Your best cocktails deserve the best glassware.
Published Sept. 10, 2020.
Technically speaking, you can drink a cocktail out of almost any vessel. A mug, a juice glass, a Mason jar—even a measuring cup will work just fine if your only goal is to convey your drink of choice to your lips. (In Some Like it Hot, Marilyn Monroe’s character famously mixes her Manhattans in a hot-water bottle and serves them in paper cups from the water fountain.) But dedicated glassware can make a big difference in your drinking experience. A good martini or coupe glass elevates the presentation of your cocktail and raises its celebratory spirit.
We’d never reviewed cocktail glasses before, and with home bartending on the rise, it seemed like a good time to do so. We decided to evaluate both martini and coupe glasses, as either type can be used for cocktails that are served “up” (without ice). And while it’s possible to get cocktailware in a wide range of capacities, we limited our focus to glasses with volumes from 5 to 6 ounces, the best size for standard cocktail recipes. In the end, we tested seven models—four martini glasses and three coupe glasses—priced from about $5 to about $25 each.
We’re pleased to say that your cocktail will be delicious in any one of these glasses; they’re all serviceable vessels that hold drinks well and make them look a little fancier than they would in a Mason jar. There are, however, a few factors that you might want to consider in choosing the glass that’s right for you.
First, decide whether you want a martini glass or a coupe glass. The two glasses have fairly different shapes. The martini glass has a bowl that’s roughly V-shaped, or conical; the coupe glass has a more rounded, half-spherical shape. Curious to see if the shape had any impact on the perceived flavor or aroma, we drank martinis, daiquiris, and margaritas from each. The results were inconclusive; while a few testers felt that the curves of the coupe glass helped concentrate the aromas of some drinks, ultimately, there was no clear consensus on whether or how the shape mattered. (Our finding tracks with the mixed results seen in existing studies on how wine-glass shape affects sensory perception.)
Instead, the choice of which glass to get is largely aesthetic: Do you prefer the sharp V-shape of the martini glass or the rounder curves of the coupe? You don’t need both types, although it can be nice to have them. Bars often choose one type or the other, based on current trends and individual preferences; going by their example, it’s neither unusual or improper to serve a martini in a coupe glass or a daiquiri in a martini glass. If you’re only goi...
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Miye is a senior editor for ATK Reviews. She covers booze, blades, and gadgets of questionable value.