Straight to the Level
There isn’t a scene on the earth of consuming as iconic as watching somebody order a whiskey—neat. The bartender reaches beneath the counter, pulls out a stout cylindrical glass, units it on the bartop proper in entrance of a thirsty buyer, and proceeds to pour just a few ounces of bourbon or scotch. It’s an everlasting picture that has been depicted numerous occasions in motion pictures and tv.
On the middle of that scene is the rocks glass. Additionally known as a whiskey glass, an old school glass, a glass, or a lowball, this straightforward and versatile piece of glassware is a must have for any aspiring house mixologist or spirits fanatic. “They’re type of a straight-forward all the pieces glass,” says Jason Valdez, Common Supervisor at Los Angeles whiskey and cocktail bar Wolf & Crane. Past neat pours of whisky, rocks glasses are used to serve a plethora of each basic and trendy cocktails (like the Penicillin). They usually aren’t unique to whiskey both—they’re nice for serving no matter spirit you like.
For such a easy design, the market is flooded with an amazing number of completely different rocks glasses—a fast Amazon search returns over 3,000 outcomes. After getting some recommendation from Valdez, we rigorously examined 13 of the preferred and extremely regarded units of glasses to search out out which had been one of the best. After just a few dozen pours of whiskey, right here’s what we discovered.
The Winners, at a Look
These Dorset rocks glasses had been compact, sturdy, and simply the fitting measurement for having fun with a typical two-ounce pour.
The stout design and extensive mouth make these rocks glasses from Reidel excellent for having fun with a pour of whiskey on an enormous chunk of ice. Their capability (13 ounces) additionally permits for serving cocktails just like the quaint and negroni.
On the subject of serving a wide range of cocktails, capability is essential. These 13-ounce double old school glasses from Spiegelau have the dimensions and design excellent for constructing an old-fashioned proper within the glass or for any drink served on the rocks.
- Measurement and Capability Take a look at: We measured the peak and radius in addition to the burden of every glass. When dealing with the glasses, we evaluated weight distribution and stability. We additionally famous the acknowledged capability of every glass and the way properly single pours (neat and on the rocks) and cocktails slot in every glass.
- Design Take a look at: When assessing every whiskey glass, we famous any design decisions which will have an effect on usability or desirability. Many glasses have engravings and different decorative designs or closely weighted bottoms. Though most design nuances are purely aesthetic, some can have an effect on the usability of a glass.
- Neat Pour Take a look at: Utilizing every glass, we sipped a 2-ounce pour of whiskey served neat. With every glass, we evaluated design options just like the rim, weight of the glass, grip, and general consolation of consuming from it.
- On the Rocks Take a look at: In every glass, we poured two ounces of whiskey over a single, giant ice dice. Whereas sipping, we famous how properly the ice and whiskey match within the glass, if the glass was in a position to preserve the drink sufficiently cool, and if any design traits affected usability.
- Previous-Usual Take a look at: With the best-performing glasses from the earlier exams, we made an old-fashioned cocktail in every one. For every old school, we constructed the cocktail within the glass, that means we combined all the components with ice within the glass the drink was served in. For this check, we famous how straightforward it was to make and stir every cocktail and if there have been any points with the capability.
- Cleansing Exams: After every check, we hand-washed each glass with dish cleaning soap and water after which dried and polished it with a dish towel. We evaluated how straightforward every glass was to wash and if any design options made cleansing tough.
What We Discovered
Minor Design Variations Impacted Efficiency
A part of what makes rocks glasses such a flexible and helpful piece of glassware is their simplicity. There aren’t some ways to enhance upon or change the design with out making it a unique kind of glass completely. Due to this, there wasn’t a ton of variation between the glasses, although there have been minor design nuances (primarily measurement and form) that affected efficiency and what function every glass was finest suited to. Weight and weight distribution additionally performed a job in how nice every type of glass was to make use of. For traditional rocks glasses, the candy spot was round 9 to 11 ounces and for double old school glasses, we most popular a weight of round 12 to 14 ounces.
What Measurement Rocks Glass Was Finest?
It’s necessary to think about what you plan to make use of the glasses for earlier than buying a set. Smaller rocks glasses (across the 6- to 7-ounce vary) put our noses nearer to the spirit, making it simpler to take pleasure in its aroma. However smaller glasses don’t normally have the capability for full-sized cocktails. The bigger 10- to 14-ounce double old school glass can accommodate the amount of a plethora of cocktails, however commonplace 2-ounce neat pours had been dwarfed by the upper partitions, and the aroma was tougher to discern.
