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Cocktail Glass

(Martini Glass)

What is a Cocktail Glass?

The cocktail glass, also known as the Martini glass, is probably the most famous glass in the world of drinking. Its classic silhouette is the universal symbol for “bar,” and it has been the emblem of high-class booze for generations.

Cocktail glasses are defined by their wide mouth, conical saucer, and stem, and are used exclusively to serve “up” drinks—that is, drinks that are shaken or stirred until chilled and then served without ice. The stem ensures that your hand won’t warm the cocktail too quickly.

Though the origins of the cocktail glass are a bit unclear, the idea behind its saucer design is simple: the wide mouth gives its contents a large surface area, allowing the drink’s aromas to blossom. This is best exemplified by the Martini, with its floral, herbaceous character, but is also useful when it comes to drinks like the Manhattan or Aviation.

The cocktail glass has played host to thousands of drinks over the years—including the Daiquiri, Sidecar, and the much-maligned (but nonetheless enjoyable) Cosmopolitan—but it has fallen out of favor in the last decade thanks in large part to the craft cocktail movement. Despite its classic status, the angled walls of the cocktail glass make it pretty easy to spill, and in many places it has been phased out in favor of the coupe glass.

That said, it will probably always have a place in our hearts. And something just doesn’t feel quite right about serving your Martini in a coupe.

Drinks served in the Cocktail Glass