How to Hold a Martini Glass: Best Ways to Hold Your Drink
how to hold a martini glass

Do you want to know how to hold a martini glass correctly? Etiquette isn’t nearly as important in these modern times as it used to be when society was focused on keeping social classes apart. And yet, it still feels terrific to be able to impress others with your knowledge and manners. 

If you love sipping fine-tasting martinis and are planning on going to a high-class cocktail party, then it is worth your time to learn to hold your glass correctly. This guide will show you the correct way on how to hold a martini glass and sipping from it.

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The Martini Glass and its Unique Design

Martini glasses date back to the late 19th century and are available in various sizes. These glasses are used not only for martini drinks but also for serving just about any type of cocktail. 

These glasses are designed with a wide brim that narrows down toward the base to form a cone shape with a 90-degree angle. This cone shape is then fitted on top of a stem and round base, giving the glass a distinct look. 

The ideal size for perfect glass is 4 ounces or 118.2 milliliters. But these crystal glasses also come in larger sizes of 6 ounces or 177.4 milliliters or even 8 ounces and 236.5 milliliters, so bartenders can mix different types of cocktails or serve cold martinis on the rocks. 

Alternative stemless martini glasses are also designed with just the bowl and base. These single-drink glasses are ideal for those who prefer a more modern type of glass. 

Traditional martini cocktails usually contain gin and dry vermouth, garnished with an olive or two on a toothpick. Some martinis can also be adorned with lemon peel and a round lemon cut. Traditional martinis are served without ice. However, most modern martinis are served with crushed ice.

In other cocktail mixes, martinis contain various ingredients and garnish designs.  

Why Are Martini Glasses Shaped Like That?

A martini glass has a relatively awkward design with its wide mouth, thin base, and stem. But this distinctive shape is specially developed to enhance functionality and visual appeal.

The wide-open brim of the glass is designed to enhance surface tension. This enhances the gin’s bouquet so these aromas can rise and become more apparent as you sip your beverage. This wide-open design also allows the bartender to create a broader range or more appealing garnish on the glass.

The coned shape of the glass enhances the display of the little olive inserted into the martini. At the same time, this shape keeps ingredients in the refreshing drink from separating, so the taste and texture of the beverage won’t be altered as you slowly sip your drink. 

Many people, however, believe that this glass was designed for guileful purposes. They believe that the martini glass was developed when alcoholic beverages were prohibited and that the wide open brim makes it much easier to dispose of illegal alcoholic beverages quickly should a police raid occur.  

How to Hold a Martini Glass

beautiful woman holding glass of martini

A martini glass is held much the same way you would hold a wine glass. However, this glass should be held by the stem, not the glass bowl or base. This is usually to prevent fingerprints from spoiling the beverage’s aesthetics and maintain ethics. 

There are several ways to place your fingers around the tiny stem of your regular martini glass.

While the glass with ice is still full, most prefer to hold it with four fingers on one side of the base and the thumb on the other.

If the glass is light and the beverage is more balanced, or if the stem is too short, you can pinch the stem with your thumb and pointer finger with the stem between the pointer finger and middle finger for added support.

Another elegant way of holding onto the martini glass is by turning your hand with your palm facing upwards so the glass stem can dangle between the middle finger and pointer finger while the thumb lightly adds support to the stem. 

It can be a little bit more challenging to get a firm grip on your modern martini glass than a wine glass because the large wide brim makes it very easy to spill your drink, especially since these beverages are usually filled to the brim when they are served. 

To keep from spilling your cocktail when it is still full, it is customary to use the palm of your second hand on the base of the glass. This way, you can support your glass better and keep it balanced while carrying it or taking those first sips.  

How to Hold Other Cocktails

Other cocktails besides martinis can also be enjoyed in a martini glass. The wide brim of this glass is excellent for enhancing the aroma of all sorts of beverages. If cocktails are served in a martini glass, you can hold the cocktail in the same way you would hold your martini.

However, your hold on cocktails can differ for different types of glasses. If the cocktail is served in a glass with a handle, it is always customary to grip the beverage by the handle. For any stemmed glass, it is preferable to hold onto the stem or to allow your fingers to lightly touch the base of the glass if the stem is short. 

Classic cocktails served in tall glasses or other cocktail glass types can usually be held with your palm facing downward, and your fingers wrapped lightly around the base of the glass with your hand as low to the bottom as possible.  


We hope this guide helped you learn how to hold a martini glass and other types of cocktail glasses. We are confident that any described holds will help you feel much more comfortable when attending cocktail parties or enjoying an evening at the bar. 

And if you are looking for other great tips on kitchen or dining etiquette or need to find some quality accessories for your kitchen or bar, then you should look at some of the other guides we have on Cook Room Kitchens. With our guides, you can find the best advice or locate the best products. 

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