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Revision as of 08:24, 4 June 2020 by DrinkBoy (talk | contribs) (Types of Glassware)
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This is probably going to be a big topic and may need to eventually be split up into separate pages, but I figure if we don't put a page down to start working on it, it will never get done.

My thought here, is that the details that need to be addressed are the different "Types" of cocktail related glassware (Collins, Old Fashioned, Coupe, High Ball, etc) along with their capacity (and "range" of capacity). For each of these glasses/sizes it should describe the overall shape, and what (if anything) is important about that shape and size for the particular drink or usage.

I would also like to see some overall terminology presented which identifies the different parts of the glass. While things like "foot", "stem", "bowl", etc are pretty low hanging fruit, there is also some terminology that we should dig into which may be commonly known only in the glassware manufacturing sect. Some possible examples base-ring, fluting, or other terminology that is applicable when talking about the shape, design, and form of cocktail glassware.

Design Considerations

There are essentially two different, and sometimes opposing, design aspects to consider when choosing (or creating) glassware:

The size, shape, and various aspects of a glass that are appropriate as possible to the drink that will be served in it. This can determine if a stem is used or not, the size of the glass, or the shape of the glass.
A glass that is designed such that it evokes some artistic or emotional response. This may result in a glass that might not be as functional as it could be.


There are four (?) basic categories that glassware or drinking vessels can be broken into:

A Tumbler is the most basic type of glassware. It is a simple flat bottomed glass.
A Footed glass is basically a tumbler which has what could be considered an extremely short stem, and a base. Any stem that the glass contains is not long enough, nor designed such, that it can be directly held. While mostly just a decorative element, one value of this foot, is that it helps to prevent moisture condensation which may form on the outside of the glass from dripping down to the surface the glass may be set onto.
A Stemmed glass, is essentially a footed glass with a long enough stem to hold on to. This can be useful to prevent the heat from the consumers hand from warming up the contents of the glass.
A mug can be a Tumbler, Footed, or in some cases even a Stemmed glass, which has a handle protruding from the bowl or stem which is designed for holding the glass. The purpose of this handle is usually to allow a hot beverage to be comfortably held.

Types of Glassware

This section, in addition to simply listing the glassware "names", should also include details about the size range, the shape, and the considerations on why this particular glass is hopefully best for its particular use.
(7 to 10 ounces) Typically a "Footed" glass, with a design that includes some form of indicator for an appropriate measure (1 to 1-1/2 ounces) of Absinthe in the bottom of the glass. The traditional ratio of absinthe to water is 1 part absinthe to 5 parts water, so the glass needs to be large enough to hold that capacity and a little more.
Beer Mug
(4 to 8 ounces) This is sort of a catch-all term for any glass being used to serve a cocktail in. Originally, there weren't any glasses to specifically be used just for cocktails, and instead bartenders would simply utilize whatever appropriate glassware they had, often a tumbler or small wine glass.
An extremely important concept for this glass, is to get the size correct. If you consider a Martini as being just gin, vermouth, and the water from the melting of the ice, then a proper volume for a drinking vessel would be 4 ounces or slightly larger (2 ounces of gin, 1 ounce of vermouth, 1/2 ounce of water from the ice). The volume of the glass should also include room for an appropriate "collar", or space between the top of the liquid in the glass, and the top of the glass itself, about 1/2 inch. Some drinks served in a cocktail glass will have a higher volume than others, often from non-alcoholic ingredients, and so a larger size should be used. Rarely does a drink served in a cocktail glass include ice, so there isn't any need to account for the room the ice will take.
(10 to 12 ounces) This is a tall and slender tumbler, most notably used to serve a "Tom Collins" in. The recipe for a typical Tom Collins is 2 ounces gin, 3/4 ounce lemon juice, 3/4 ounce simple syrup, in an ice filled glass, "topped with soda" (~2 ounces). This means that the liquid portion of the drink will be about 5 1/2 ounces. When filled with cubed ice, the volume will be about doubled, so a 12 ounce glass works well. A Collins glass is usually larger/taller than a Highball, and smaller/shorter than a Zombie.
(6 to 8 ounces) A smallish tall and slender tumbler. Might sometimes also be referred to as an "orange juice glass", since it is size appropriate for serving a small glass of orange juice in. Since a Fizz typically does not include any ice, this glass just has to have enough room to account for the drink being served. Since the key feature of a properly made Fizz is the addition of carbonated water (originally from a well-charged soda siphon), the headspace should include enough room for a bit of energetic bubbling.
(8 to 10 ounces) This is a tall and slightly slender tumbler. A Highball is typically just a combination of a spirit, and a mixer, served over ice. A Highball glass is usually taller but perhaps narrower than a Rocks/Old Fashioned, and smaller/shorter than a Collins.
Irish Coffee
(about 1 1/2 ounce) This is no longer a glass used to served beverages, but at one time it was a small vessel used to serve someone a straight spirit in. Since it was a somewhat standardized size vessel that all bartenders had access to, it became a measuring device for mixing drinks. This would be equivalent to todays "shot glass".
Old Fashioned
(about 1 ounce) At one time, this was a smaller vessel that a spirit would be served in. Similar to the "Jigger", just smaller. Since it too was commonly found behind the bar, it became a measuring device to be used along with a jigger. Eventually, the two got combined into the hourglass shaped "jigger" which measured 1 1/2 ounce on one side and 1 ounce on the other.


When used as a descriptive element it glassware, it refers to a decorative element included in the stem of a glass.
A round-bottomed bowl with a flared top. Looks like an inverted bell.
A round bowl smaller at the top than at the widest point. Upper edge is slightly curved inward.
A tapered bowl with the upper edge flared outward.
Glassware with a mild rippling pattern designed into it.
Any glass with a long enough stem to be held while drinking.
A glass with parallel/vertical sides.
A cone-shaped or "V"-shaped bowl. The sides can be as straight and angular as a typical "Martini" glass, or they can be more elegant, and perhaps not perfectly straight.
When a drink is prepared in a glass, there is some room between the top of the drink, and the top of the glass. The Washline is where the liquid level of the drink ends up, or should end up.

External Links

Initially, these links will be resources to review to try to identify details useful to include on this page.