You grab a glass out of the kitchen cabinet without a lot of thought. Bar drinkware, like shot glasses, steins, flutes, and tumblers, is a whole different story. The right glass is a must for those who serve drinks!   

Skip bartender school and pull up a stool! Here’s a handy guide to everything the different types of drinkware. You’ll learn how much to serve and other fun facts about your favorite glasses.

What Are the Different Glasses for Alcohol?

Are you hosting a banquet, dinner party, or wedding reception? It helps to know how to serve your favorite drinks. The right glass can make all the difference!

Types of Bar Glasses

  • Shot Glass
  • Shooter
  • Pint Glass
  • Stein
  • Goblet
  • Chalice
  • Tulip
  • Pilsner
  • Weizen
  • Stout
  • IPA
  • Thistle
  • Stange
  • Growler
  • Cabernet
  • Burgundy
  • Bordeaux
  • Port
  • Zinfandel
  • Pinot Noir
  • Rosé
  • Grappa
  • Chardonnay
  • Balloon
  • Viognier
  • Flute
  • Margarita
  • Martini
  • Hurricane
  • Poco Grande
  • Sling
  • Cordial
  • Coupe
  • Zombie
  • Collins
  • Copper Mug
  • Highball
  • Lowball
  • Sour
  • Snifter
  • Wobble
  • Nosing
  • Old fashioned
  • Rocks
  • Irish coffee
  • Liqueur

Now that you know which glass is which, let’s get into the finer details like how much of what drink to pour inside. You’re going to be an alcohol aficionado before you know it!

Shot Glass, Shooter, & Jigger

Name:  Shot Glass

Year Invented:  1930s

Drinks to Serve Inside:  Tequila, whiskey, vodka, liqueur, rum, Jägermeister, cognac, brandy, schnapps

How Many Ounces in a Shot Glass?

1.5 fluid ounces

What is Shot?

A shot is an alcoholic drink that is consumed quickly in small increments. It can be drank straight or mixed with other ingredients.

The following mixers are great in shots:

  • Energy drinks
  • Lime or lemon juice
  • Seltzer
  • Cranberry juice
  • Orange juice
  • Grenadine
  • Cherries
  • Jell-O

You typically drink shots to celebrate something, whether it’s a wedding, excellent speech, or a recent promotion. Lemon Drops, Jell-O Shots, Kamikazes, and Fireballs are all very popular shots to order at a bar. 

Why is a Shot Called a Shot?

There are two popular theories as to why an alcoholic shot is named a “shot.” The first is that “shot” comes from the Old West where cowboys paid for whiskey by trading booze for bullets. Another is that the drink is named after Friedrich Otto Schott, a man who started a glassworks factory that made shot glasses in America.

How Many Ounces in a Shot?

The United States serves a fairly large shot at 1.5 ounces, but we aren’t the biggest lushes out there! The shot glasses in Italy, Japan, and Israel are over a half an ounce larger at 2.02 ounces.

Did You Know?  The word “shot” was first used in an article in The New York Times in the 1940s.

How Many Ounces in a Jigger?

A jigger is an hourglass shaped cup that bartenders use to measure out the proper amount of alcohol. The smaller side measures 1 ounce of alcohol, while the larger size is 1.5 ounces, which is the size of a traditional shot.

What is a Shooter?

A shooter is a mixed drink that sits between 2 to 3 ounces. It can be served in a shot glass or in a rocks glass, depending on what you order. You’ll often hear a shot and shooter used synonymously since shots can also be mixed with non-alcoholic ingredients.

What is the Difference Between a Shot and Shooter?

A shot can be drank directly without any mixers and is the smallest glass at 1.5 fluid ounces. Shooters, on the other hand, are between 2 to 3 ounces and are almost always mixed with other ingredients like energy drinks or lime juice.

The shooter is pretty recent in the world of alcohol. It was first used sometime in the 50s or 60s, serving lackluster spirits mixed with more delicious flavorings. It made people actually want to consume the tasteless alcohol that used to be served at bars!  

What is the Difference Between a Shot, Shooter, and Jigger?

A shot and shooter are glasses that you drink from, whereas a jigger is used to actually serve the drink. One other key difference is that jiggers are almost always made from stainless steel, while shot and shooter glasses can be made from a variety of materials like metal, glass, ceramic, or plastic.

