This post is part of our 'This Is Fire' series, where our editors and writers tell you about the products they can't live without in the kitchen.
When you first think of a martini glass, you likely think of the triangle-shaped martini glasses of the ‘90s, used for drinks like cosmopolitans, espresso martinis, and other signature beverages of the late-90s and early aughts.
For at-home drinkers, it’s a little added refinement to everyday drinking.
While that martini glass may reign as the most popular way to serve a martini, there’s one glass that predates it. Meet the Nick and Nora glass: an arched, petite, bell-shaped beauty that’s perfect for serving stirred or shaken cocktails. The name is a reference to the fictional well-heeled, crime-fighting couple Nick and Nora Charles of the 1930s Thin Man movies, which often featured them slugging back martinis (in between crime-fighting capers).
Because of this silver screen connection, the Nick and Nora glass will forever be connected to a nostalgic elegance, witty repartee, and a strong, yet diminutive drink. Perfect, if you'd like another!
Riedel Nick and Nora Cocktail Glasses
Beloved by bartenders
Size can make them limiting
Usually, I batch my martinis and pop them in the freezer, so that when guests arrive I can pull them out and pour everyone a small splash.
I particularly love these glasses because of the smaller size. I like serving a martini at the beginning of a night, but more than one can sometimes derail the night pretty quickly. So I like to serve what my grandmother calls a ‘snack-sized martini’ or a slightly smaller martini. Usually, I batch my martinis and pop them in the freezer, so that when guests arrive I can pull them out and pour everyone a small splash.
Bartenders love these glasses because of their shape. The slim form and curved rim keep the liquid in the glass—have you ever tried to walk somewhere with a full martini in a V-shaped glass? Good luck!
These glasses will also do a swell job of holding any stirred or shaken glasses outside of martinis. Keep it in the martini family—like a vesper, or a bamboo cocktail, or a whiskey-based cocktail, like a Manhattan or a Rob Roy.
The resulting glass, along with Riedel’s full line of cocktail-perfected glasses, is perfectly shaped and ushers a ‘tini right to your mid-palate at the perfect cadence.
You could collect vintage glasses, but it’s not always easy to find perfect vintage coupes in matching sets of three, four, five, or more. (And, you have to ensure they’re all without chips or scratches.) That’s why I’ve been keen on Riedel’s iterations. These glasses were developed in collaboration with bartending star Zane Harris. Together with the historic glassware brand, he researched and perfected every portion of the glass, from the size of the stem to the thickness of the lip to the quality of the glass. The resulting glass, along with Riedel’s full line of cocktail-perfected glasses, is perfectly shaped and ushers a ‘tini right to your mid-palate at the perfect cadence.
These glasses are machine-made, making them far more durable than delicate crystal, plus that construction ensures you can pop it on the top shelf of the dishwasher and let it air dry. Despite the recent construction, the shape has a nostalgic flair to it. Essentially, these glasses are elegant and elegantly sized for martinis, but also any sort of cocktail that deserves a stem. For at-home drinkers, it’s a little added refinement to everyday drinking.
Material: Glass | Number of Pieces: 2 | Dimensions: 3.03Lx3.03Wx6.02H (Inches) | Capacity: 4.94 ounces | Dishwasher-safe: Yes
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Kate Dingwall is a freelance writer whose work focuses on food, drinks, and travel. Her writing regularly appears in Liquor.com, Food & Wine, Wine Enthusiast, and beyond. She is based in Toronto and holds a Wine & Spirits Education Trust Level III qualification.