Sturdiness and Longevity
When investing in any glassware, sturdiness and longevity needs to be a consideration. Glass, specifically, can break simply and create a security hazard when cleansing up. To keep away from chipping, cracking, or shattering, thicker glass is the way in which to go. Skinny glassware must be dealt with with extra care when utilizing and cleansing.
Thick glass has an added bonus if you happen to’re serving a drink on the rocks. “The thicker the glass is, the extra slowly your drink will dilute,” Valdez says. Thicker partitions additionally assist to stability out the burden of rocks glasses with thicker bases. Nevertheless, if the glass is simply too thick, it could actually really feel cumbersome and clunky. Primarily, you need glassware that strikes a stability—not too thick nor too delicate.
Cylindrical vs. Tapered Glasses
The form of the whiskey glass can have an effect on each performance and look. Cylindrical glasses with straight vertical partitions carried out finest in our rocks and the old school exams. When constructing a cocktail within the glass, straight partitions assist facilitate a fair price of stirring which permits for extra management over chilling and dilution. When serving whiskey on a big block of ice, we discovered that glasses with tapered sides and wider bases made the drink look a bit awkward and unbalanced as properly, however non-standard shapes work simply positive with neat pours given they aren’t too giant.
The Standards: What to Search for in Whiskey Glasses
Our favourite whiskey glasses all hit on the identical standards. First, one of the best glasses had been sturdy and balanced. Thicker glass partitions and a thick base make sure that the glass gained’t chip or break as simply, however glass partitions that had been too thick felt clunky. Glasses with heavier bases stood up properly to muddling components and made the glass tougher to tip over. Our favourite glasses additionally had straight sides that had been at an approximate 90-degree angle from the bottom. Whereas sure designs with angled or curved sides will be enticing with neat pours, they aren’t probably the most sensible when including ice or mixing. We additionally loved consuming from glasses that had a fair weight distribution and felt balanced within the hand.
The Finest Whiskey Glasses
What we appreciated: The Dorset Single Previous Usual glasses had been your best option for having fun with a neat pour of whiskey. It has a easy and stylish cylindrical design that does an incredible job of showcasing the liquid it holds. The dimensions and capability make it in order that a normal 2-ounce pour fills about one-third of the glass. The thick base and stable partitions really feel balanced and durable and the glass feels comfy and good within the hand.
What we didn’t like: The largest draw back with the Dorset glasses is the value. At about $120 for a set of 4, it’s one of many dearer units we examined. Though this glass works completely for neat pours, its capability and width make for a decent match in terms of cocktails and any drinks with ice.
Value at time of publish: $120 ($30 per glass).
- Dimensions: 3.5 inches excessive; 3 inches in diameter
- Capability: 7 ounces
- Materials: Lead-free crystal
- Care directions: Hand wash
What we like: Reidel is an Austrian glassmaker that’s famend for his or her elegant wine glasses. On the subject of their line of cocktail glasses, they keep the identical commonplace of high quality. The Reidel Rocks Glass is a straightforward and fashionable glass that’s good for a pour of whiskey on the rocks. The glass is sort of as extensive as it’s tall, which makes it excellent for a single giant dice or sphere of ice. The ten-ounce capability additionally means it could actually simply match a lower-volume cocktail served with ice just like the old school or negroni. It feels sturdy and balanced and it’s not simply tipped over.
What we didn’t like: The one draw back right here is the capability. Although the form and 10-ounce capability is ideal for sipping a spirit on the rocks, it doesn’t fairly have the identical versatility in serving higher-volume cocktails that you simply discover in a double old school glass.
Value at time of publish: $30.
- Dimensions: 3.27 inches excessive; 3.23 inches in diameter
- Capability: 10 ounces
- Materials: Glass
- Care directions: Dishwasher protected
What we appreciated: If you’re on the lookout for a set of whiskey glasses for cocktails, you possibly can’t do a lot better than these double old school glasses from German glassmakers Spiegelau. With a big, 13-ounce capability, sturdy base, and thick, straight sides, these glasses hit the mark on each doable criterion. The etchings on the facet are fashionable, minimal, and trendy, which works for a number of kinds of cocktails. The massive capability provides this glass much more versatility, permitting house mixologists to serve drinks over pebble ice on the rocks. When testing, we even made just a few mai tais with this glass simply to confirm its versatility (and since they’re scrumptious).
