Amid the growing trade of influencer marketing, and the swelling ranks of cocktail influencers, even glassware hasn’t been spared that very modern pressure of adapting to social media–era life. Coupes and rocks glasses have always had to be functional and durable, but now — like all of us — they must also look good enough for the ‘Gram. One might not expect, though, the darling of drinks-focused social media to be a $3 glass from IKEA. And yet, one particular rocks glass has come to rule them all, earning along the way its very own hashtag. Welcome to the world of #thatikeaglass.
Perhaps you know the glass in question. If you spend any amount of time trawling the #drinkstagram you will undoubtedly have come across it, knowingly or otherwise. Named the FRASERA, the 10-ounce rocks glass stands out with its attractive faceted detailing and overall appearance that punches above everything else at the $3 price range. Those with an eye for detail, or who delight in collecting glassware, may also notice it’s thinner-than-average base for a rocks glass, and slightly thicker rim.
“I’m happy to hear that FRASERA are appreciated by the bartender community,” Sarah Fager, the glass’s designer, says in an email. “I had a sense since I see them around.”
Fager first got the brief for the glass in 2010, with the whiskey glasses of JR Ewing, from the TV show “Dallas,” used for inspiration. When designing the FRASERA, she wanted it to be large enough for several ice cubes to clink around in. The “facet cuts,” meanwhile, were added to make the glass sparkle when light hit them.
The feedback from IKEA shoppers is overwhelmingly positive. The product’s online listing contains dozens of reviews, with a 4.8-star average rating. Most reviewers compliment the glass on its weighty feeling and the way in which it elevates whatever’s in the glass to seem more special. “Very Mad Men chic!” one commenter writes, surely to the delight of Fager.
In further tribute to the glass’s functionality, not everyone uses the FRASERA for sipping whiskey neat or fixing an Old Fashioned. One reviewer comments that they bought their glasses four years ago for storing makeup brushes (though they’ve since apparently purchased two more for drinking whiskey). Another writes, “I put 2 golf balls in it and put it on the counter, it looks really cool!!!!!!!”
Yet it is in the cocktail world and on Instagram in particular where the FRASERA has reached iconic status. And that’s thanks in no small part to Portland-based home bartender and photographer Jordan Hughes, better known as Instagram’s @highproofpreacher.
Hughes, who also contributes to VinePair, realized nearly two years ago that he wasn’t the only influencer sharing photos of the FRASERA, prompting him to come up with the hashtag #thatikeaglass. Hughes started tagging old photos featuring the glass with the hashtag, then shared his findings on his story feed, much to the amusement of many fellow influencers.
“It’s become a bit of a running joke,” Hughes says. “For every Instagram or TikTok account that makes cocktails, you’re guaranteed to see that glass on there. It’s not like we all got together and talked about this. It just kind of became ubiquitous.”
The hashtag itself features in a modest 61 posts at the time of writing, but the geographical range of accounts embracing the glass speaks to its popularity, with cocktail influencers from Aberdeen, Scotland to Eau Claire, Wis., showcasing the FRASERA in the past year.
The glass’s size and shape make it a natural fit for neat pours and whiskey cocktails, so it’s no surprise to see an abundance of Boulevardiers and Old Fashioned variations tagged. And it doesn’t end there. The FRASERA has also worked its way into original gin- and mezcal-based cocktails; it’s even infiltrated the no-ABV movement.
Arizona-based Jason Plummer, who shares photos and recipes under the handle @barrelageddad, bought his first FRASERA in 2016, during a run-of-the-mill furniture shopping trip to IKEA. Being a cocktail enthusiast who had recently started sharing photos of his creations on Instagram, he gravitated toward the glassware section, where he stumbled across the FRASERA.
“I saw them and thought, ‘Those are the perfect size for an Old Fashioned,’” he says. “The pattern on the side — the faceting — would be a nice way to catch some interesting light.”
Plummer had no idea of the glass’s ubiquity until Hughes created the hashtag. Had he known that everyone was using them, he likely wouldn’t have bought them, Plummer says. But the thought that he’d uncovered an undiscovered gem only added to the appeal.
“That’s how you feel when you first pick up that glass,” Hughes says. “Until you realize everyone and their mom has it.”
Most of us probably wouldn’t give two thoughts as to whether our social media “followers” also share our glassware. But for influencers posting to an audience of tens of thousands, uniqueness is a key consideration.
“I source all my glassware for the most part from thrift stores,” says Hannah Chamberlain, who shares cocktail content on Instagram and TikTok as @SpiritedLA. “I even get nervous at Crate and Barrel because I worry people are going to call me out.”
And yet, even Chamberlain has been the once-proud owner of a FRASERA. While she doesn’t recall the price she paid, Chamberlain picked hers up from a thrift store, blissfully unaware she’d actually purchased a $3 IKEA glass. Things remained that way until she, too, came across Hughes’s hashtag. “That was the first time I realized how ubiquitous the glass was,” she says.
Chamberlain’s FRASERA has long since been lost to the world, and she believes it must have broken during cleaning at some point. (Hughes and Plummer, on the other hand, talk up its durability, both noting that theirs have even survived multiple moves.) Regardless, she says knowing that it’s from IKEA, and discovering the glass is not, indeed, unique, means she would no longer use it in photos even if it were still in her possession. Here, Hughes and Plummer agree: Now that the #thatikeaglass cat’s out of the bag, its appeal for cocktail Instagram has subsided.
Hughes says his still resides in his glassware cabinet, though in a sentence that would make Sheriff Woody shed a tear, adds: “I’m pretty sure it’s towards the back.” Meanwhile, Plummer’s family now uses his FRASERAs as the go-to glasses for breakfast milk and juice. On the rare occasions they see a higher-proof entry, it’s for soirees with friends rather than cocktail shoots.
There’s something quite sad about the FRASERA losing fans now that its popularity is out there in the open — like an indie rock band suddenly losing all cachet after being signed to a mainstream label, only this time around few appear keen to state, “I liked them before they were big.” Still, the FRASERA’s apparent durable staying power, and its place for some on the breakfast rather than cocktail bar, probably wouldn’t upset its designer.
“My aim with the design was that it should be a sturdy glass that you could fill up either with milk or cocktail,” Fager explains. “I was pregnant at the time, and I had a craving for milk. Now these glasses are favorites when we do smoothies [for] the kids.”