water glasses, and you use them to serve water. But, as you may know, you can use them for any cold beverage type. Traditional water glasses have straight, tall sides that can hold up to 12 ounces of liquid. However, you can find them in a range of sizes from 10 to 25 ounces.
Cordial types of drinking glasses are small like a shot glass but they have a more elegant appearance. They come designed to hold high diesel drinks, usually layered ones that show through the clear glass. The base usually doesn’t have a color and has a solid foot. The top will flare out slightly at the mouth to make it easy to pour and drink. It’s an after-dinner glass that can make your home bar look more high class.
If you’ve ever gone to a bar and ordered a Martinez, Aviation, or SideCar, you’ve most likely used this type of drinking glass. They usually have very ornate and tall stems with a wider base and a wider cup on the top. The wider top is also fairly shallow.
This type of drinking glass is very top-heavy with a high center of gravity, so even though it has a wide foot, there is a risk for tipping them over relatively easily. However, for holding and walking around with them, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more comfortable glass. The bowl on this glass looks like the types of bowls that you’d plate and serve food from.
Frosé with Lavender Garnish by ProFlowers / CC BY 2.0
You might have seen a flute glass in movies where champagne is served during parties. It is a slightly tall glass that is very narrow,and it’s used for any drinks that don’t need too much aeration. It has a narrow mouth with a more slim bowl that stops the fizz from dying down too fast. You can use this glass to enjoy champagne cocktails or a glass of plain champagne.
A goblet may be called a chalice, but it’s not 100% accurate. This type of drinking glass has a medieval style to it with a very ornate design, but you can find them in simple designs too. A goblet is a thicker glass to help keep the temperature of the drink you pour into it. You can use it for cold or hot beverages.
As the name suggests, this type of drinking glass is for the Grappa drink. This drink is meant to stay at a specific temperature and has a brilliant aroma. This is why the glass has a flare at the mouth and long stem. The middle part of the glass squeezes in, and this gives a smaller surface area to help concentrate the drink’s fragrance. It’s a very pretty glass, and it’s slightly more rare. So, it’ll look wonderful sitting on your marble counter in your bar setup.
A highball is a tall and large glass, and it’s very common for people to confuse it with a Collins glass, but this is wider and shorter. A highball type of glass works to serve drinks that you pour over a pile of ice. The drinks have a much larger non-alcoholic portion to them. You will use this glass to serve the very popular Mojito or Bloody Mary drinks.
One Down by Didriks / CC BY 2.0
This glass was invented in the 1940s by a New Orleans tavern owner named Pat O’Brien. The drink he initially created to go in this glass got served in a lamp-shaped hurricane glass. As a direct result, the glass and the associated drink became the hurricane. This is a very curvy glass that can hold upwards of 20 ounces of liquid. It’s popular to serve mixed drinks.
13. Irish Coffee
An Irish coffee type of drinking glass is specifically for hot drinks. This includes the drink known as Irish coffee or hot whiskey, which is whiskey with warm water and honey. This glass features heat-resistant glass, and the handle has a strategic position lower on the side of the glass. This allows you to comfortably grasp the glass while you sip your hot beverage.
As the name suggests, you use this type of drinking glass to serve juice, especially the fresh-squeezed kind. This is a medium sized glass that doesn’t get more than five inches high, and it has a very wide diameter that helps to reduce your sugar intake. Some bars or restaurants will use this glass interchangeably with rocks or low-ball glasses, depending on which style they want to project. As long as they can hold between four and seven ounces of liquid, everyone is happy.
This type of drinking glass is very popular with the Grappa glass, but they have a longer stem, wider foot, and shorter bowl. The flare on the mouth is also much more prominent. They come designed to serve a sweet liquor and to hold less liquid to encourage you to drink slower. Due to the flare and height of the mouth, if you tip this glass over, it’s virtually a guarantee that it’ll shatter. This is a very attractive glass that has a slightly more masculine feel to it.
A lowball type of drinking glass is commonly called an Old Fashioned glass. It has a full but short design with a very thick base. The thick base gives you a wide surface area that helps mixed drinks stay mixed. This glass frequently gets used to having liquor in a neat way. This means that you don’t mix other liquids with the liquor. Instead, you get a pure shot.
