How to Hold a Cocktail Glass

Wondering how to hold a cocktail glass or martini glass? We have the answer. Learn how to properly hold a martini glass and enjoy your drink more!

Hand holding cocktail glass with fingertips on stem

You might be surprised to learn that holding your glass the right way can enhance your drinking experience. 

Understanding Different Types of Cocktail Glasses

Before we dive into holding a cocktail glass, let’s get familiar with the different types that exist. Here are some common ones:

  • Martini Glass: The classic V-shaped glass with a long stem and wide rim used for martinis and fancy cocktails.
  • Coupe Glass: This glass has a shallow bowl and short stem, perfect for champagne cocktails and vintage-style drinks.
  • Highball Glass: Tall and skinny, highball glasses are used for mixed drinks like gin and tonics or mojitos that need lots of ice.
  • Old Fashioned Glass: Also known as rocks or lowball glasses, these sturdy cups are typically used for whiskey-based cocktails served over ice.
  • Margarita Glass: With its wide rim and unique shape, margarita glasses are popular for frozen or shaken margaritas.

How to Hold a Martini Glass, or Other Stemmed Glasses

Holding a cocktail glass might seem simple, but there are some things to keep in mind to show off your style. Note that this technique applies to any stemmed glass: champagne flutes, margarita glasses, coupe glasses, wine glasses, etc.

Here’s how to do it right:

  • Hold the stem: For most cocktail glasses, it’s best to hold the stem instead of the bowl. This keeps your hand from warming up the drink too quickly.
  • Use fingertips: Hold the stem gently between your thumb and index finger while using other fingers to support the base. This gives you more control and stability.
  • Avoid gripping the bowl: It might be tempting to hold onto the bowl, but it can leave fingerprints and make the drink warm up faster.

Enhancing Your Cocktail Experience

Holding a cocktail glass isn’t just about looks; it also adds to your overall enjoyment. Here are some tips to enhance your experience:

  • Keep it clean: Before serving or holding a cocktail glass, make sure it’s clean and free of marks or water stains. Dirty glasses can affect how your drink tastes and looks.
  • Chill the glasses: To keep your cocktail at the right temperature, chill the glass beforehand by putting it in the freezer or adding ice for a few minutes.
  • Take your time: Holding a cocktail glass creates a relaxed atmosphere, so take your time to enjoy the smell, taste, and presentation of your drink.

Matching Glassware to Cocktails

Choosing the right glassware for each cocktail can make it look even better and enhance its overall experience. Consider these suggestions:

  • Tall drinks like mojitos or gin and tonics are best in highball or old-fashioned glasses. Their height allows for plenty of ice and garnish.
  • Classic cocktails like martinis or cosmopolitans go well in martini glasses. The long stem keeps them cool while adding an elegant touch.
  • Frozen margaritas or daiquiris are often served in margarita glasses because of their wide rims that let you enjoy sips with salted edges.