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The American pint glass (aka shaker pint) is the unofficial “official” beer glass of the United States. Every day, you’ll find them sliding across bar tops and restaurant tables across the country.
Lagers, ales, stouts, IPAs, just about anything
Unlike the English pint (aka Imperial (Nonic) Pint) which holds 20 oz., the popular American pint can handle 16 oz.
Heavy, sturdy, and fun. Mugs come complete with nifty handles that prevent your sweaty mitts from warming your beer. Best of all, they make it easier for you to raise your glass and toast your friends. Prost!
Porters, stouts, Marzen/Oktoberfest, bocks, ales
There’s a not-so-heated debate amongst beer drinkers regarding the dimples found on some mugs. One camp thinks they’re merely for decoration, the other believes the dimples are there to magnify the beer to help them better appreciate its appearance. Where do you stand?
An extravagant way to fancy-up your beer, goblets are designed to look cool and maintain a long-lasting head. Their wide-mouthed style lends itself nicely to deep, satisfying sips of your favorite brew.
Belgian ales, dubbels, quadrupels, and tripels
If goblet doesn’t bring enough gravitas to your next happy hour, feel free to say you’re drinking from a chalice.
Like the skinny jeans of glassware, pilsner glasses are tall, slender, and tapered. They are designed to showcase the color and carbonation of your beer, plus, the broad mouth helps to maintain a thick, foamy head.
Pilsners, lagers, bocks, witbiers
Weizen glasses are often mistaken for pilsner glasses. Designed to showcase the heads and aromas of wheat beers, they look similar to pilsner glasses, but are usually shorter and have exaggerated curves.
They call it a tulip glass because … wait for it … it looks like a tulip! The belled shape and open lip are excellent for capturing the aromas and full flavors of malty and hoppy beers. Although inspired by a flower, drinking a beer out of the real thing probably isn’t a good idea.
Imperial IPAs, Scotch ale, Belgian ales, saisons
A variation of the tulip glass is the thistle glass. It has an extended midsection and is typically reserved for Scotch ales because the thistle is the official flower of Scotland.
Taller than traditional red wine glasses, but with smaller bowls, Bordeaux glasses are designed to showcase the flavors and aromas of big, full-bodied wines.
Bordeaux glasses are extra tall to help send the wine directly to the back of your mouth so you get the most flavor from every sip.
Although (most likely) not related to the fictional Hollywood news anchor bearing the same name, a good Burgundy glass will help you stay classy as you enjoy lighter red wines.
Burgundy, pinot noir
The larger bowl and shorter stature of Burgundy glasses direct wine to the tip of your tongue so you can appreciate more delicate flavors.
Because white wines are intrinsically different from their red counterparts, Chardonnay glasses are different too. These glasses typically have smaller rims than red wine glasses and have more U-shaped bowls that accentuate the aromas of chilled wines.
Chardonnay, pinot gris, Riesling, sauvignon blanc
Be sure to serve chilled white wine in stemmed glasses so your hands don’t warm the bowl and alter the wonderful flavor that so many good grapes gave their all for.
Much better than musical flutes at holding champagne and other sparkling wines, Champagne flutes are elegant, narrow, and perennial favorites for toasts at weddings and New Year’s Eve parties all over the world.
Champagne, prosecco, other sparkling wines
The tall and thin shape of Champagne flutes helps to maintain the carbonation of sparkling wines so there’s always plenty of bubbles in your bubbly.
Sherry glasses are the cute little siblings of the wine glass family. But don’t let their diminutive design fool you. These multi-tasking utility players are used to serve everything from fortified dessert wines and aperitifs to liqueurs and fancy-schmancy shots.
Sherry, Madiera, Marsala, port, vermouth, specialty drinks
Looking for a sweet ending to your next meal? Sherry glasses are the vessels of choice for serving digestifs.
Very aptly named, whiskey shot glasses make life easier for those of us that don’t want to think too much about which glass goes with our liquor of choice. These sturdy, heavyweights are great for throwing back your favorite variety of brown juice.
