Cocktail mixing glasses, also known as drink mixing glasses or bar mixing glasses, are an essential tool for any bartender or home mixologist. These glasses, which typically hold around 16 ounces, are used to stir drinks by hand, rather than using cocktail shaker or blender.
In this guide, we will cover the various uses of cocktail mixing glasses, how to use them, and why they are an important addition to your cocktail-making tools.
mixing glass

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Uses Of Cocktail Mixing Glasses

A cocktail mixing glass is used for a variety of purposes:
  • Mixing Cocktails – Perhaps the most obvious use of a cocktail mixing glass is to mix cocktails by hand. This is often done using cocktail mixing spoons/bar spoons, which are long, thin spoons with a twisted handle that is specifically designed for mixing drinks.
  • Measuring Ingredients – Cocktail mixing glasses can also be used to measure ingredients for cocktails. This is especially useful when making cocktails that require precise measurements, such as a Manhattan or a Martini. Not all mixing glasses have measurement markings, however.
  • Chilling Drinks – A cocktail mixing glass can be filled with ice and used to chill a drink before serving. This is particularly helpful for cocktails that are served up, or without ice, such as a Martini.
  • Serving Cocktails – Some cocktails, such as a Pisco Sour or a Margarita, are served in a mixing glass and then poured over ice into a serving glass.

mixing glass cocktail

How To Use Cocktail Mixing Glasses

Using a cocktail mixing glass is a simple process, but there are a few key things to keep in mind to ensure that your cocktails come out perfectly every time.
  1. Start by gathering all of your ingredients and tools. This includes the cocktail mixing glass, bar spoon, and any other tools that you will need, such as a jigger for measuring ingredients.
  1. Add your ingredients to the mixing glass in the order that they are listed in the recipe. If you are using ice, add it last so that it doesn’t melt while you are measuring out the other ingredients.
  1. Using the bar spoon, mix the ingredients until they are well combined. This can take anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or more, depending on the complexity of the cocktail and the ingredients that you are using. Generally, you stir for about 10-15 seconds.
  1. If you are using the mixing glass to chill a drink, let it sit for a few minutes to allow the ice to melt slightly, and the drink to become chilled and diluted. Be careful not to over-dilute.
  1. Finally, if you are serving the cocktail up, pour it into a serving glass. If you are serving it over ice, pour it into a glass filled with ice.


mixing old fashioned cocktail from scratch with ice cubes

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Why You Need Cocktail Mixing Glasses

Cocktail mixing glasses are an essential tool for any bartender or home mixologist for a number of reasons:


 As mentioned earlier, cocktail mixing glasses can be used to measure ingredients with precision. This is especially crucial for cocktails that require specific ratios of ingredients in order to come out correctly.


Using a cocktail mixing glass ensures that cocktails are mixed consistently every time. When making cocktails for a group of people, using a mixing glass ensures that everyone’s drinks are equally well-made.


Cocktail mixing glasses can be used for a wide range of cocktails, from simple two-ingredient drinks to complex, multi-component cocktails. Typically, though, you will mix a spirit-forward cocktail with limited ingredients using a mixing glass– drinks that have ingredients with the similar viscosity that do not need to be shaken in order to be combined.


Many cocktail mixing glasses are designed with aesthetics in mind and can be an attractive addition to any home bar, professional establishment, or bar cart.
mixing glass

Things To Consider When Choosing The Best Cocktail Mixing Sets

If you are looking to invest in a high-quality cocktail mixing set, there are a few key things to consider:
  • Material – Cocktail mixing glasses are typically made from glass, stainless steel, or crystal. Glass is the most common and affordable option, but it is also the most fragile. Stainless steel and crystal are more durable, but they can also be more expensive. The A Bar Above mixing glass was designed to be seamless, reducing breakage.
  • Capacity – Mixing glasses come in a range of sizes, from small glasses that hold just a few ounces to large glasses that can hold upwards of 20 ounces or more. Consider the size and amount of cocktails you typically make and choose an appropriate mixing glass.
  • Design – Glasses come in a range of styles, from simple and utilitarian to elegant and ornate. Consider the overall aesthetic of your home bar or professional establishment and choose a mixing glass that fits in with your style.
  • Additional Tools – Some cocktail mixing sets come with additional tools, such as a jigger, bar spoon, and ice tongs. These can be convenient to have, but they are not always essential to purchase as a set.

best cocktail mixing glass

Cocktail Making Tools

In addition to a cocktail mixing glass, there are a few other drink making tools that can be useful to have on hand when making cocktails. These include:
  • Jigger – A jigger is a small, hourglass-shaped measuring tool used to measure out precise amounts of ingredients.
  • Bar Spoon – This is a long, thin spoon with a twisted handle that is used to mix cocktails.
  • Strainer – A strainer is used to separate ice and other solids, such as fruit and herbs, from a cocktail when pouring it into a glass.
  • Muddler – This is used to mash or muddle fruits, herbs, and other ingredients in the bottom of a mixing glass.
  • Shaker – This is a two-part container (usually a tin and a glass or two stainless steel tins) that is used to mix and chill cocktails by shaking them.
By using a cocktail mixing glass and these other tools, you can create professional-quality cocktails at home or in your professional bar. With a little practice and some creativity, you can mix up a wide range of delicious drinks that will impress your friends and customers.