Whether hosting a cocktail party, stocking the shelves at your restaurant, or just a bachelor with an impressive mini bar, proper glassware is necessary to suit every type of drinker. Indeed, you would never serve a nice Cabernet out of a pint glass, and the same logic applies to whiskeys. There is actually method behind the madness to the endless variety of drinking vessels.
In a hurry? I like the Luminarc Barcraft Rocks Glasses at Amazon.
Different drinks, different glasses
The container that you pour your beverage into should maximize its aromas and flavors. The aesthetics should make it comfortable to drink from and sturdy enough to endure. We can even go as far to say, the shape of the glass can actually speed up the rate that your guest is drinking (which in a business) you could easily understand the benefits.
On shooting and sipping whiskey
The Old Fashion glass or ‘rocks glass’ is most commonly used to serve spirits and cocktails with ice (‘on the rocks’). Rocks glasses are a version of the tumbler, signifying a glass with a flat bottom. They are widely used professionally and domestically for their sturdiness, versatility, and affordability.
The standard rocks glass has a thick base and a broad opening. The thickness of the base allows for mashing, which in the bartender world is called muddling (an Old Fashion, where the glass gets its name, is a classic cocktail that muddles sugar with bitters). Most rocks glasses hold 6 – 10 US fluid ounces.
The rocks glass is the ideal choice for whiskey drinkers, whether your poison be, scotch, Irish, rye or bourbon. Most bourbon drinkers prefer their whiskey directly, with ice or neat (no ice), hence the importance of the rocks glass. The width of the glass allows for large ice cubes, which melt slowly – a must for whiskey drinkers.
When choosing the appropriate rocks glass for your needs, consider price, function, and durability. Let’s look at some of the better rocks glasses available on the market for a thoroughly enjoyable bourbon experience.
Rox and Roll 4-Piece Old Fashioned Glass Set
A beautiful glass is an absolute necessity when pouring a fine glass of whiskey, the Rox and Roll glass is just that. But it takes it a step further, with a design that brings your the entire whiskey experience together, you will instantly find yourself loving this glass.
The dimple in the bottom of the glass allows the included stainless steel ball to roll around the glass, releasing the aroma of your drink. Included in the set is; the rocks glass, a stainless steel ice ball, a canvas for the ball, and tongs.
Integrity Bottles 10oz Engraved Rocks Glass
“That’s what I do. I drink, and I know things.” – Tyrion Lannister
Are you a Game of Thrones fan? Yeah me too, and Tyrion is by far my favorite character since the death of…… well….. nevermind. That is why I love this glass.
It is engraved with the famous quote Tyrion muttered to Missandei when she questioned how he knows something. And by the way it is perfectly etched, no smudging and no crooked letters, it’s just flawless.
The glass is also high-quality, is dishwasher safe (although, I wouldn’t dream of running this through there) and comfortably holds 8-ounces of your preferred beverages. This is a perfect gift for a GOT fan that also drinks and knows things – like myself. Thank you to my beloved fiance for getting me this glass. MUA!!
The Stylish European Design Crystal Glass by Ravenscroft Crystal
Want to impress your friends without breaking the bank? The Stylish European Design Crystal Glass by Ravenscroft Crystal is a more premium glass perfect for enjoying whiskey at home. The base is sturdy, giving the glass stability and balance, and the straight lines give the glasses a sleek feel. The bubble decoration in the base adds a touch of elegance. Take care with these glasses, however – they should be hand washed as the dishwasher can crack the crystal.
Luminarc Barcraft Straight Sided On The Rocks
The size, shape, and feel of the Luminarc Barcraft Straight Sided On The Rocks makes it an easy basic option. The thick base gives it a sturdy feel and does not tip over easily. It is a versatile glass and can be used for cocktails, juice or water as well. The minimalist design makes it easy to clean, and it is dishwasher safe. It does not have an indent on the bottom which can annoyingly catch water. The affordability combined with durability makes it an acceptable choice for a home bar or restaurant.