Whiskey and gin, consumed by mizmareck / CC BY-NC 2.0
Margaritas are specialty drinks, and this type of drinking glass is very similar to a standard cocktail glass. However, the cone will narrow into a much thinner segment at the narrow point, and it finishes with a very wide mouth. These glasses, although they were originally made for Margaritas, are not very commonly used for other drinks now. This is due to the fact that they don’t compliment other drinks and they create more dishwashing work. So, it’s common to serve Margaritas in pint or lowball glasses today.
Martinis were once served in highball glasses or cocktail glasses. However, as time went on, these drinks evolved to include more vodka. To cater to this new style of martini, this type of drinking glass was invented. It’s very similar to a cocktail glass because it has the same inverted cone shape. However, this glass will have a very pointed end to the cone shape with a larger bowl than a pure cocktail glass to hold your liquid and your olives, lemons, limes, or other garnish.
A milkshake type of drinking glass can easily bring back a feeling of nostalgia and fond memories of the colorful diners of the 1950s and 60s. This is a very retro glass that is tall with a deep bowl to help accommodate different spoon types. The gentle curves will start roughly halfway down the glass, and this finishes in a broad and large foot that has enough weight to it to keep the glass on a lower center of gravity. This is necessary because milkshakes can be decently heavy once you add a cherry and whipped cream so you need the glass to balance.
Mixing glasses are a very popular type of drinking glass that is highly versatile. You’ll often see them behind bars used as an all-purpose beer pint glass, and they’re usually a bartender’s favorite accessory that is used to mix cocktail ingredients. They also make a nice standard drinking glass due to the tapered, basic shape that opens up nicely at the glass’s rim.
This type of drinking glass gets the name specifically referring to your nose. It comes designed to help concentrate the aroma of your drink and waft it to your nose as you take a drink. It’s a favorite for anyone who regularly drinks whiskey who is trying to get a classier feel than any glasses without a stem give you. The base will flare out right above your stem, and this gives the glass a low center of gravity. It has a short stem with a wide foot, so there’s very little chance of tipping it over.
This glass comes designed, as you may have guessed, for drinking Pilsner beer. They’re very similar to pint glasses, but this type of drinking glass has curves as the glass slowly tapers down. You can also get a Footed Pilsner glass that gets ride of the wide foot and has a more severe taper. The more conical shape this glass offers allows you to grip it easier and keeps the drink’s carbonation for much longer. As long as you use it to drink a lighter beer, you’ll enjoy it.
Drinks at the Foundation by Lauren Polinsky / CC BY-SA 2.0
Pint glasses are conical and tall, but some will offer a more cylindrical shape like a classically-designed pint glass. The tulip type of drinking glass also falls into this category, but it has a much more bulbous bowl with a slightly outward curve at the lip. They don’t have a stem. You’ll use this glass to serve three main purposes, to help maintain the foamy head due to the broad top, to see the beverage since they’re clear, and to hold exactly a pint of liquid. They’re popular for beer, but you can use them for soda or water too.
24. Poco Grande
At first glance, this type of drinking glass is very similar to the Hurricane glass. However, if you set them right next to one another, you’ll notice that the stem is taller and the bowl isn’t as deep but is wider. Otherwise, they’re the same glasses. It’s a very feminine glass, and the stems will give you insulation from your hands so you don’t heat up the beverage prematurely. They look wonderful displayed in a china cabinet or as set pieces when you stage the dining room table.
This is arguably one of the coolest types of drinking glasses available. You can use it to serve any type of drink, but you may be surprised they’re actually supposed to serve high-gravity beer. The bowl has a much wider bottom and a thinner mouth that lends a masculine feel even though it sits on a thin stem with a more dainty foot.
26. Red Wine
Red wines have to be aerated well to help enhance the drink’s flavor. As a direct result, the red wine glass comes with a full bowl and a very wide mouth, and this is very common in most wine glasses. These features help you with your wine swirling skills without worrying about any spills. There is also a longer stem on this glass to prevent your body heat from warming up your wine.
Two Glasses of Red Wine by L.C. Nottaasen / CC BY 2.0
This type of drinking glass is similar to a traditional whiskey glass as they’re not very voluminous and they’re short. They’re between a shot glass and a whiskey glass in size, and the main benefit of this glass is that they’re very hard to tip over. They also hold a decent amount of whiskey, and they can accommodate ice. The larger mouth ensures that you can take your drink in using a single pour.
Sake glasses come in sets. You’ll get one taller glass that can hold the drink and four smaller cups that are very similar to a shot glass. You use it to pour your friends a small amount of liquid at a time.