Whiskey, whiskey, more whiskey
The heavy bottoms of whiskey shot glasses make it less likely that they’ll shatter when slammed down on the bar by over-enthusiastic whiskey lovers.
If classic movies are any guide, few bar orders will make you feel cooler than ordering something “on the rocks.” And when you do, expect to get your icy drink in one of these short, stocky tumblers.
Practically any liquor or mixed drink poured over ice
Ice puts the rocks in rocks glass, and these days, those rocks come in all kinds of creative and fun shapes and sizes. Next time you’re at your favorite watering hole, be on the lookout for artisanal ice forms that range from perfect spheres to oversize cubes and custom-molded designs. Ice puts the rocks in rocks glass, and these days, those rocks come in all kinds of creative and fun shapes and sizes. Next time you’re at your favorite watering hole, be on the lookout for artisanal ice forms that range from perfect spheres to oversize cubes and custom-molded designs.
If the venerable rocks glass has a paternal twin, the old fashioned glass is it. The two glasses can be used interchangeably, the old fashioned taking its name from the classic drink with the same moniker.
Old Fashioned, mixed drinks, various liquors
The renaissance of classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned has led to resurgent popularity for the classic glasses they are served in as well.
Snifters are all about surface area. Associated primarily with brandy, a snifter’s broad, balloon shape gives the spirit plenty of room to breathe while the narrowed top funnels the aromas straight to your nose.
Thanks in part to the craft beer boom, you’re more and more likely to see snifters being used to serve a broader spectrum of beverages as aficionados flare their nostrils in search of glassware that best captures the aromas of their drinks.
Just as the name implies, shot glasses (aka shooters) are small glasses used to serve up quick-hitting drinks that run the gamut from straight liquors to candy-flavored concoctions. Shot glasses should be durable, with heavy bottoms, to stand up to the rigors of repeated last calls, boilermaker dunks, and general rough treatment.
Liquors, specialty shots
Because they’re fun and easy to transport, branded shot glasses are favorite souvenirs of travelers all over the world
Right-sized between the old fashioned and Tom Collins varieties, the highball is one of mixology’s most revered glasses. Highball glasses are perfect for drinks with a high ratio of mixer-to-liquor.
Bloody Mary, Harvey Wallbanger, Mai Tai, gin and tonic
When you’re not quite in the mood for a tall drink from a highball, fill up its spunky little sidekick, the lowball. Same thing, but shorter.
Aside from drinking out of a hollowed out pineapple or coconut, nothing evokes tropical mixed drinks like a hurricane glass. Shaped like a hurricane vase or lamp, its short stem and curved sides add a festive flare to any occasion.
Hurricane, Piña Colada, daiquiris, Blue Hawaii
The hurricane glass was made popular by its namesake drink, the Hurricane, which was created at Pat O’Brien’s Bar in New Orleans. Let the good times roll!
Reminiscent of an inverted sombrero, with its broad top and narrowed bowl, there’s no mistaking a margarita glass. A staple in restaurants, bars, and households, this ubiquitous piece of glassware is always the life of the party.
Margaritas (frozen or on the rocks), daiquiris.
Many margarita recipes call for coating the rim of a margarita glass with lime juice and then dipping it into coarse-ground salt. Some sweeter versions use raw sugar instead of salt.
The most stylish cocktail glass of all time? Maybe. After all, its eponymous drink is James Bond’s go-to choice. Its distinctive silhouette and cool vibe has made the martini glass a cultural icon for decades.
Martinis, cosmopolitans, artisanal cocktails
Because martini glasses are often used as canvases for bartenders’ most artistic drink offerings, it’s critical that you keep them crystal clean.
Cosmopolitan glasses bring an air of sophistication and fun to any drink. Sort of a cross between a martini glass and tumbler, their sturdy base and flared design make for exciting presentations without the fuss and fragility of long-stemmed glassware.
Cosmopolitan, martinis, various mixed drinks
Like many cocktail glasses, the cosmopolitan glass is named for the drink it most commonly holds: the Martini. Seriously though, it got its name from the Cosmopolitan. (Probably.)
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