Bar Essentials Double Old Fashioned Whiskey Glass
What do you look for most when you are purchasing a rocks glass? For me, it’s durability, so naturally, this four glass set from Bar Essentials is among my favorite glasses.
It is the perfect size to enjoy a Jack and Coke, and it looks absolutely incredible. But where it really shines is in its durability. With a heavy base and a durable rim, there is no need to be delicate with these.
Second on the list of rocks glass necessities is a glass that is visually appealing. Again, this set from Bar Essentials delivers. When the light hits it just right this glass shows off your drink in all of its crystally glory. And the bubble in the base of the glass adds an extra appeal that I thoroughly enjoy.
iiiMY Whiskey Set
An entire whiskey gift set is something that every whiskey enthusiast will enjoy, and this set from iiiMY is one of my personal favorites. The set includes a gorgeous wooden box case to house everything in, eight chilling stones (with carrying bag). And, of course, two rocks glasses.
Everything is constructed from premium materials, and are built to last, enduring heavy use. The carrying bag is a luxurious deep black velvet, that’s soft to the touch and won’t tear.
It is accompanied by two beautiful crystal glasses intricately designed to look great when filled with your favorite whiskey.
Schott Zwiesel Tritan Crystal Barware Set
A set of six stylish low ball whiskey glasses constructed of a non-lead Tritan crystal. Tritan crystal is a little better quality than glass its glass counterpart. It’s stronger and usually retains its clarity longer than glass does. This set holds 9.6-ounces of your favorite beverage – you probably won’t be filling your glass with that much whiskey.
I like the heavy base with rounding edges leading to the glass sidewalls. It is definitely strong enough to withstand heavy and consistent use without worry of breaking. They are dishwasher safe, they won’t break, crack, or chip in the dishwasher.
Ben Shot Original Bullet Rocks Glass
Personally, I am a fan of novelty glasses for my barware collection, so the bullet rocks glass is one that I enjoy. The glass is molded around, well, a round (30 cal. to specific). Don’t let that deter you if you aren’t a fan of firearms there is no casing, so there’s no gunpowder, meaning it can’t hurt anybody.
The glass is able to hold 11-ounces when filled to the brim, but who does that? You can easily fit between 8 to 9-ounces in it. It, of course, is a very sturdy glass, but they ARE NOT dishwasher safe. Hand washes only!
Yeti Cooler Rambler
For a nice change of pace, let’s look at the Yeti Rambler. If you spend a lot of time outside you probably won’t want to carry a glass with you everywhere you go – especially in states where you can get in trouble for public drinking.
Enter the Yeti Rambler.
This is the same size as your typical rocks glass, but instead of being glass, it is constructed from 18/8 stainless steel. Going to a campsite for the weekend? Bring this with you, and you’ll be able to enjoy your drink without worry of breaking the glass you’re carrying it in.
Yeti tumblers are also well known for great insulation properties. So that’s a plus too.
Frederick Engraving Good Day Bad Day Rocks Glass
Another excellent gift idea for the person in your life who likes to enjoy a glass of adult beverages every now and again. The engraved message on gets a chuckle every time while allowing you to measure your drink depending on how your day went. Or maybe in reverse, and you fill the glass based on what type of day you want to have (skip the “bad day” line, of course, nobody actually wants one of those).
The “good day” line is at the 1.5-ounce, the “bad day” line is the 3-ounce mark. and there’s a “what day” that marks the moment that you’ve probably drunk enough that you’re probably done doing things for the day.
The glass is a very high quality, the etching is superb and won’t smudge or chip during your daily dishwashing duties.
JoyJolt Carre Square Scotch Glasses
I like pulling these out from the bar anytime I have some new company over. The sharp angles make for a refreshingly unique looking glass and it’s somewhat of a conversation starter. But while I do love the visual appeal of these glasses, that isn’t the “real” reason I bring them out for first-time guests.
These Scotch glasses are very heavy (not Thors Hammer heavy but heavy enough to withstand drops), so if your new guests are clumsy these will be safe in their hands. It’s a great option if you want something very sturdy without sacrificing aesthetics. Plus, they come in a set of two, so they’re practically begging for you to bring them out when company arrives.
