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There’s a reason the martini is known as the king of cocktails. It’s elegant, easy to make, and decidedly cool, thanks to the likes of James Bond and Frank Sinatra.
Whether you prefer vodka or gin, all will end up sitting pretty in a tall martini glass. But just as you can choose from a rainbow of garnishes—olives, lemon, cucumber, and more—the glassware choices for a martini glass are equally seemingly endless, from standard V-shaped vessels and more rounded Nick and Nora glasses to cut crystal, coupes, and even stemless varieties.
Here are the best martini glasses.
Best Overall: Riedel Extreme Martini Glass
Any of the glasses on this list will do an excellent job of holding your gin or vodka martini, but Riedel’s statuesque glass is particularly elegant at nearly 7 inches tall and holds an impressive 8 ounces of liquid.
If you’re not one to garnish your drink, this glass needs none; it has a chic, slightly curving shape that makes a statement all on its own (and helps thwart the splashes and spills that you often get with a traditional V-shaped glass). Though it stylishly thin, this glass is dishwasher safe.
Capacity: 8 ounces | Height: 6.87 inches
Best Stemless: Dragon Glass Stemless Martini
Keeps drinks at a consistent temperature
Resistant to breakage
Not a classic martini glass
Are you prone to knocking over glasses or cracking stems? A stemless martini glass will help dodge any possible shatters and snaps. And when it comes to stemless glasses, this is one of the most aesthetically pleasing options on the market, offering a floating, angular design. A sturdy base keeps the glass stable in your hand and on a table.
Another benefit of this floating design is that it insulates your cocktail, keeping the heat of your hand and outside temperatures away from your glass, thanks to extra-thick walls. Each glass holds 7 ounces—enough for a strong martini, cosmopolitan, or other drink served up.
Capacity: 7 ounces | Height: 4.3 inches
How do you garnish a martini? “I try to be thoughtful when garnishing any drink; What does it add to the experience/beverage, is it sustainable, and is it visually appealing?” says London House Chicago’s food and beverage manager Ashley Smith. “A good rule of thumb is to keep it simple.”
Best Coupe: Estelle Glass Hand Blown Cocktail Coupes
Wash by hand
Add stylish, colorful glasses to your happy hour with this option from Estelle Glass. These shallow-bottom coupes sit high in the sky thanks to long, elegant stems and come in a range of sherbet-hued shades. Available in a set of six, you can opt for one color or mix and match the smoke, mint, and blush.
The quirky design can be credited to the designer’s grandmother, who used to collect carnival glass and other colored antiques from vintage shops to show them off at dinners. Note that they do need to be washed by hand.
Capacity: 7.25 ounces | Height: 4 inches
When it comes to garnishing a martini, Grant G. Gedemer, The Godfrey Hotel Chicago’s director of food of beverage, points to the classics: olives or a twist of lemon. For olives, he says queen-size pimiento-stuffed olives are the standard, but blue cheese-stuffed are popular, too. Add two or three to a martini pick. If you prefer a twist of lemon, use a citrus peeler to get nice-sized strip. "You will want to pinch it over the martini with the peel side facing the drink," Gedemer says, "Then rub the peel around the rim of the glass before dropping it in.”
Best Insulated: BruMate Margtini
Not a conventional martini glass
A martini is a drink for any occasion, but sometimes, that may not be in a traditional setting. If you’re out in the elements, opt for a glass that will protect your drink from the heat, dirt, dust, or whatever you’re facing.
That’s where BruMate comes in. Its ultra-durable martini glass is designed to keep your drink cold and protected. Features include a removable, splash-proof lid with a slide tab for drinking, an insulated design to protect from heat, and a condensation-proof exterior. Even though the glass is durable, the slim rim still sips elegantly, and the 10-ounce capacity has more than enough room for a drink plus ice.
Capacity: 10 ounces | Height: 4.25 inches
Best Crystal: Nude Coupe Glass
Crystal is typically considered the gold standard for glassware. Why? Not only is the material lightweight and classy, but it's incredibly durable and tough, so you can make thinner, more refined glasses from the material.
These lead-free crystal glasses from perch sky-high, holding 6.5 ounces per glass—enough room for a martini with room for sloshing. Notable bars including the Artesian in London use these glasses because of their saucer-shaped coupe and balanced feel. Even though they're high-quality crystal, they can be put in the dishwasher.
Capacity: 6.5 ounces | Height: 8.25 inches
Best Set: Riedel Veritas Moscato/Coupe/Martini Glass
Overly large capacity
If you’re serious about cocktail making, this set from Riedel includes all you need for a luxurious night in. The four-pack of rounded coupe glasses features elegant stems, a high-end pourer for bottles of spirits and wine, and a polishing cloth for keeping the glass shiny.
