Sharing is caring!

Do You Really Need a Specific Glass for a Particular Drink? And Why?

When you go to a bar, you might notice that certain drinks are served in certain types of glassware. The overall glass shape is recognizable, of course, but there are always adjustments in the design.

If you like to host small gatherings, you want to do a good job. Therefore, you may be tempted to go out and get all sorts of glassware to impress your guests. You can, of course, but it is not 100 percent necessary. However, it will make you look fancy, especially if you are into mixology and want to level up your entertaining persona. But check what you have at home first.  

But Why the Glassware?

A certain shape of a glass can improve the flavor and aroma. That is why bars have not only a selection of beverages, but also various glasses that they go with. The glasses are designed not only to enrich the taste and smell but to suit your hand too. For example, certain drinks taste better when they are gently warmed by your hand as you slowly toss the liquid around to enhance the taste, for example, brandy.  

Brandy is traditionally served in what is called a “snifter.” These glasses have a large bottom with a short, thick stem. That is so that the glass can fit comfortably in your hand. It will ensure you can gently warm the drink as you hold it. 

Another common design of a snifter is that the rim is slightly smaller than the bottom. This allows you to smell the drink well as you take a sip. It is all on a subconscious level more often than not, but it is a smart design for the experience of drinking brandy. This is one example of how the glassware is made with the drink in mind to give you and your guests the best experience.


Wine glasses have a special design too. There is more to their design besides looking elegant. They have a general design of wine glasses in that they have a long thin stem. That is so that the heat from your hand does not gently warm up the contents inside the glass. Wine is best served cold.  

Regarding the shape of the glasses, there is a slight difference. White wine glasses are smaller than those meant for red wine. Plus, they are less curved and have a smaller rim. The reason for that is that white wine is less full-bodied. Therefore, it does not need as much air to heighten their smell and favor as red wine does.


The cocktail glasses can come in three basic designs: stemmed/coupe, old-fashioned, and chimney-shaped glasses.  

Stemmed glasses (nicknamed Martini glasses) have a “V” shape to them, which is perfect for a Martini, Daiquiri, Cosmopolitan Brooklyn, and Manhattan. The coupe or Margarita glass (if it has a fairly huge curve, like a dip) has a rounded base said to make the glass less likely to tip over. The fairly long stem of these glasses is to keep the drink away from the warmth of your hand. 

Old-fashioned or rock glasses do not have a stem. You can also use an old-fashioned double model to give you twice the volume. They often have the bottom the same size as the rim and straight sides. The drinks that are served best in these (often with ice as a way to counter the heat from your hand) are Sazerac, Mint Julep, and Negroni. 

Chimney-shaped glasses can suit many mixed drinks, say Gin and Tonic, Ice Tea, and anything that uses ice or a straw. These are your Collins glass or Highball glass. The rim is often the same size as the bottom, and they are long. The difference between the two is that the latter is a bit shorter and thinner than the former. 


Different types of beer go better with particular shapes of glasses. There are several shapes of glassware for certain brews. Such as:

  • Lager/ Pint Glass — It has a wide rim and straight sides.
  • Tall Pilsner Glass — This shape has a slight curve to it, and the bottom is smaller than the rim
  • Stemmed Pilsner Glass — These are good for both ale and beer. The design of the glass has a stem, as well as a tulip shape. The rounded bottom is wider than the rim.
  • IPA Glass — It is similar to the Stemmed Pilsner Glass in terms of the bowl and rim. However, it does not use a stem. Instead, the bottom is wide enough to fit in your hand and hold more beer.

Specialty glasses

There are special glasses that will enrich your drinking experience if you opt for something not very common. For example, there’s the hurricane glass for Piña Colada. It has a stem, a mid curve that makes the rim wider than the bottom, and the middle is the thinnest part. We also have the traditional champagne flute. The stem, once again, keeps the liquid away from the heat of your hand while the narrow shape keeps the bubbles of the drink intact.  

The shot glass is a tiny, fast delight designed for the drinks to go down quickly, hence the name and the size. Tequila, vodka, B-52, Blowjob, Irish Car Bomb, and others, obliviously, fit in the same category. There are also warm alcoholic beverages that go with certain glassware, such as Irish Coffee. Those often have a handle so as not to “burn” your hand since this drink is too hot. 

Final Shot

Glassware is made to enrich the taste and smell of the drinks it holds, as well as the atmosphere around the table. But, before you rush to the stores, take a look in your kitchen and see what you can use with your beverage of choice. We are sure you have both something industrial and modern as something fancy and posh.