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Named after the Tom Collins—the overtly simple and refreshing gin cocktail—the Collins glass is a regular on bars around the world. Tall and slender, it’s the vessel of choice for sparkling cocktails, flips, and really any and every drink served long.
A Collins glass is often used interchangeably with a Highball glass, but there are slight differences between the two. A Highball is slim and chimney-shaped, while a Collins glass is just a taller glass. Highballs hold less than a Collins—they are designed to be half spirit, half mix, with loads of ice. On the flip side, the perfect Collins glass holds around 12 ounces, more than enough for a cocktail plus a generous serving of ice.
Why are Collins glasses tall and thin? The elongated shape is designed to keep drinks carbonated for longer. In drinks like Flips and Ramos Gin Fizzes, the shape keeps foams fluffier for longer.
Grab some ice, your favorite spirits, and let an excellent Collins glass be the star of your next happy hour. You can start with our top pick, Riedel's Drink Specific Glassware Fizz, which is impressively durable and made to showcase a drink's pillowy top.
Here are the best Collins glasses available right now.
Best Overall: Riedel Drink Specific Glassware Fizz
Riedel’s Fizz glass was designed in collaboration with bartender Zane Harris to be the perfect serving vessel for a Flip. Specifically, its parallel sides were crafted to showcase and amplify the fluffy foam head of a Ramos Gin Fizz and its whole-egg cocktail brethren. Outside of those pillowy beverages, this set of six glasses also works well for mixed drinks, fizzes, and spritzes.
Tobias Hogan of The Aimsir Distilling Co notes, “I'm a big fan of Riedel products, specifically the great barware glasses—they are durable with a heavy footprint that resists errant hand gestures knocking the glass, gestures that occur only when you get lost in conversations. Riedel’s (Fizz) glass is sleek, tall and will augment the presence of your cocktails and most decorative garnishes. Not only is it a beautifully cut glass vessel with a heavy base, but it's durable all the way to the rim, a major plus at a busy bar.”
Most Versatile: Crafthouse by Fortessa Collins Glasses
Simple design and functional construction make these Crafthouse by Fortessa glasses a versatile addition to your home bar. Use them for ice water during the day, then swap that out for a Mojito or Gin Sonic at happy hour. They are more narrow than a traditional Collins glass—they have the slender appeal of a Highball glass—but still hold a generous 11 ounces.
While these look delicate, they are made with Tritan crystal, an ultra-durable new glassware innovation where the lead in the crystal is swapped with titanium. Tritan glasses have the same lightweight, elegant appeal as regular crystal but are far less likely to crack or shatter. The weighted bottom feels great in your hand.
Related: The Best Cocktail Glasses
Best Everyday: Marquis by Waterford Markham Hiball Collins Glasses
Waterford’s Marquis line nods to the crystal of the past, with intricate, cut-pattern designs. But while antique crystal glasses are filled with lead, Waterford brought back traditional crystal design and combined it with modern construction.
Waterford glasses are usually costly, this is their entry-level line—same design, but the glasses are crafted from crystalline glass, not cut crystal. They’re ideal for a Scotch & Soda, with an elegant heaviness to them.
Handwashing is recommended, though sticking these in the dishwasher from time to time won’t affect them (I have used these as my water glasses for years!) Each glass holds 13 ounces and stands 5.9 inches high. There are four glasses per set.
Most Useful: Sun’s Tea Double Wall Tall Glasses
What’s interesting about this set is the glasses have a double-walled design, built to keep your cold drinks chilled and your hot drinks toasty for longer by keeping exterior heat from the beverage. Crafted from thick, lab-grade borosilicate glass, these glasses are incredibly durable.
Plus, the glasses are sweatproof—if you’re tired of your highball and Collins glasses sweating, these glasses mitigate that condensation. Function aside, the double-walled design makes it appear as if your drink is suspended above the ground. That said, the double-walled design makes the lip of the glass thicker than most, which is not ideal for tasting spirits neat.
The glasses are dishwasher and microwave safe—use them for both cold drinks and hot. Two glasses come in this set. Both hold a generous fourteen ounces of liquid.
Related: The Best Highball Glasses
Best Design: Viski Raye Gem Crystal Highball Glasses
While Viski is one of the newer glassware brands on the market, it has quickly become one of the most exciting brands, with style-conscious designs and high-quality constructions (it was, after all, started by a couple of mixologists). Case in point: these lead-free crystal Collins glasses.
The angular crystal design is beautiful, ideal for Gin & Tonics and Cuba Libres. Note that these are very fragile and require hand washing. Plus, they have a noticeable seam on the glass. With that in mind, these glasses are easily the most photogenic on the market. The glass holds 14 ounces and comes in a set of two.
Most Durable: Schott Zwiesel Tritan Paris Collins Glasses
If you are concerned about durability, Schott Zwiesel’s glasses are built to last. The 11-ounce glasses are constructed from Tritan, so they are resistant to chips, scratches, and breakage, plus the glass is thermal-shock resistant. Tritan also remains crystal clear, no matter how many times you wash them.
This is a textbook Collins glass, with a weighted bottom and tall, straight sides. Use it for more elegant pours of beer, sodas, flips, Long Island Iced Tea, and any other drink you serve long. Six glasses come in a set.
Best Set: Libbey Impressions 16-Piece Tumbler and Rocks Glass Set
Phoenix bartender Trevor Lears prefers Libbey’s glasses. “The 12-ounce volume makes this glass versatile for most tall drinks. I use it for various types of punches, such as the Tom Collins and Mojito Collins, along with highballs and coolers, as well. Ideally, an actual highball glass would be a few ounces less, but still skinny and tall to better retain the carbonation of the soda.”
The dimpled shape of these glasses lets them sit comfortably in your hand. In this budget-friendly set, there are 16 glasses, including eight 16.7-ounce Collins glasses and eight 12.5-ounce double old-fashioned rocks glasses. All are made with lead-free glass and are dishwasher friendly.
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Why Trust Liquor.com
Kate Dingwall is an experienced spirits writer and glassware collector. She has been writing about the bar and spirits world for six years, including extensive coverage on glassware. She owns almost 200 vintage glasses, from art deco Karl Palda decanters to 1800s-era crystal coupes, and she’s happy to wax poetic about all of them. Her partner thinks she should consider downsizing.