Jigger a 1.5 ounce measuring cup used to make cocktails, shots, and other alcoholic drinks

Shot – a 1.5 ounce alcoholic drink that can be straight alcohol or mixed with other ingredients

Shooter a 2 to 3 ounce alcoholic drink that is always mixed with other ingredients to add flavor

Beer Glasses

Year Invented:  1920s

Drinks to Serve Inside:  Domestic beer, craft beer, specialty beers, imports, stouts, ales, porters, IPAs, ryes, wheats, sours, bitters, bocks, pilsners, lagers, soda, water

How Many Ounces in a Beer Glass?

Between 7 fluid ounces and 37 fluid ounces, depending on the glass

When Were Beer Glasses Invented?

Beer glasses were invented in the 1920s, ironically right at the start of Prohibition. The first one was a simple pint mug with a handle that came out in tandem with the rise of the brewing industry in the United States.

What Are the Different Types of Beer Glasses?

There are many types of beer you can drink, not limited to lagers, IPAs, stouts, porters, ales, and pilsners. With such a variety, it’s no surprise that there are many different glasses you can use.

Pint Glass

Number of ounces:  16 oz. – 20 oz.

Use for: Any type of beer, but particularly domestics, crafts, imports, lagers, and ales


Number of ounces:  12 oz. –  34 oz.+

Use for:  Any type of beer, but particularly ryes, wheats, sours, and bitters


Number of ounces:  12 oz. – 37 oz.

Use for:  Specialty beers, imports, lagers, bocks


Number of ounces:  13 oz. –  21 oz.

Use for:  Malty beers, Belgian ales, German bocks, wheat beers


Number of ounces:  13 oz.

Use for:  Malty beers, Belgian ales, German bocks, wheat beers


Number of ounces:  12 oz. –  16 oz.

Use for:  Hoppy or malty beers, strong beers, Scottish ales, Belgian ales, pales ales, sour ales, IPAs, double IPAs


Number of ounces:  15 oz. –  20 oz.

Use for:  Hoppy or malty beers, strong beers, Scottish ales, Belgian ales, IPAs


Number of ounces:  7 oz. or less

Use for:  Delicate beers with subtle malt and hop flavors


Number of ounces:  11 oz. – 14 oz.

Use for:  Craft beers, specialty beers


Number of ounces:  6 oz. – 8 oz.

Use for:  Stronger beers, IPAs, double IPAs, stouts, ales


Number of ounces:  17 oz. – 24 oz.

Use for:  Wheat beers, light beers, aromatic beers

Pilsner Glass

Number of ounces:  14 oz.

Use for:  Pilsners, pale lagers, light beers like Goose Island, Lagunitas, and Corona

Stout Glass

Number of ounces:  21 oz.

Use for:  Stouts, double IPAs, ales

IPA Glass

Number of ounces:  19 oz.

Use for:  IPAs, double IPAs

What is a Beer Growler?

A beer growler is a glass, ceramic, or stainless steel bottle that’s used to transport draft beers like ales, stouts, and porters. It’s primarily used in North America, but is also popular in other countries like Brazil and Australia.

Custom growlers make great souvenirs from breweries, pubs, and bars. They’re an elegant way to package craft beers and look good sitting on the shelves near the kegs.

Wine Glasses & Tumblers

Year Invented:  1400 (wine glasses)

Drinks to Serve Inside:  Cabernet, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Merlot, Brandy, Rosé, Sauvignon blanc, Zinfandel, Syrah, Rioja, Malbec, Bordeaux, Primitivo, Beaujolais, Chianti, Chenin blanc, sparkling wine, water

How Many Ounces in a Wine Glass?

12 fluid ounces to 14 fluid ounces

When Were Wine Glasses Invented?

The wine glass was invented in Venice around 1400. Wine had been a favorite drink for centuries before, but the start of glassblowing in medieval Europe is what really made the glasses popular.

Wine glasses sparkle thanks to the efforts of an English businessman named George Ravenscroft. Early glasses were prone to “glass disease” which caused them to crack and lose color. Ravenscroft’s solution was to use lead oxide, which made the glasses stronger and gave them a crystalline appearance.

What Are the Different Types of Wine Glasses?  

You can use a specific wine glass, depending on the type of wine you’re pouring. Cabernet, Bordeaux, Rosé, and many other wines have their own special glasses.

Red Wine Glasses






Pinot Noir



White Wine Glasses





Why Are Wine Glasses Shaped Like They Are?

