When it comes to gin, the spirit is endlessly customizable. Whether you prefer something ripe and savory or light and refreshing, you can likely craft two wildly different cocktails with the same bottle. Of course, true aficionados know that it’s great to taste through several different brands until you find your favorite gin, as different aromas, flavors, and botanicals will abound.
That being said, some nights are also just a matter of crafting as many different cocktails with the same bottle as you can. For either situation, the gin may be the star, but it won’t get anywhere unless served in the right glassware.
The reason pros use different glasses for different drinks is one part tradition and ten parts technique. Many cocktails are “supposed to be served” in certain glasses because that’s what their creators decided, but these decisions are almost always guided by a knowledge of what your glassware can really do for your cocktail.
For example, the perfect Martini should be served in a chilled glass with a stem so your hands don’t warm the liquid. This will help that crisp, spirit-heavy drink perform at its best, so please avoid any strong impulse to serve it in a mason jar. Similarly, the Champagne-focused French 75 will retain its best texture and body in a Champagne flute.
To make things even easier we’ve created this list of the five most popular gin cocktails you should look out for, and the glassware you’ll need to serve them.
Read on to find out what staples you should secure for your bar shelf today.
As mentioned, serving a Martini is all about keeping your spirit cold. While the “Dirty Martini” prevails today in popular culture, the classic gin Martini (served up with a twist) will always be a staple in bar culture. Some may prefer to serve the gin version in a coupe, but there’s nothing as glamorous (and frankly James Bond-esque) as serving a Martini in a true martini glass.
For those situations, we recommend these Spiegelau Classic Martini Glasses, which include a beautiful etched base to set them apart from your standard martini glasses. Best of all, despite the glamour, they’re totally dishwasher safe.
The Gin & Tonic
While more a highball than a full-on cocktail, let’s be honest: The Gin & Tonic is perhaps the most pervasive gin drink out there. Nevertheless, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t elevate this simple drink with the right glassware, but the popularity of these glasses proves that this is something our readers probably already know.
These faceted, lead-free crystal G & T glasses are a hit with our fans because the wide mouth allows you to really enjoy all the aromas in your favorite gin, and show off your garnish game. Take our advice and try to grab a set soon before they sell out!
The French 75
One of the most iconic drinks in the gin scene, the French 75 is an elegant drink that’s incredibly easy to master at home. The traditional recipe calls for a mix of lemon juice, simple syrup, gin, and Champagne and is a refreshing pick for this spring and summer.
However, because of the use of Champagne, it’s important to select the right stemware that will keep those bubbles going so you can enjoy all the fizzy flavors this drink has to offer. That’s why we always reach for these lead-free crystal Champagne flutes, which will always enhance this serve.
Over the last few years, the Negroni has become incredibly popular. Despite this quick rise to fame in bar culture, it’s actually a very simple drink and a great DIY project for any home bartender. The most popular recipes combine equal parts Campari, sweet red vermouth, and gin, then garnish with an orange twist, but there are plenty of riffs you can use to find your own perfect version.
Similarly, Negroni glassware is just as customizable as the cocktail itself, and over the years we’ve become huge fans of these glasses. The amber glass provides such a beautiful contrast to this savory, red cocktail and is large enough to accommodate plenty of ice. Pop them in the dishwasher or show them off on your bar shelf, these glasses are as convenient as they are eye-catching!
The Gimlet is perhaps the most intimidating drink on this list — but undeservedly so. It’s a simple mix of gin, lime, and simple syrup all shaken and served in an elegant glass. Depending on your flavor preference, you can always skip the simple syrup and sub in a splash of soda water, but using a coupe glass is a must.
For those unfamiliar with this perfect, scooped little glass, it’s a great option for Gimlets, gin Martinis, the Clover Club, and Manhattans and will instantly elevate any drink. VinePair prefers these elegant lead-free crystal coupes for date night — or a little me time — because they’re as reliable as they are beautiful. Try serving any cocktail in them and you’ll see what we mean.