These crystal glasses are some of Riedel’s finest martini offerings, with light-as-air glass, a long stem, and an elegant, rounded design ready for martinis, Champagne, sparkling wine, and more. The glass has a deep, round bowl and a tiny, fragile stem that feels lightweight in your hands. Just note that they are highly breakable.
Capacity: 8 ounces | Height: 7 inches
"I like the traditional martini glass shape, but I generally prefer a smaller size with a smaller serve so that I can enjoy it cold till the last drop. If the drink is too large, it may take a while to finish, and the martini may warm up too much." — Abe Stevens, Founder and Head Distiller at Humboldt Vodka
Best Budget: Cocktail Kingdom Leopold Coupe
Designed for cocktails
This standard coupe checks off a lot of boxes: Although it's affordable, it's still sturdy. It holds a standard 6 ounces, so it's big enough for classic cocktails served up, like Manhattans and daiquiris, or a 4-ounce pour of martini or other smaller cocktails. The extra room will allow you to sip without spilling.
These coupes are designed to last. They’re made of sturdy glass and can be run through the dishwasher, making them excellent for klutzy drinkers, high-volume bars, and party environments. The glass is thick, but not thick enough to look cheap.
Capacity: 6 ounces | Height: 5 inches
Best Nick and Nora: Riedel Nick and Nora Cocktail Glasses
Modern construction, vintage design
Won’t slip or spill easily
While these may not seem like a traditional martini glass, the shape nods back to the classic 1934 flick, "The Thin Man," in which Nick and Nora Charles fight crime while imbibing through their fair share of martinis. Today’s Nick and Nora glasses boast a signature curved silhouette and slim form. Bartenders love them because liquid is less likely to slosh around while sipping and carrying due to the angular shape.
Riedel’s take is made in collaboration with spirits expert Zane Harris, who spent years researching how to make the perfect cocktail glasses for every drink. Harris designed the lip to coax the cocktail perfectly to your palate. The glass is machine made to make it a cost-effective way to serve a crowd, but note the vintage lean: There’s delicate etchings and a gold rim that give these glasses a nostalgic flair. Outside of martinis, try these with stirred amaro drinks and other digestif-style sips.
Capacity: 4 ounces | Height: 6 inches
"I like to pre-chill my glass, and if I'm using ice cubes from my freezer, I like to rinse them off first to get rid of any taste,” says Stevens. “I don't mind if the ice is a little wet to start, which might water the drink down a bit, but it also results in a smoother martini."
What to Look for in Martini Glasses
Martini glasses can be made of many materials. While crystal is pricier, it’s sturdier and will last longer. Glass is cheaper, but more fragile. Then there's the tumbler-style BruMate, for example, which is made from metal—a solid choice if you're clumsy or plan on taking your drink on a voyage beyond the bar top.
Size matters. A 5-ounce glass can hold a small martini, but you want enough to allow for sloshing of the liquid to avoid splashes and spills. On the other hand, if a glass has a larger, 7- to 8-ounce capacity, you may have too much room and the glass will look empty.
Much like a wine glass, the thinness of the lip matters. A thinner lip will create a more elevated, enjoyable drinking experience while a thicker lip may feel bulky and look less refined.
How do you hold a martini glass?
Hold your glass by the stem, not the bowl. Holding a glass by the bowl will warm your drink.
How do you chill a martini glass?
When you’re making your martini in a shaker or mixing glass, add a scoop of ice to the martini glass to let it chill. Then, discard before pouring the drink. Alternatively, store a few glasses in your fridge.
How full should a martini glass be?
A martini glass should have ample room at the top—roughly 1 ounce per glass.
What drinks are served in a martini glass?
Any drink served up can be poured into a martini glass, such as Manhattans, gimlets, daiquiris, Vespers, and more.
Why are martini glasses shaped that way?
Martini glasses are designed with air exposure in mind. The more air that reaches the glass, the more the spirits will open up, which is especially crucial with a spirit-forward cocktail, like a martini. The stem also keeps hand heat away from the glass, allowing the drink to stay chilled.
How do you rim a martini glass?
Fill a small plate with your rimming salt of choice. Rim the edge of the glass with citrus, and dip the martini glass in salt. Proceed to make the drink as normal.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Kate Dingwall is a freelance writer whose work focuses on food, drinks, and travel. She is based in Toronto and holds a Wine & Spirits Education Trust Level III qualification. She loves a good martini.