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Old-Fashioned Glass

(Rocks Glass, Double Old-Fashioned Glass)

What is a Old-Fashioned Glass?

The Old-Fashioned glass (also known as a rocks glass or lowball glass) is one of the most common cocktail glasses, in large part because it isn’t exclusively used for alcoholic drinks—you probably have a few sitting in your cupboard for juice and water.

An Old-Fashioned glass is usually defined as a short, cylindrical tumbler glass with a thick base and straight sides, though many variations exist. It’s primarily used to serve drinks on the rocks (over ice), but can also be used for certain neat drinks like the Sazerac. Cocktails in an Old-Fashioned glass are usually built in the glass, or strained over fresh ice after stirring or shaking.

Depending on the name you use for it, the Old-Fashioned glass has a few different etymologies. The first, and probably most obvious, is the one that takes its name from the Old-Fashioned cocktail. Though early versions of the drink (like the Whiskey Cocktail) were served in various kinds of stemware, the modern recipe calls for this short, stemless glass.

The name “rocks glass” derives from the fact that most of its contents are served on the rocks—whether that’s a cocktail or a straight spirit like whiskey. Finally, the name “lowball glass” (probably the least common) is a reference to the Highball glass, which is a tall, straight-sided tumbler. While nobody really refers to drinks as “lowballs,” the term distinguishes the Old-Fashioned glass from its taller counterpart.

Drinks served in the Old-Fashioned Glass