Trends in drinking glasses have changed substantially over the past decade. Who would have guessed that the double-wall vacuum flask, first invented in 1892, would suddenly have a resurgence? But one thing that has never fallen out of fashion is the search for the best whiskey glasses. Whether you need them for your dinner party place settings, the office barware set, or just relaxing on the couch at night, having drinkware that matches the occasion is almost as important as the spirits you pour inside. Here is a list of the 18 best whiskey glasses for every occasion, ranging from innovative newcomers to the finest antiques.
Silver Rim Engraved Whiskey Glasses
For centuries, silver has been the chosen metal for upscale, high-end barware. These lowball tumblers are a great example of how the color and sheen of this precious element create a striking level of appeal. I love how the wide ribbon of silver slopes down the exterior rim of the bowl, and perfectly balances with the deep brown of the whiskey in the bottom.
Whisky Glasses with Personalized Leather Wrap
Leather and whisky have been dear companions for who knows how many years. Just think of all those old movies where a cowboy opens his canteen to take a swig of the good stuff while resting high in his saddle, looking over a treacherous canyon. These classic rocks glasses are wrapped in authentic saddle-brown leather. They look great, and the wrap keeps the heat of your hand from changing the temperature of the drink inside.
Monogrammed Hurricane Glasses
You might associate hurricane glassware with frozen drinks, but depending on the size and shape, they are suitable for drinking neat liquor, too. These footed tulip whiskey glasses are made in the well-known curvy shape of a hurricane, but the bowl is designed to confine the aromas of the whiskey in the bottom and enhance your tasting experience.
The Man The Myth The Legend Whiskey Glass
Not all novelty whiskey glasses are made of disposable plastic. This one is sculpted from thick, crystal clear glass, with a base that gives new meaning to “on the rocks.” The engraving checks off three well-known components of masculinity, all with the drinkers name personalized at the top.
Faceted Whiskey Tumblers
One of my favorite new takes on the classic lowball is facets. This pair starts at the top with a traditional round rim, then moves into flat sides that meet near the bottom for a faceted-diamond-like base. At an epic white or gold party, these would make wonderful punch cups, as well.
Simple Swirled Whiskey Glass
Sometimes all it takes is a simple design element to elevate the look of modern barware. This double old fashioned is embossed with a single, sophisticated seam of glass that spirals from the base to the rim. Anytime I drink from this glass, I nearly hypnotize myself by swirling my Sazerac Rye around again, and again, and again.
Circa 1890 Hawkes Antique Whiskey Glasses
Cut crystal double old fashioned glasses have a look that predates the bourbon boom of mid 20th century America. Found on the tables of everyone from the British upper classes to the crowned heads of Europe. Hawkes Crystal has been around since 1890 and is currently hand-cut in Tiffin, Ohio. This glassware set is one of the earliest examples of the fine craftsmanship implemented by the founder, Thomas Gibbons Hawkes.
Whiskey Freeze Cooling Cups
This is cool barware. Literally! Made for more casual occasions, these freezable plastic tumblers chill your neat liquor without the dilution of ice. My favorite place to use these is poolside since glassware is dangerous to use around concrete and water. I’m a huge fan of the silicone rubber grip around the base, which keeps your fingers away from the frozen surface of the cups.
Lalique Femmes Antiques Tumblers
A thing of beauty is a joy forever, and that’s certainly true for this etched barware. The walls are cut with the silhouettes of the Grecian female form. A frosted finish gives them a haunting beauty. I know this article is about the best whiskey glasses, but these Greek sirens make me thirsty for ouzo.
Aged to Perfection Double Old Fashioned Glass
For me, the classic flared design of a DOF is the best whiskey glass shape. DOF stands for “double old fashioned,” the technical name for these types of whiskey glasses. The name distinguishes it from other shapes, like tulip, snifter, and highball. I really love the words “Aged to Perfection,” on this one. It references the fact the age of whiskey is a big determiner of quality and makes it the perfect gift for dads and grandpas celebrating a milestone birthday.
Neptune Antique Baccarat Crystal
These timeless Baccarat Crystal glasses manage to walk the line between ultra-modern and centuries-old. The small, almost indistinguishable feet provide stability to the round bottom while allowing the design to slope inward at an unrivaled angle. These would be great crystal punch cups too, and there’s a matching bowl if you can track one down.
Ceramic Whiskey Tumbler
It’s unusual to find stylish whiskey tumblers made out of alternative materials, so I immediately fell in love with these small ceramic cups. Technically they can be used for anything, but they hold a comparable amount to other DOFs. The ceramic provides a layer of insulation if you are drinking warm cocktails in the winter.
Dublin Cut Whiskey Glasses
For whiskey lovers that are always looking for a great value, this Dublin cut set is perfect. The high-end design gives you the style of more expensive sets with a lower price tag. You won’t get the clarity of premium crystal, but you also won’t have to spend a hundred bucks trying to replace one if Uncle Martin has a few too many.
Engraved Presentation Set with Decanter
Nothing says “cultured & refined” quite like a glassware set with a matching decanter. Not only does it provide elegance when serving, you won’t have to look at that Knob Creek bottle sitting in the background when someone snaps a photo. This presentation set is filled with drinkware essentials like a serving tray and a stopper for the liquor decanter. The engraving is a nice touch, too.
Black Diamond and Gold Whiskey Glasses
This fine barware comes to us via my personal home collection. A friend found these at an antique store and it took a bit of research to track down the origins. The harlequin design originated in the 1950s and was discontinued in the 70s, made by a company called Federal Glass. From the rounded bowls to the golden carrier, you can just see Mom & Dad heading back to the den for a night of Gin Rummy with the neighbors.
Home State Custom Glass Serving Tray
For bourbon drinkers from Kentucky, you don’t have to work too hard to show off your “Drink Local” pride. For the rest of us, we need a little help. This lowball glass set comes with a wooden serving tray cut in the shape of a US state. Wisconson is shown in the picture, but I’m not sure if there are a lot of distilleries these. If not, you can always be proud of being from Wisconsin with drinking whiskey from Tennessee.
Bronze Rim Rocks Glasses
Some bar glasses simply fit the mold, and others are true originals. I’ve never seen anything like these bronze rim rocks glasses. You almost can’t say that these have a bronze rim because the finish takes up nearly half of the glass. Most suitable for private jets, boutique hotel rooms, and binge watching Mad Men over a holiday weekend.
Cocktail Coupe Glasses
At first, I wasn’t a big fan of the couple glass. They don’t have the solid feel in your hand of a tumbler, and you have to practice a little to drink from them without looking like an 18-year-old having his first Manhattan. But over time, my love has really grown. Sometimes called a drink saucer, a coupe is ideal for late night cocktail parties where you want to sip, rather than take shots.