What is a Collins Glass?

The Collins glass takes its name from the family of Collins cocktails, most famously the Tom Collins. It is generally considered a variety of highball glass, and while the distinction is subtle (and often ignored), Collins glasses are notable for being narrower than standard highballs. It looks slick, but it also has the practical benefit of making it harder to spill ice all over your shirt when you upend it to get at the last drops.

Though the Collins glass is named for a specific set of drinks, you can use it just about any time you’d use a highball glass. They’re essentially interchangeable, and it really comes down to personal preference.

It’s not clear where or when the Collins glass was first invented, but it’s likely that the glass came long after the cocktail (which originated in the 1850s). Tall glasses of all sorts have been around for centuries, and our modern concept of the Collins probably evolved from a subset of narrow highballs.

Drinks served in the Collins Glass