Updated September 2021
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Buying guide for best martini glasses

 The V-shaped martini glass is iconic, and keeping a set in your kitchen or bar can perfect the experience of a classic American cocktail. From a basic straight-stemmed glass to a more modern stemless design, there are many varieties of cocktail glasses available.

Glass is the usual choice of material, but it isn’t the only option. A crystal glass feels heavy in your hand and often has intricate designs. Plastic and copper glasses are less likely to break when you drop them and help to keep your drink cold. Many glasses have patterns on the bowl or unconventional stems that can make finding your drink at a party easier. You should also consider the volume you prefer in a martini glass, and whether you want a single glass or a whole set.

Martini glasses are considered by many to be an essential glass in any bar. However, they can be fairly expensive, particularly if you are looking for a full set of four glasses. Continue reading to learn more about the different types of martini glasses available.

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Martini glasses may be prone to spilling with their wide mouths, but with practice, you can look quite sophisticated as you enjoy your favorite drink.

Key considerations

Glass vs. crystal

Glass is more popular and less expensive than crystal and makes for a classic martini glass. Due to its fragility, martini glasses made of glass are usually slightly thicker than crystal ones.

Crystal is glass with added minerals that lend strength to the glass, allowing it to be cut into intricate shapes or made thin without risk of breaking. This can produce a prism effect when light passes through the crystal. The minerals in crystal also make it slightly heavier than glass. Some crystal may contain lead, but most modern crystal uses harmless minerals for the same effect.

Glass alternatives

Plastic is the least expensive option and is available in a variety of colors and patterns. Some plastic martini glasses are disposable, making them perfect for parties with large crowds.

Copper is generally more expensive than glass, but less expensive than crystal. It is heavy in your hand and highly durable. Many people enjoy its distinctive look and feel. These martini glasses can also be used as decoration.

Stainless steel offers a similar feeling to copper but is less expensive. While it doesn’t look quite as classy, it is still a durable and affordable option that won’t break it dropped. Both stainless steel and copper will stay cold far longer than glass or plastic.


Typically, martini glasses hold between 5 and 10 ounces. The V-shape of the bowl of a martini glass makes it easy to spill. As such, you should purchase glasses two ounces larger than your desired cocktail amount — so eight-ounce glasses will comfortably hold six-ounce martinis.

Miniature martini glasses can be fun to offer at a party and may be as small as two ounces. There are also extra-large glasses that may be up to 25 ounces in volume, which are equally fun at parties.


Patterns and coloring

Glass and plastic martini glasses come in several colors (aside from clear), which can be useful for telling drinks apart. These colors may stain the entire glass or only portions of the glass, giving it a distinctive look. Some glass martini glasses may be frosted or have designs etched into the glass.

Crystal glasses are often cut into intricate designs, which both make the glass stand out and give it a different feeling in your hand.

Stem designs

While straight stems are the traditional choice, stems come in different shapes, and many martini glasses are stemless.

Z-stems are shaped like the letter and have a fun, quirky style. Other stem shapes may be curved or split, but there’s no limit to the number of unique stem designs.

Stemless martini glasses may have a flat surface at the base of the bowl or may have a round bulb around the v-shaped bowl.

Dishwasher safe

Take note of whether a martini glass is dishwasher safe or must be washed by hand. Crystal and glass martini glasses often require hand-washing, as do copper glasses. If you would rather not do the dirty work yourself, look for glasses that are dishwasher safe.

Pieces per set

Martini glasses are sold individually, in pairs, or in sets of four. Sets tend to be less expensive per glass than purchasing individual glasses. If you purchase a glass individually, it may be difficult to find a matching set if the glass goes out of stock. Some sets may include as many as twenty glasses.

" Popular martini garnishes include olives, lemon peels, cucumber, and cocktail onions. "

Martini glass prices

Inexpensive: Low-priced martini glasses for $5 to $10 may be made of plastic or glass, though glass martini glasses in this range are usually sold individually. If you are looking for a large set of plastic martini glasses for a party, this is a good range to consider.

Mid-range: For $10 to $60 are martini glasses of all materials, including copper, stainless steel, and crystal. Many sets can be found in this range, including glasses with modern stemless designs.

Expensive: Martini glasses for $60 to $100 or more are usually made of cut crystal or hand-blown glass. The highest quality crystal martini glasses are often sold in pairs.

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Did you know?
While many plastic martini glasses are clear to imitate glass, few people will be fooled. Some companies take advantage of the malleable material by producing colorful or unusually shaped plastic glasses.

How to make a classic martini

You will need the following ingredients: ice, four parts vermouth, one part gin, and an olive or a lemon peel for garnish.

  • Put the martini glass in the freezer until it becomes frosted.
  • Fill a shaker with ice.
  • Stir or swirl the vermouth in the shaker.
  • Add gin, and stir or swirl briefly.
  • Strain the gin and vermouth into the cold martini glass and add the garnish.

There are many different ways to make a martini (such as substituting vodka for gin), but this recipe will produce a simple, classic cocktail.

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While the exact origin of the martini is often debated, most agree that it originated in the United States. Whether or not it came out of New York City is unclear, but it nonetheless remains a drink synonymous with the city.


Q. How should I store my martini glasses?
Your glasses should be stored either upright or hanging from a rack. It’s important to prevent the rim from touching anything, which could cause it to chip or break.

Q. What other cocktails can be served in a martini glass?
A Lemon Drop, Cosmopolitan, Sidecar, or Manhattan all taste great in a traditional martini glass.

Q. Can I keep my martini glasses in the freezer?
Yes, and many people do. This way, you can make yourself a cocktail on a whim and have a frosty glass at hand.

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