Here at Punch, our priority has always been what’s in the glass. But that doesn’t mean we don’t pay attention to the cocktail glass itself. We’ve spent more time than most handling coupes and copitas of every ilk; we’ve seen Negronis served in lightbulbs and Old-Fashioneds in hollow ice spheres. All to say that over the years we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t when it comes to drinkware.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite examples in every category—plus a few notable outliers—selected for their availability, durability, functionality and, of course, how they look and feel. At the bottom, you’ll also find a selection of our go-to resources for scoring vintage finds.
The default for any “up” drink, from Daiquiris to Martinis.
Go-to: Cocktail Kingdom Leopold Coupe | Set of six, $33.99
Well-proportioned and sturdy without feeling clunky, the Cocktail Kingdom Leopold Coupe is a popular choice at bars across the country for its versatility and reasonable price point. It comes in several sizes, but the six-ounce option is our favorite for most “up” drinks. It’s not so big that the glass looks only half-full when your drink is poured, nor is it too small that you’re stuck with leftover cocktail in the mixing glass or shaker tin.
Splurge: Waterford Elegance Champagne Belle Coupe | Set of two, $85
Waterford has built a reputation for being the leading manufacturer of crystal since its founding in 1783. While the company is better-known for its more ornate, etched glassware, these unadorned coupes feel decidedly modern while still possessing an elegant timelessness.
An alternative to traditional coupes, Nick & Noras tend to be a tiny bit smaller (about five ounces), but can work for just about any “up” drink.
Go-to: Cocktail Kingdom Nick & Nora | Set of six, $33.99
As with most Cocktail Kingdom glassware, these Nick & Noras are designed for commercial use, which means they can withstand a fair share of abuse. Apart from their durability, however, these glasses are the visual archetype of the modern Nick & Nora.
Splurge: Riedel Nick & Nora | Set of two, $33
With a more tulip-like appearance, these crystal glasses from Riedel recall the diminutive examples pictured in The Thin Man, the 1934 film whose protagonists gave the Nick & Nora glass its name. They’ve become a staple among the entire Punch team.
Typically holding between seven and 10 ounces, these are ideal for Old-Fashioneds, Sazeracs or neat spirits.
Go-to: Duralex Empilable Tumbler | Set of six, $20
These seven-ounce tumblers are great for “down” drinks (i.e. chilled and in a rocks glass with no ice), neat spirits or even Old-Fashioneds—despite the fluted design, these glasses can still accommodate a large ice cube. And thanks to Duralex’s tempered glass, they are five times more resistant to shattering than most other glasses. What’s more: They’re stackable!
Splurge: Kimura Kikatsu 8-Ounce Old-Fashioned Glass | $53 each
Kimura is a hand-blown glass wonderland, and it’s easy to lose hours scrolling through their more than 1,000 ultrathin designs. Lucky for you, we’ve already put in the time, and these eight-ounce crystal Old-Fashioned glasses with a simple geometric “kiriko” design are our favorites. While shipping is from Tokyo, it’s fast and reliable.
Typically between 10 and 13 ounces, double rocks glasses (or double Old-Fashioned glasses) are designed to hold larger cocktails, or those with ice.
Go-to: Design Within Reach Big Top Glassware | Set of four, $59
When it comes to rocks glasses, there’s an undeniable pleasure in holding one with heft. These “big top” glasses answer that call, offering a nice weight in the hand and plenty of room for ice, whether it’s a large cube for a Negroni or a heap of pebble ice for a Mai Tai.
Splurge: Kimura Kikatsu 12-Ounce Old-Fashioned Glass | $67 each
These Kimura glasses fall on the opposite end of the spectrum as our go-to—they’re feather-light and impossibly thin, but every bit as satisfying to hold as their heftier counterparts.
A workhorse glass for all your tall drinks. Though highball glasses are typically smaller than Collins glasses, they get the job done, for everything from a G&T to a Ramos Gin Fizz and, yes, even a Tom Collins.
Go-to: CB2 Marta Juice Glass | Set of eight, $12
Almost everyone on Team Punch owns these ultra-thin glasses, and it’s not hard to spot them in the wild at bars across the country since their sleek appearance belies a deceptively durable construction. Though they’re billed as juice glasses, they work equally well for highballs, spritzes and more.
Splurge: Ferm Living Ripple Long Drink Glass | Set of four, $75
It’s impossible to make a drink look bad in these mouth-blown ribbed glasses. And, as nice as they look, they feel even better in the hand.
The perfect companion for your next hot toddy.
Go-to: Duralex Gigogne Mug | Set of six, $28
While the entire Duralex catalog of glassware is tempered and capable of withstanding both hot and cold temperatures (and rapid changes between the two), sometimes it’s nice to have a handle when drinking a steaming hot toddy or amaro caldo. This is our go-to.
(Slight) Splurge: Kinto Sepia Cup | Set of four, $18.80
These amber-hued mugs have an inherent warmth to them that adds a bonus layer of comfort to your hot cocktails.
Translating to “tiny cup,” copitas are the traditional drinking vessel for mezcal.
Go-to: Veladora Mezcal Shot Glasses | Set of six, $25
The name of these glasses alludes to their original purpose, which was to hold votive candles. (“Veladora” means candle in Spanish.) They’ve since become the go-to for sipping mezcal in Oaxaca; these particular examples are made from recycled glass.
Splurge: Black Ceramic Mezcal Cups | Set of two, $25
These one-ounce copitas are hand-made in Oaxaca from black clay so no two are identical, making them especially nice to order in abundance.
Though hardly essential, a goblet is a great option for sgroppinos, frappés or as an alternative to wine glasses for spritzes.
Go-to: Design Within Reach Tavern Glass | Set of six, $35
The aptly named tavern glass has an air of the everyday about it: It’s sturdy and utilitarian, but still a joy to drink from. Try it for your next Daiquiri Frappé, or even just a glass of sparkling wine.
Splurge: Italian Duotone Retro Goblet | Set of two, $88
For drinks as simple to throw together as a spritz or a Gin & Tonic, elevating them to more of an occasion is as easy as throwing them in an appropriately colorful glass, like these retro-inspired ribbed goblets from Food52.
Digestivo: Ferm Living Ripple Small Glasses | Set of four, $45
A diminutive take on our favorite highball glasses, these two-ounce versions are ideal for after-dinner drinking, like a pour of amaro or your favorite 50/50.
All-purpose spritz glass: Karakter Sferico No. 2 Glass | $25 each
These Sferico glasses come in four different iterations, and we suggest mixing and matching. But if you have to pick just one, we recommend the No. 2, which feels well-proportioned for aperitivo.
Sometimes the best glasses are one-of-a-kind vintage finds, so we’ve compiled a few online retailers to help you score your next favorite glass.
A curated selection of vintage glassware selected by former Undercote manager Jillian Tuttle.
Colorful stemware, vintage barware and smoked glass sets are always available at Sunnybrook Supply.
How Fast Time Flies
A popular destination for retro anything, specializing in vintage glassware.
Collins & Coupe
This San Diego-based shop sells a robust collection of new glasses alongside a rotating selection of vintage barware.
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