What we didn’t like: This double old school glass works nice for cocktails that make the most of numerous kinds of ice, however its measurement isn’t excellent for the usual 2-ounce neat pour. Some drinkers may additionally favor a extra basic aesthetic with conventional etchings as an alternative of the minimalist design of the Spiegelau glasses.
Value at time of publish: $40.
- Dimensions: 4 inches excessive; 2.8 inches in diameter
- Capability: 13 ounces
- Materials: Glass
- Care directions: Dishwasher protected
- MacLean Double Old-Fashioned Glasses: These double old school glasses had been well-built, however the weight distribution felt a bit off and unbalanced.
- Riedel Spey Double Old-Fashioned Glasses: This set from Reidel was the runner-up for our prime choose for cocktails. We in the end selected the Spiegelau as a result of it was barely wider and had a extra minimal design, however you doubtless gained’t be dissatisfied with these.
- Williams Sonoma Reserve Old Fashioned Glasses: These fashionable glasses work nice when serving a spirit neat, however the rounded form isn’t one of the best for accommodating a big piece of ice or serving a cocktail.
- Estelle Hand-Blown Colored Rocks Glasses: We discovered these thick-based glasses to be too heavy and a bit cumbersome, although well-made. The tinted glass additionally impacts the colour of the spirit or drink within the glass, which might doubtlessly be discouraging.
- Kanars Old-Fashioned Whiskey Glasses: These glasses are very inexpensive, however we discovered them to be a bit too thick and clunky with a lower-quality construct.
- Libbey Rocks Glasses: These low-profile and inexpensive glasses have an easy design and carry out properly, however with an 11-ounce capability, it’s not fairly as versatile as different double old school glasses and we most popular the decrease profile of the Reidel rocks glass.
- Zwiesel Glas Pure Double Old-Fashioned Set: These distinctive and classy glasses work properly with neat pours, however the rounded sides and wider base aren’t probably the most amenable for constructing a cocktail within the glass.
- Anchor Hocking Old-Fashioned Whiskey Glasses: For whiskey served over a rock or neat pours, these hefty glasses from Anchor Hocking will certainly do the trick. We simply most popular the decrease partitions and barely thinner glass of the Reidel glasses.
- Godinger Dublin Double Old-Fashioned Glasses: Out of all the rocks glasses we examined, this was the one set the place it felt like the big and pronounced etchings impacted the consuming expertise.
- Marquis by Waterford Double Old-Fashioned Set: These classic-style glasses had been properly made, however they had been a bit extra top-heavy than the opposite glasses on this type we examined.
What’s a rocks glass?
The rocks glass is a brief, cylindrical glass that can also be known as a glass, an old school glass, and a lowball glass. It’s generally used each to serve spirits neat (with out ice or mixers) or with ice and usually holds about six to eight ounces of liquid.
What’s a double quaint glass?
A double old school glass is a whiskey glass that has about double the capability as the usual measurement. This measurement and elegance of glass is normally higher suited to serving higher-volume cocktails or drinks which are served on a big block of ice. Double old school glasses normally have a capability of 10 to 14 ounces.
Which cocktails will be served in a rocks glass?
The rocks glass is among the most versatile items of glassware behind the bar. It’s finest identified for being the type of glass used for serving the old-fashioned cocktail, but it surely can be used to serve different in style cocktails such because the negroni, margarita, and mai tai.
How do you smoke a glass for an old school?
Smoking old school cocktails has turn out to be a well-liked method so as to add a little bit of smoky aroma and aptitude to a timeless basic. So as to add a whiff of smoke to your drink, you’ll want a cocktail smoker. There are just a few completely different kinds accessible, so try our information to the best cocktail smokers to search out out that are value investing in.
Why We are the Consultants
- For this overview, we examined 13 whiskey glasses—consuming spirits from them neat, over ice, and in a cocktail.
- Dylan Ettinger is a contributor with greater than a decade of expertise working within the specialty espresso trade. He additionally focuses on writing about cocktails and the spirit trade.
- For this overview, we interviewed Jason Valdez, Common Supervisor at Los Angeles whiskey and cocktail bar Wolf & Crane.