Godfather Pacific Whiskey Glass (Set of 2)
There is only one word for this set of glasses. WHOOOAAA!
This is maybe the whiskey drinkers favorite glass. If it isn’t, that is only because you have yet to lay eyes on it.
Rugged edges, Gorgeous design, easy to grip and absolutely perfect to drink from. Not to mention the packaging of the glasses is superb (you almost don’t even want to unbox them).
The Godfather Pacific glasses are made from lead-free ultra-clarity glass. They hold 10-ounces my preferred drink and wide enough for my beloved Tovolo sphere ice molds.
Lismore 7 oz. Straight Sided Tumbler
The Lismore 7 oz. Straight Sided Tumbler is the perfect high-end option for sipping the finest of whiskeys. It is a beautifully elegant crystal glass design. The quality of these glasses largely surpasses those of the other glasses and is evident in the price tag. If you can afford it, this glass really is the perfect option for drinking bourbon.
5 O’Clock Rocks Glass
Here is a nice glass, without any etchings or designs, just simple and elegant. The 5 O’clock glass has a thick bottom for those of us who enjoy slamming our glasses down letting everybody know we just finished a shot of 101 proof Wild Turkey.
Perfect for your old fashions, whiskey sours, or just plain ole whiskey shots. The 5’Oclock glass will be the best happy hour friend you’ve had, ever since your actual best friend had a baby and actually goes straight home after work now.
Royal Decanters Skull Shaped Glass and Decanter set
This is a bit of a change of pace here, as these really aren’t “rocks” glasses. However, they are shaped like a rocks glass (somewhat at least). The glasses hold 2.5 ounces of alcohol in the shape of a skull.
It comes with four glasses, a decanter (molded into a skull), and a base plate to hold the decanter and the glasses. The decanter uses a cork as a stop (for me this is upsetting, I would much rather it use glass).
What I love most about this is the custom-made wooden base it comes with. The base has indentations in it to set the glasses and decanter on and is engraved with the company’s name “Royal Decanters” on the side of it. This makes an awesome setup for your Halloween parties.
Dragon Glassware Tilted Diamond Glass (Set of 2)
Holding 8-ounces of whiskey while simultaneously defying gravity is an impossible feat right? Apparently not, this glass set from Dragon Glassware does just that, and it is certain to be the center of attention.
Resting at a 50° angle and holds 10-ounces of liquid (maybe cap it at eight though). 100% lead-free crystal and 70% stronger than regular glass, it’s sturdy in your hands while remaining comfortable to hold.
Caring for your new glasses
Cleanliness is a virtue, except in barware. With barware cleanliness isn’t just a virtue, it’s a necessity. Serving drinks to your guests in a cloudy, marked up glass is a serious faux pas in the whiskey community. We all want to drink out of a glass that doesn’t display their beverage with pride, but how do you keep your glassware looking like its fresh out of its packaging? It’s fairly easy really.
To start, I recommend ALWAYS washing your glasses by hand. Yes, even the glasses that are dishwasher safe. While the dishwasher won’t harm them any, I find that (overtime) the glasses become clouded. Hand washing takes care of that issue, run them through your dishwashers sanitation cycle if you must, in fact you probably should.
Never use the rigid side of the sponge when washing your glass – you know, that green part. Honestly, I’m pretty sure this is my barware O.C.D. kicking in but the green side of the sponge is bound to mark up the glass eventually.
Finally, get yourself a microfiber cloth to dry your glasses with. It will soak up all of the water and won’t ever leave towel lint behind.
Wrap – Up
Whether you have a professional palate for whiskeys or simply care to have a fully equipped bar, having the perfect rocks glass is important. Fortunately, there are several options available to cater to different budgets and needs. Maybe IPAs are more your speed. Find the perfect glass for those here.
- Bourbon and Banter – Glassware 101
- StraightBourbon.com – What is your favorite whisky glass for every day drams?