Wine glasses have a wider base and a narrower top, and there’s a science to why! Some glasses are shaped for the sip to land on the tip of your tongue, while others aim for the roof of your mouth. Each area will elicit a different flavor response.

The glass’s shape is also designed to enhance the aroma of the wine you’re sipping. Wines can be floral, citrusy, fruity, vegetal, earthy, and a variety of other scents, depending on how they’re stored during the winemaking process.

Why Don’t You Fill Wine Glasses to the Top?

You don’t fill your wine to the top so you have room to swirl around the wine and release the aromas inside. The smell, after all, is almost as appealing as the taste!

It’s recommended that you fill a glass with white wine no more than halfway to the top. This mixes the wine with the right amount of oxygen to release the aromas.

It’s recommended that you fill a glass with red wine no more than one-third full. You can then swirl the wine around without worrying about any spills.

A wine glass will fit between 12 to 14 fluid ounces, but you want to only pour about 5 ounces into your cup. If you want more wine, it’s all about finding a bigger glass! No judgement.

What is a Stemless Wine Glass?

A stemless wine glass, or tumbler, is a rounded glass with no stem. It’s flat along the bottom so you can set it down on your table with ease.

You can fill your wine tumblers with either red or white wine. They’re also excellent for non-alcoholic drinks like soda, water, and juice.

Cocktail Glasses

Year Invented:  1925 (martini glass made its debut in Paris)

Drinks to Serve Inside:   Cocktail, Margarita, Martini, Mojito, Long Island Iced Tea, Manhattan, Daquiri, Bloody Mary, Cosmopolitan, Grappa, Tom Collins, Screwdriver, Hurricane, Tequila Sunrise, Sangria, Piña Colada, Champagne

Did You Know? According to Cocktail Hammer, you can place cocktail glasses in the freezer to chill them ahead of time. This is a great option if you want to serve ice cold drinks at your party or event.

When Was the Margarita Invented?

The story goes that the margarita was invented in 1938. A showgirl named Marjorie King wasn’t a huge fan of alcohol, but she liked tequila. The owner of the restaurant she was employed at mixed her a drink with lime juice and salt and the rest is history.

When Was the Martini Invented?

It’s a bit of a mystery as to when the martini was invented. Most historians believe it came from Martinez, California during the Gold Rush in the mid-1800s. A miner went to a bar to celebrate his day’s good fortune, and the bartender mixed him a drink that contained gin, vermouth, bitters, maraschino liqueur, and a hint of lemon. It became known as “The Martinez Special,” or later, “the martini.”

What Are the Different Types of Cocktail Glasses?

You can order a variety of cocktails from a bar, whether it’s martinis, screwdrivers, or frozen daiquiris. These can be served in a variety of pretty glasses that look awesome in Instagram pictures!  


Number of ounces:  9 oz. -12 oz.

Use for:  Margarita, Martini, Daiquiri, Tequila


Number of ounces:  9 oz. – 12 oz.

Use for:  Martini, Margarita, Cosmopolitan


Number of ounces:  15 oz. – 20 oz.

Use for:  Hurricane, Piña Colada, Singapore Sling, Blue Hawaii, Scorpion, Blue Lagoon, Peach Fuzz

Poco Grande

Number of ounces:  12 oz. – 13 oz.

Use for:  Piña Colada, Daiquiri, Sangria, slushy or frozen drinks


Number of ounces:  11 oz. – 14 oz.

Use for:  Sling, Long Island Iced Tea, Gin, Apple Smash, Big Chill, Orange Pastry


Number of ounces: 2 oz. – 3.5 oz.

Use for:  Derby Cocktail, Anisette Cocktail, Zen Clover, liqueurs, fruity drinks, carbonated drinks


Number of ounces:  5 oz. – 7 oz.

Use for:  Cocktails that are served without ice, Champagne, Manhattan, Boulevardier, Gimlet, Daiquiri, Sidecar


Number of ounces:  10 oz. – 12 oz.

Use for:  Zombie, Tequila Sunrise, Fuzzy Navel


Number of ounces:  10 oz. – 14 oz.

Use for:  Tom Collins, Mojito, Paloma, The Snitch, El Diablo, Mojito, Black Velvet, Vodka

Copper Mug

Number of ounces:  12 oz. – 16 oz.

Use for:  Moscow Mule, Ginger Mule, Mint Julep, Greyhound, Gin & Tonic, Sangria, ginger ale

Whiskey Glasses

Name:  Old Fashioned

Year Invented:  1881

Drinks to Serve Inside:  Old Fashioned, bourbon, whiskey, gin

How Many Ounces in an Old Fashioned Glass?

