Skip to content

Dress Your Cocktail to Impress with the Right Glass for the Job


Pouring a summer cocktail into a standard highball glass is like accessorizing a black-tie ensemble with gym shoes. Sure, you're comfy, but you can't play that off as a "statement." Consider world-champion bartender and a founder of Crafthouse Cocktails Charles Joly your style consultant for warm weather booze. Raise a glass, but make it the right one.

Go Big

Flip-flop season doesn’t mean abandoning creativity for a keg of whatever’s on special, but there’s no denying beer’s unparalleled power to cool down the masses. Celebrate summer with a beer cocktail that features the zing of seasonal ingredients. "I wouldn't limit myself here," Charles says. "A pilsner or hefeweizen glass would keep with the theme of the beer, but a Collins glass would work great as well for something long and refreshing." Use a beer with low alcohol content. This leaves you some room to play with schnapps and other ingredients without creating a one-and-done monstrosity that's too potent to enjoy all afternoon. Besides, the only thing better than an ice-cold beer cocktail on a hot day is the next one.


Recipe for Success

Yes the mercury is rising, and yes the peach brandy and lemonade combo in a Southern Shandy is refreshing, but put down the five-gallon bucket. Opt for an over-sized Mason jar and claim the hammock before someone else does. 


Little Deuce Coupe

Backyard bartenders pushing martinis and other stiff concoctions at a summer barbecue better have ample couch room for guests who enjoy their beverages too much. Save the more potent tipples for evenings on the front porch when you're with confidants who delight in your graduate-level alchemy. "There's something tremendously elegant and a bit sexy about the curves of a coupe glass," Charles says. "It's well served with any cocktail traditionally served 'up'." Antique coupe glasses are timeless conversation pieces, but martini glasses get the job done too. No one likes spilling half their vesper while they mingle, so look for a set with steep sides that prevent splashing.


Recipe for Success

Drinks with floral and herbaceous components need to breathe, and wide-open glassware lets your nose explore while you sip. The Delft Blue is potent and all kinds of classy, the perfect coupe companion.


Cordially Invited

When putting together a lineup of glassware, the oft-overlooked cordial glass can confuse even the cleverest cocktail curator. Think of these diminutive vessels as shot glasses for the grown and sexy. "I love these for a variety of uses," Charles says. "They're great for sipping something in short order and they're perfect for food pairings, amuse-bouche or a tiny dessert." Cordial glasses come in a variety of shapes, from small v-shaped vessels to petite teardrops and taller sherry glasses. They're a must for two-sip cocktails that highlight a few distinctive ingredients or small-batch liquor infused with summer flavors.


Recipe for Success

Cordial glasses are a nice touch because they allow party guests to sample a spirit with no strings attached. Spice things up with a shot of jalapeño tequila, or toast to balmy summer evenings with sophisticated summer spiced sweet vermouth.


Margarita Mindset

Nothing says farewell to the days of drinking out of fish bowls like being properly equipped for what's coming out of your shaker, but that doesn't mean you have to settle for tacky kitsch. "I don't think the traditional margarita glass is all that traditional, to be honest," Charles says, considering the cactus-covered stemware you'll find in the average Tex-Mex joint. "I'm happy serving margaritas in a rocks glass or a coupe, depending on how my guests prefer their drink." Glass isn't the best insulator for frozen drinks, so look for a thick-walled goblet or stainless steel tumbler to keep margs suitably slushy.


Recipe for Success

As summer bursts forth with seasonal fresh produce, your margarita options are virtually unlimited. Even avocados aren’t safe.


Bartender Tested, Science Approved

Copper drinkware does more than hint at your attention to detail; science says it’s the smart choice for the summer heat. It turns out that certain new-age classics at any other temp wouldn’t taste as sweet because a copper mug’s insulating properties keep tangy ingredients at the right temp and protect precious carbonation. "The copper mug came raging back with the resurgence of the Moscow Mule," Charles says. "It's the historically accurate glass to sip a mule from, it has an attractive look, and the metal cup seems to add to the refreshment." Nowadays, you can find everything from tall tumblers to shot glasses that look like a freshly minted penny, but a copper cup without a handle to keep your hands thawed doesn’t make a lot of sense.


Recipe for Success

The Kentucky Mule is the Moscow Mule's backwoods brother from another mother. Tea-infused bourbon and candied ginger make it a bespoke Southern beverage that's custom-built for copper.


Travis Jones is a storyteller at heart. You can find his work in boutique publications, covering everything from nightlife to outdoor adventure and profiles on trendsetting artisans. He grew up on a ranch in Texas, backpacked through the Costa Rican rainforest and made pit stops at legendary bars and restaurants along the way. But his biggest adventure to date? Fatherhood.