6 Types of Gin Glasses for Your Home Bar
The evolution of Gin over the last 15 years has been one of the most exciting periods of innovation we have seen across all spirit categories in a long time. Gin had been in steady decline since the 1950’s, and today there are more varieties of premium gin available on retail shelves than there are Vodkas.
Mixologists are taking advantage of these innovations to create new gin cocktails and to re-imagine the classics.
Complex gins and premium mixers have elevated the G&T. It is now the most common way people consume gin.
Like many of you, I spent my weekends during the pandemic at home experimenting with cocktails. More specifically gin cocktails. Unfortunately, our glassware cabinet consisted of a mishmash of one-off hand me downs, orphaned vessels from parties past, and your standard line of tumblers and wine glasses.
It was time to invest in some proper glassware so I set out to test the most common styles and find the right glass for each of my favourite gin cocktails.
Here is what I learned:
On the Rocks Gin Cocktails (with ice)
1. Double Rocks or Old-Fashioned Glass (10-12oz)
The most common glass we see used for a G&T in bars and restaurants is a low-profile tumbler like a double rocks glass or an old-fashioned glass. They are durable and stackable. They hold a lot of ice; however, they do not stay cold for very long. They do not hold carbonation well.
We love these ones.
Ideal Cocktail - Negroni
2. Highball or Collins Glass (11-12oz)
These no-nonsense vessels are taller and narrower than most tumbler styles. The shape helps keep your cocktail colder for longer and holds carbonation very well. Perfect for cocktails that requires lots of ice and non-alcoholic mix.
Ideal Cocktail – Gin Fizz, Tom Collins
3. Copa or Balloon Glass (14-16oz)
The Copa glass has a rounded bulbous shape and sits on a stem. The glass is designed to let your spirit breathe while trapping the aromas. The glass is large enough to hold a lot of ice and holding the stem ensures the cocktail stays cold. The top of the glass curves back in. This extends the carbonation of a mix and keeps your fancy herb garnishes contained inside the glass. The only drawback to this glass is that it needs to be hand washed.
Ideal Cocktail – Gin & Tonic
Straight Up Gin Cocktails (Chilled, no ice)
4. Martini Glass (5-6oz)
The wide mouth gives your gin optimal oxygen exposure. Once opened up, you will pick up on the finer nuance of your gin’s flavour profile. Chill the glass with icy water while you build your cocktail in a shaker or mixing glass. The glass is designed to stay cold when chilled.
Ideal Cocktail – Dirty Gin Martini
5. The Coupe (5-6oz)
The Coupe has been around since the 17th century and was only popular for a few short years after prohibition. The glass has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years with the growth of craft cocktails. The glass is used mostly for shaken or stirred cocktails. The shape does not trap aromas, but will hold foam well. Cocktails in a coupe glass are often served with a simple twist or without a garnish.
Ideal Cocktail – Gimlet, Bee's Knees
6. Nick & Nora (5-6oz)
Similar to a coupe glass, the Nick & Nora is best used with stirred or shaken cocktails. It is a small bell-shaped glass with a stem. It can feature either a round or flat bottom. It’s recommended that you chill the glass beforehand. This glass is meant to be fun more than functional.
Ideal Cocktail – Vesper
Finding the right cocktail glass for you.
If you are a fan of a great Gin and Tonic like I am, the first set of bar glassware you need to buy are Copa glasses. You can pack them with ice, 2 or 3 ounces of Gin, and still have room for lots of mix and fresh herbs and spices.
The glass stays cold, it traps aromas quite well and does a great job at holding carbonation. They retail between $10 and $15 a glass.
If “Straight Up” gin cocktails are your thing, I prefer the more modern esthetic of the Nick and Nora glass over the coupe. Functionally, they both offer many of the same benefits for cocktailing and are interchangeable for many traditional or modern straight up cocktails. This one comes down to personal preference and secondary use. The Coupe can also hold your dry Champagne, fancy appetizers or a mousse. Nick and Nora glasses retail around $10 per glass.