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A short history of the martini glass

Updated on July 16, 2011

The martini glass is such an elegant looking cocktail glass. There is something very sophisticated in the sexy stem opening up into a large inverted cone. The style came about because cocktails are usually served with ice or cold; when drinking a martini you hold onto the stem so that your hands will not warm up the drink.

Other reasons for the shape of the martini glass that have been heard are that it brings out the bouquet of the gin making for a more enjoyable taste sensation, it makes it easy to show off extras like olives or onions, and that during Prohibition it was easier to dump the drink out when the police showed up. It’s up to you which reason you want to believe.



When the martini was first served, in 1862 in San Francisco, it was just served in a regular bar glass. In the 20th century designers went to town. There are lots of different martini glass styles now, ranging from 6oz glasses to over 12oz glasses. They come in lots of colours too. Some designs tend to overwhelm the drink and sometimes the simpler the better is the way to go.

Not just for cocktails anymore

Another use for martini glasses is for serving appetizers or desserts; the usual shrimp cocktail comes in a martini glass so that the shrimp can hang over the side.

It is always a good idea to use the proper glass for a cocktail, having a martini in a regular bar glass or say a wine glass is sacrilege.             


Submit a Comment
  • carriethomson profile image


    8 years ago from United Kingdom

    hi!! nice hub and a great topic to choose!!


  • ubanichijioke profile image

    Alexander Thandi Ubani 

    8 years ago from Lagos

    Thanks for taking memory lane. So fascinating and interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  • Rochelle Frank profile image

    Rochelle Frank 

    8 years ago from California Gold Country

    Cool idea for a hub. Hope to see you in the forums soon.

  • deblipp profile image


    8 years ago

    Good hub! I've got a martini hub myself, so this is especially interesting to me.

  • randomcreative profile image

    Rose Clearfield 

    8 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Nice topic for a hub! It's always fascinating to read about the history of objects that we use regularly in our day to day lives.

  • Tamila Roberts profile image

    Tamila Roberts 

    8 years ago from Canada

    Awesome martini glasses .. nice work.

  • Lady Wordsmith profile image

    Linda Rawlinson 

    8 years ago from Lancaster, UK

    It is a gorgeous glass. And a stylish hub. Very nice little read indeed, thank you.


  • Uninvited Writer profile imageAUTHOR

    Susan Keeping 

    8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Lol...I love martinis :)

  • profile image

    Fay Paxton 

    8 years ago

    You had me at martini.

    nice hub.

  • Uninvited Writer profile imageAUTHOR

    Susan Keeping 

    8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Thanks for the comments. I had an extra large set that I used for dessert, they were a gift.

  • Terryandco profile image

    Terry Harris 

    8 years ago from Essex

    Me and my fiancée are trying to get extra large martini glasses to put the flower decorations in for the wedding. They look stunning. Great hub.

  • Tinsky profile image

    Tina Dubinsky 

    8 years ago from Brisbane, Australia

    Martini glasses set a fun party mood. I also like the addition of party umbrellas and swizzle sticks they help to add to the whole attraction. I especially like hand painted, martini glasses.

  • mysterylady 89 profile image

    mysterylady 89 

    8 years ago from Florida

    I enjoy drinking out of a martini glass and have seen some of the other uses on the Food Network. I have one set that are oversized, great for not sloshing out the gin, but I also like another set with crooked stems so that they look drunk.

    Thanks for the history!

  • chspublish profile image


    8 years ago from Ireland

    The glass is indeed a great shape and I will pause for thought when I use one again. Thanks for the info.

  • Ruchira profile image


    8 years ago from United States

    This glass is so elegant looking and reading about it's history was a pleasure...Thanks!

  • cardelean profile image


    8 years ago from Michigan

    I love the look of the glass as well. I have used them for serving food as well, they are very useful!

  • Just Ask Susan profile image

    Susan Zutautas 

    8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    I really like the look of the martini glass and use mine quite a lot for pudding. Good Hub!

  • someonewhoknows profile image


    8 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

    My personal view is the martini glass was designed to prevent patrons from drinking too quickly as that would cause the liqiud in the glass too spill on them rather easily as well as cause them to sip rather than drink.Though the the thought that it would make it easy too throw out the contents of the glass more easily and the stem preventing the warming of the drink both have their practical uses.Many a time I've seen movies where a martini glass was emptied onto someone on purpose and a martini glass made it rather easy.


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