Search the hashtag #Cocktail on Instagram and you’ll see a range of beautiful, sometimes bizzare, and delicious looking cocktails appear right before your eyes!

What you’ll also see, is the range of glassware that those cocktails are served in. Have you ever wondered why we serve up different cocktails in those particular shaped glasses?

Is it so they look good? Absolutely, but it’s also all to do with how the cocktail is made, how it should be served and enjoyed. Here’s our Beginner’s Guide!

Wine Glasses

There many varieties, but these can be broken down into Red or White Wine Glasses. The difference?

A Red Wine glass bowl is rounder and a little wider, with a slightly shorter stem. You’ll often hear the expression that Red Wine ‘needs to breathe’ – really what that means is that the wine needs to be oxididised to release the flavours and aroma of the wine. The rounder and wider bowl is also so that the drinker can inhale and smell the wine as they drink it. Delicious!

In contrast, White Wine glasses have a smaller mouth and bowl to reduce the oxidation of the wine! You’ll notice the stem is also a little longer, to stop warm hands from warming up the wine. There’s nothing better than a clear, crisp, chilled glass of White Wine after all!

Martini Glass

Bond…James Bond. That’s right, these glasses are best used whenever you’re serving up a shaken or stirred drink, without ice. The without ice part is important – that all important stem makes sure that the delicious cocktail is lifted up and away from your hands, so that the drink doesn’t warm as you’re holding it.

What kind of cocktails might you expect to see in a stem glass?

  • Martini’s (obviously)
  • Manhattan
  • Metropolitan


Flute Glasses

Sometimes slightly awkward to drink from, but designed in this way for a very particular purpose. Minimal air exposure! Very important for those delicious fizz drinks such as Champagne and Prosecco. There’s often a bead etched at the bottom, which focusses the bubbles, known as ‘nucleation’.

The stem design is for the exact same reason as our Martini Glass, so that our warm hands don’t affect the temperature of the drink. Is there anything worse than warm Champagne or Prosecco?

Small Tumbler or Lowball

This is a boring name, but otherwise also known as the ‘old fashioned’ or ‘rocks’ glass (much better!). As those names suggest, these are best for cocktails and drinks that are built in the glass itself. No external shakers are needed for these delicious drinks! Drinks are usually served over ice in these glasses, or made in the glass with crushed ice. They’re short serving cocktails, designed to be enjoyed at leisure – sipped, not gulped!

  • Whisky (on, or off the rocks)
  • Old Fashioned (no surprise there!)
  • Caipirinha
  • Amaretto


The Highball, Delmonico or Collins

These three glasses each maintain that basic chimney shape, but differ in sizes and quantities that they hold. As suggested by the name, these are for tall served cocktails, or other mixed drinks that contain non-alcoholic sodas or juices, and then poured over ice.

These are amongst the coolest and most refreshing of cocktails and spirit mixed drinks – you’ll usually be given a funky straw or two to go with them because of the ice in the glass.

What drinks will you find in these glasses? Where do we begin!

  • Vodka, Gin, Archers, Malibu with pretty much any mixer
  • Mojitos (a Chota Peg & Lime favourite!)
  • Bloody Mary
  • Dark N Stormy
  • Singapore Sling
  • Long Island


There you have it, a simple breakdown of which glasses for which Cocktails and drinks! So many additional varieties exist, but these are the main ones. So next time you scroll through Instagram or take a photo of your Cocktail, you’ll know why it’s in that glass.

If you’d like to learn more about Cocktails, and even how to make them, get in touch about our Private Party options and Cocktail Masterclasses!