How Big Are Cocktail Glasses?

Cocktail glasses come in a plethora of shapes and sizes. When picking out a glass, you want one to suit the type of drink being served and hold enough beverage within it. How can you tell what size a cocktail glass should be with so many different types of glassware? After some thorough research, we can tell you how much a cocktail glass can contain.

Standard cocktail glasses hold anywhere from 3 to 10 fluid ounces. Oversized, or large, cocktail glasses hold between 6 and 12 fluid ounces.

Since its introduction in the 19th century, the cocktail glass remains an important staple in drinkware. Keep reading to learn how cocktail glasses have changed, the differences between a cocktail and martini glass, and get some great examples of cocktail glasses.

collection of classic cocktails, negroni, old fashioned, manhattan, margarita, martini glasses, How Big Are Cocktail Glasses?

Cocktail Glasses - From Then to Now

A classic cocktail glass is a conical-shaped bowl with a stem. Drinks served in a cocktail glass typically lack ice. The stem allows the drinker to hold the glass without negatively affecting the temperature of the drink. Traditionally, cocktail glasses could only hold around four fluid ounces.

Since then, the overall design and even the capacity of the cocktail glass have evolved. While traditionally cocktail glasses have a stem, now there are stemless options. There are also two different size groups for this glass. The standard cocktail glass (3-10 fl oz) and the oversized cocktail glass (6-12 fl oz).


Which size cocktail glass you pick will mostly be a matter of personal preference. However, smaller glasses do have a benefit to them. Smaller capacity cocktail glasses are more sturdy than larger sizes. The larger bowl size causes the glass to become top-heavy and makes them prone to tipping and spilling.

Types of Cocktail Glasses

An empty martini glass on bar interior detail

Cocktail glasses encompass a more extensive set of drinkware and not just the classic conical-shaped glass. Just like wine and beer, drinking spirits in the correct glass enhances the experience. The cocktail glass has a wide-shaped bowl to ensure the drinker can smell the contents. Each type of cocktail glass helps achieve a certain goal. Using the proper glass will keep drinks cooler and can preserve carbonation. Let's take a closer look at some of the most common styles of cocktail glasses.

Martini Glass

Dirty Martini cocktail with one olive in the glass on the bar counter on the blurred background

The martini glass shares many qualities with the cocktail glass. While they are commonly used interchangeably, the cocktail glass and martini glass are different. The martini glass wasn't formally recognized until 1925, after the popularity of the martini drink grew. This glass also has two sizes, standard and large, which hold between 3 and 10 fluid ounces and 6 and 12 fluid ounces. While they have similar shapes, the martini glass is taller and is less rounded than the cocktail glass. As the name would suggest, martini glasses are commonly used for martinis, and other cocktails served without ice.

Highball Glass

Whiskey Highball with Ginger Ale

Highball glasses are tall and narrow tumblers that hold up to 12 fluid ounces. The glass's sleek design helps to preserve a drink's carbonation and also keeps it colder. Many use the term highball interchangeable with a Collins glass.

A Collins glass is taller, more narrow, and can hold between 10 and 14 fluid ounces. The highball and Collins glass are used for cocktails or drinks made with a non-alcoholic mixer and ice. The Collins glass will commonly have more than one mixer, while the highball glass will only use one.

Common drinks served in a highball glass are Rum and Coke and Dark and Stormy. Some great drinks for the Collins glass include the Mojito and Paloma.

Lowball Glass

Vodka lime with ice in rocks glass on black background including clipping path

The lowball glass is a glass of many names, commonly referred to as the Old Fashioned glass, lowball, or rocks glass. This short tumbler holds between 6 and 10 fluid ounces. Lowball glasses frequently have thicker bases than other glasses. This makes them perfect for drinks with muddled ingredients because the glass is stronger and more durable than others. Spirits served straight or on the rocks, and specific cocktails are best suited for this glass. Common drinks served in the lowball glass are Old Fashioned and White Russian.

What size glass should a mixed drink be served in?

Homemade Bacon Spicy Vodka Bloody Mary with Tomatos, Olive and Celery

A mixed drink is a combination of liquor and another non-alcoholic mixer, such as fruit juice or soda. Common examples of mixed drinks include mojitos, Tom Collins, and gin and tonic. These drinks and others that contain non-alcoholic mixtures typically go in a highball glass, which holds between 8 and 12 fluid ounces.

How many ounces is a Manhattan glass?

Manhattan cocktail with whiskey

The Manhattan drink contains whiskey, bitters, vermouth and is generally garnished with a Maraschino cherry. This drink is served in a cocktail glass or on the rocks (with ice) in a lowball glass. These glasses hold between 3 and 10 ounces and between 6 and 10 ounces.

Check out these true Manhattan cocktail coupes on Amazon.

What are the best cocktail glasses?

Cocktail Glass

Click here to see a six-piece LAV cocktail glass set on Amazon.

This lead-free glass cocktail glass from LAV is about as timeless as it gets. Shorter than a martini glass would be, this particular cocktail glass is 5.8 inches high and can hold up to 6 fluid ounces. The shorter design and lower capacity make this glass sturdy and less likely to spill. This cocktail set is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

Lowball Glass

Click here to see a four-set of lowball Venero crystal glasses on Amazon.

Venero London created these 0ld-fashioned glasses from non-leaded crystal. This drinkware has a thick base and sides and is very durable. Each glass comes with a lifetime warranty and is dishwasher safe. These lowball glasses hold 10 fluid ounces.

Highball Glass

Click here to see a four-set of Italian-made Godinger highball glasses on Amazon.

Not just for cocktails, these highball glasses were created by the Godinger company in Italy. The 14-ounce capacity highball glass is made from lead-free glass and is dishwasher safe. Its design is simple and is capable of fitting into any space or occasion. This set of glasses has a thicker base for additional stability.

Martini Glass

Click here to see a four-set of JEKOSEN crystal martini cocktail glasses on Amazon.

This martini set by JEKOSEN has an elegant design. This glass is taller than a cocktail glass would be, measuring at 6.9 inches and holds 10 ounces. Made from an ecological and lead-free crystal, these martini glasses are slightly lighter than typical crystalware would be. You can clean these glasses in the dishwasher on a warm water rinse.

What are cocktail glasses used for?

A cocktail glass is typically used for a style of drink that is stirred or shaken with ice and then served without ice, also called being served "up." Some common drinks served in the cocktail glass include the martini, Manhattan, Brandy Alexander, and the cosmopolitan.

To Conclude

collection of classic cocktails, negroni, old fashioned, manhattan, margarita, martini glasses, How Big Are Cocktail Glasses?

From the classic cocktail glass to the lowball glass, there are many different sizes, styles, and capacities for this drinkware. How big and what type of cocktail glass will come down to what you like that most. You can pick from a classic design with a smaller capacity and a stem or go for an updated look with no stem and larger capacity. Once you have your cocktail glasses, you'll want to know how to store them. Don't forget to read "How To Store Wine And Cocktail Glasses?" so you're fully prepared!

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