Rocks Glass vs. Old Fashioned Glass: Which Should I Buy?

It may come down to how you prefer to drink your favorite spirits

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The Spruce Eats / Zackary Angeline

Rocks glasses and Old Fashioned glasses both serve a few of the same purposes. They are both used for neat pours of your favorite (usually brown) spirit or a single spirit on the rocks. They are also both used for cocktails served with ice—most famously for the Old Fashioned glass, the Old Fashioned cocktail. And while both these vessels can serve a variety of purposes well, they have their differences.

The main difference between the two, typically, is the size. Of the two popular versions in each of the styles we are highlighting, one is a standard, 9-ounce rocks glass while the other is larger in capacity, allowing the glass to double as a stirring vessel.

What else defines these two glasses? In order to help you find which glassware is right for you, we explored the slight differences and compared the top brands of both styles to help you make that choice. Read on to find out more.

Main Takeaways

Rocks Glass
  • 6 to 8 ounces in capacity

  • Used for neat pours and single-rock drinks

Double Old Fashioned Glass
  • 12 to 14 ounces in capacity

  • Use it for cocktails or to build drinks

Rocks Glass vs Old Fashioned Results

Winner: The Old Fashioned Glass

We’re keen on the Spiegelau Perfect Serve Double Old Fashioned Glass because of its versatility. For those who are focused on making a mean Old Fashioned, this glass is larger in capacity than Riedel’s offering, but that roominess gives you the space to build the drink right in the glass. If we’re talking Old Fashioned, that means the room to add sugar and citrus, muddle, plop in ice cubes, and mix well to integrate. This glass has all of that, plus a lead-free crystal design.

Keep reading for our in-depth comparison of the Riedel Drink Specific Rocks Glass versus the Spiegelau Perfect Serve Double Old Fashioned Glass.

Spiegelau Perfect Serve Double Old Fashioned Glasses

Spiegelau Perfect Serve Double Old Fashioned Glasses


Who It's For: The Cocktail Lover

You'll want to have this lowball set on hand the next time you're in the mood for a negroni, an Old Fashioned, or a whiskey sour. Or buy a set and place it on your table as a fancy water glass alternative. If you do use them for a single spirit, they’re ideal for larger pours or drinks packed with ice—so the double Old Fashioned glass comes into play. They are thick, scratch-resistant, and weighty, with a crystal-cut design that looks beautiful on display when they're not in use. They're at once elevated and utilitarian, and they're even dishwasher-safe!

Price at time of publication: $57.99/4

Capacity: 13 ounces | Material: Glass | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes | Quantity: 5

Riedel Crystal Rocks Glass, Set of 2

Riedel Crystal Rocks Glass, Set of 2


Who It's For: The Spirits Purist

Prefer your drinks more simple? This glass is four ounces smaller than Spiegelau’s offering. It’s actually the original (think early 1900s) size of a standard Old Fashioned glass, but nowadays, people prefer larger glasses.

These glasses are gorgeous—flat-bottomed and lightweight with a wide brim. They're weighty enough to feel heavy in your hand and they hold up while you’re giving a spirit an aggressive swirl. The size is perfect for exactly three ounces of liquid and a 2 by 2-inch ice cube. (And, feel free to pour those two ounces—the etching flares at the bottom of the glass where the two-ounce mark falls, so you don’t have to measure.) When it’s clean-up time, these glasses are dishwasher-safe and stackable. 

Price at time of publication: $20/each

Capacity: 9.9 ounces | Material: Machine-made crystal | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes | Quantity: 2

The Attributes 

Size and Versatility

Winner: Spiegelau Double Old Fashioned Glass

The Riedel glasses are great. They really are—they’re my go-to for sipping a few fingers of scotch as a nightcap or a splash of vermouth on the rocks. But compared to Spiegelau’s Double Old Fashioned Glass, these aren’t nearly as versatile. Speigelau’s glasses are 13 ounces larger, giving more room for ice and a variety of cocktails served on the rocks like a Sazerac, a margarita, a White Russian, and other beverages that require ice.

Mixing Drinks

Winner: Spiegelau Double Old Fashioned Glass

Let’s take the Old Fashioned, for example. When you build the classic cocktail, you take a glass, add in sugar (or simple syrup), bitters, and citrus. Next, you muddle the mixture to express the citrus and dissolve the sugar. Add ice, whiskey, and stir until the outside of the glass is frosted and the flavors are integrated. While you can certainly do all this in the Riedel glass, it reaches capacity quite quickly and I find there’s not ample space to stir right in the glass.


Winner: A Tie!

Despite how small Riedel’s glasses are, standing just over 3 inches tall, the glass still has heft to it, plus a wide base that gives it a sturdy feel in your hand. As does Speigelau’s double old-fashioned glass—it’s sturdy, weighted, and feels expensive. Both glasses succeed in this attribute.


Winner: Riedel Rocks Glass

These two glasses both have the hallmarks of a high-end Old Fashioned glass, with cut-crystal fluting up the sides, a weighted bottom, and quality clarity. But Riedel’s thoughtful updates give it design bonus points: there are markers to flag two ounces to allow you to build a more precise cocktail, and bartender-slash-designer Zane Harris also refreshed the size of the lip and the angles of the glass (note it angles ever-so-slightly inwards).

Beyond aesthetics, both glasses are dishwasher-safe and highly durable (though handwashing will extend their lifespan).

Is the Spiegelau Double Old Fashioned Glass Winner Worth the Price?

Yes! At time of publishing, the glass sits at under $15 a glass. They’re use-it-all-the-time glasses for whiskey, water, cocktails, or whatever else you feel like sipping on. With scratch-free finishing, durable construction, and snazzy design that will stay in style for years to come.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Kate Dingwall is an experienced wine and spirits writer and a working sommelier. She has an extensive glassware collection, including highballs, collins, and plenty of coupes.