6 fluid ounces to 16 fluid ounces

What is an Old Fashioned?

An old fashioned is an alcoholic drink that contains bourbon or rye whiskey mixed with sugar cubes, and bitters. You can also mix in water if you don’t want the drink to be as strong.

The Old Fashioned has a special glass, coming in either a single or double version. The double version is particularly good for mixed drinks as there’s more space inside for a taller serving.

Name:  Highball

Year Invented: 1898

Drinks to Serve Inside:  Bourbon, whiskey, gin, Gin & Tonic, Dark & Stormy, Cape Codder, Screwdriver, Seabreeze, Tom Collins, White Russian

How Many Ounces in a Highball Glass?

10 fluid ounces to 16 fluid ounces

Why is it Called a Highball Glass?

The highball glass first came to be associated with whiskey in 1898. At that time, “ball” was bartender slang for “glass.” The word “high” was put in front indicating the size of the glass, which was typically between 8 ounces and 12 ounces. Today, you’ll see these glasses go even higher. People really like their whiskey!

Name:  Lowball or Rocks Glass

Year Invented:  1898

Drinks to Serve Inside:  Bourbon, whiskey, gin, scotch, Rum & Coke, Jack & Coke, Gin & Tonic, Dark & Stormy, Old Fashioned, Negroni, Sazerac, Amaretto

How Many Ounces in a Lowball Glass?

4 fluid ounces to 8 fluid ounces

What is the Difference Between a Highball and Lowball?

The biggest difference between highball and lowball glasses is the size. Highballs are bigger and contain about 1.5 oz. of whiskey, mixed with ice and maybe ginger ale.

Lowballs, or rock glasses, on the other hand, also contain 1.5 oz. of whiskey, but may also be made with soda, sugar, and bitters. These glasses are better for mixed drinks.

What Are Whiskey Stones?

Whiskey stones, or whiskey rocks, are reusable ice cubes that keep alcoholic drinks chilled without diluting the flavor. Real ice will melt and affect the whiskey’s taste, whereas whiskey stones are made from stainless steel or non-porous soapstone, which won’t dissolve.

How to Pour Alcoholic Drinks

Each glass for alcoholic drinks holds a specific number of ounces. If you’re a little rusty on your measurements, here’s a handy chart you can use for pouring!

Whether you’re a bartender for a living or you’re just playing one at a party, it’s helpful to know how much alcohol to serve. Keep this chart handy or print it out and hang it up on the wall if needed!

How Much Alcohol Do You Need to Get Drunk?

Everybody is built differently, which means some people will feel the effects of alcohol before others. Your BMI, or body mass index, is a good indicator of how fast you’ll get drunk.

If you’re drinking shots, wine, or beer, this is how fast you can expect to get intoxicated:

*This chart is courtesy of information provided by 1 drink is equivalent to 1 shot of liquor, 12 oz. beer, or 5 oz. glass of wine. Other factors might affect how the alcohol affects you.

The following might also affect how fast you feel drunk:

  • Age – Young people have less tolerance to alcoholic drinks than older people.
  • % of alcohol in your drink – There are some drinks that contain a higher alcohol percentage than others. You might feel drunk after just one drink if you consume something with a lot of alcohol.
  • Preexisting health conditions – Medical ailments may impair your body’s ability to metabolize alcohol, which could mean you feel its effects after less drinks.
  • How fast you’re drinking – If you’re having shots to celebrate a birthday, you might feel drunk faster. This is because you’re not giving your body a chance to metabolize the alcohol.
  • Whether or not you’ve eaten – An empty stomach is going to absorb the alcohol a lot faster than if you’ve had a good meal. You should never drink without having eaten beforehand!

Just remember, if you are knocking back a few, get a designated driver! Your driving skills are impaired after just 1 drink, and you should definitely never operate a vehicle if you’re legally intoxicated. Also avoid handling dangerous items…or texting your ex.

Final Thoughts

Who would have thought there are so many different glasses for your drinks? The right cup can change the taste of the drink, and the serving size can make a difference as to how fast you feel the effects of the alcohol.

Keep this guide handy if you’re ever serving alcoholic drinks. And remember to drink responsibly!


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About the author

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is a promo expert with over four years of experience in the industry. She is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products and has had work published for the Promotional Products Association International and the Advertising Specialty Institute.