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You might have a fully stocked at-home bar of spirits and wines ready to impress your guests with this festive season, but you’re going to let your game down if you’re serving them up in the wrong glass (or, worse, a plastic cup!).

Knowing which liquor glasses to use for which drink elevate you from amateur host to slick at-home bartender. Here, Hanson Fok, Assistant Bar Manager at Madame Ching, teaches us that there is in fact a method to the madness when it comes to serving up drinks correctly – and it’s not all that difficult to master.

Martini glass

‘For martinis, use the martini glass fitted with a long stem with the conical top – you have to respect the classic cocktail! From a design standpoint, this ensures the drinker’s hands don’t touch the drink, so it stays cool for longer. The large surface area also lets the drinker appreciate the smell and flavour of the vermouth,’ says Fok.


‘In the past, this glass was mainly used for serving champagne, but it also works for serving drinks without ice – again the long stem prevents heat coming from the drinker’s hand to the drink. These are best used to serve classic drinks such as a Clover Club or an East Side.’


‘Tall glasses are great for drinks that are mixed with soda, water or other mixers. Cocktails that feature strong or very alcoholic liquors – such as the Long Island Iced Tea – are generally served in highballs.’


‘A similar idea to the highball, this is the size in between the highball and the lowball and is perfect for cocktails served with a dash of soda. Why? If these drinks were to be served in a highball, the glass would be half empty! Or if the cocktail was topped up with soda or water, it would end up very diluted.’


‘Sometimes called an old-fashioned glass or rock glass, these usually have large surface areas and are perfect for cocktails with strong aromas or a liquor on the rocks. It allows the drinker to smell the cocktail as well as taste – perfect for serving things like Negronis.’

Wine glass

‘You’ll already know this is the glass to serve wine in, but it can also be used to accommodate cocktails that use a larger amount of liquid – like sangria or Aperol Spritz.’



‘The stemmed, tall shape of the flute glass ensures the bubbles don’t disappear too quickly, and again ensures that the warmth from people’s hands doesn’t touch the surface of the glass. Perfect for Bellinis, champagne or prosecco.’