Virtually everyone is familiar with this type of drinking glass. You use them to serve shots of whiskey or high-end booze. The mouth is slightly wider than the base so that you can stack them beneath or above your bar, but some are also straight cylinders with very light tapering at the cone. A lot of people collect these and display them in their cabinets, and they’re commonly sold as souvenirs.
A shooter type of drinking glass is a taller shot glass. They come designed to serve double or triple shots or smaller amounts of mixed drinks that you take in a single swallow. They’re very popular in bars and restaurants.
The Sling type of drinking glas is very thin and tall, but it has a very tapered bottom that ends in a foot that is almost as wide as the mouth of the glass. You’ll see them used to serve Long Island Iced Tea. The thin base that rises above the foot makes them comfortable to hold while injecting the feel of class. Due to the wider foot design, this glass is far less likely to tip over if you were to bump the table.
Hiballs by Peacock Modern / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
The snifter glass is used largely for amber liquids like brandy or whiskey. It has a very full bowl that allows you to easily swirl your drink. It also comes with a shorter stem on it, and this allows your hand to slowly warm the liquid as you hold this type of drinking glass. Even though it has an extensive bowl, it tapers toward the end to give you a narrow mouth. This works to help trap the drink’s aroma. This way, you can enjoy the intense aroma of the liquor as you take a drink.
Imagine that you have a flute glass meant for champagne and you smash the cup portion down vertically. This is called a Sour or Delmonico glass. You won’t be able to easily locate these glasses for sale today. They typically get used to serving sour drinks, as the name implies. They can hold roughly five ounces of liquid, and you’re meant to sip the drink slowly so it’s not overpowering. If you can’t find this glass, a small Flute glass set works just as well.
A tankard works to serve beer. It doesn’t have a lid on it like a stein does, and it’s clear and cylindrical. It has a prominent handle that allows you to lift a large amount of liquid. The walls are also extra-thick glass to keep it insulated and ice cold. You’ll find this type of drinking glass is virtually any restaurant or bar that serves bigger beers.
Looking at this type of drinking glass, you may wonder how it differs from a Tulip glass, but this glass is for beer drinking instead of wine. The biggest difference between the two is the curve as it extends up the mouth. This glass works for Scottish ales instead of beer like a lager, porter, or pilsner. The design works to concentrate the smell for the drinker.
A tumbler looks a lot like a pint glass but it has non-smooth features around 3/5ths of the way down the side of the glass. The flat ridges make it much easier to hold this glass, but they otherwise mirror pint glasses. You typically find them used in restaurants and homes to serve any type of drink. Sometimes they’re plastic and come in colored designs, but they can also be clear and glass. This is one of the most common glasses you’ll add to your collection.
This type of drinking glass is close to a Pilsner but it opens up more at the base and it has a wider portion right before the mouth opens at the same amount as the base. They’re usually slightly taller than pint glasses, and they have straight lines despite having several angles built into the design. Usually, a sliced lime or orange gets placed on the lip, and the liquid head will absorb some of this flavor.
Two Glasses of Ayinger Weizen-Bock by Beer Pornographer / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
A whiskey glass is specially designed to bring out all of the complex flavors whiskey is known for. You can usually interchange this type of drinking glass with a juice glass. This glass kept the comprehensive tumbler look that you get with lowball glasses to show the whiskey’s aroma and color. However, the mouth gets tapered to decrease the size, and this makes drinking a lot more comfortable.
39. White Wine
You have to aerate white wines when you drink them, but not as much as red wines. So, the white wine type of drinking glass is somewhere between the flute glass and the red wine glass. The bowl is much more comprehensive than other types of flute glasses, but it’s not as wide as the glass bowl on the red wine glass. This allows you to aerate the drink without oxidizing it too quickly. So, you can enhance the subtle flavor of the white wine when you drink it.
Zombie types of drinking glasses were originally designed to hold the Zombie specialty drink. They have a very classy and upscale look due to the thin and tall appearance with straight lines. They may not always be frosted, but the seven inch height will show your 13.5 ounces of liquor nicely. They’re taller than most drinking glasses, and this gives them a unique look.
We’ve outlined 40 different types of drinking glasses that you can consider adding to your home bar. They come in a large range of sizes, shapes, and for different liquors, so you want to match the glass to the liquor type you like to drink to help enhance the experience.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.