One of the key aspects to making mixed drinks look appealing is to use the correct serving glass. There are practical reasons as well, such as the amount and ratio of ingredients and garnish placement, but aesthetic appeal is important, especially for cocktails such as martinis, hurricanes, and margaritas. Stock your bar with the type of mixed drink glasses you use most, but add a few types of unique glasses for special occasions.
Highball, Lowball and Collins Glasses
Highball glasses are tall and cylindrical with a 12 to 14 ounce capacity. They are typically used for drinks such as a gin and tonic, bloody Mary, screwdriver, as well as other drinks that contain substantially more mix than liquor. Lowball glasses hold between 2 and 6 fewer ounces and are used for similar cocktails often referred to as "short" mixed drinks. Originally designed to serve Collins gin cocktails, a Collins highball glass typically holds 14 ounces, but is taller than conventional highball glasses. It's a popular choice for tropical and exotic drinks such as pina coladas and mai tais.
Besides martinis, these tall, stemmed glasses with wide, cone-shaped bowls are used for mixed drinks served without ice such as gimlets, Manhattans, and colorful trendy cocktails such as cosmopolitans and appletinis. Martini glasses come in various sizes to accommodate regular-size drinks as well as doubles and triples.
Mimosas, Bellinis, and champagne cocktails are served in champagne glasses. This style of glass varies from generation to generation; the bowl shape has included shallow designs as well as glasses with thinner, taller bowls called champagne flutes. They are also used for specialty brunch drinks such as a Ramos or gin fizzes.
Margarita and Hurricane Glasses
One of the most unique bar glassware designs, the margarita glass has a large, round bowl and an oversized rim to facilitate dipping the top of the glass in sugar or salt before adding the margarita. Other cocktails with flavored rims are served in margarita glasses, as are fruit drinks such as daiquiris. With a whopping 15-ounce capacity, a hurricane glass is tall and shaped like the globe on a hurricane lamp. It’s primarily used to serve exotic and tropical cocktails with a variety of liquors and fruit juices in the recipes.
Many ice cream-based cocktails, such as mudslides, are served in parfait glasses. They're slightly smaller than hurricane glasses, but have the same curved center and a larger bowl and rim to allow the drinker to easily use a spoon to extract the thick cocktail mixture from the bottom of the glass.