Bar Supplies: Old Fashioned & High Ball Glasses (+ Cocktail Recipes!)

A good cocktail is a very special thing. Combining strong flavors together in one beautiful, highly flammable concoction is not a skill that one is born with. One reason that dinner parties are so much fun to host is the opportunity to try out new culinary and libation ideas on your closest friends and treat them as well-dressed guinea pigs for an evening.

In the summer, you get to play with the best cocktail ingredients. Berries, fresh herbs, fruit and veggie juices; the colors that are produced are more brilliant than any other time of year! Winter is full of warm drinks, so it’s pretty much brown, and spring is lots of clear and fresh flavors, then boom! Summer shows up with blackberries and strawberries, mint and honey – all kinds of stuff to make beautiful drinks for other people… or not.

Marionberry Rosemary Rain Drop Cocktail via The Wanderlust Kitchen
Marionberry Rosemary Rain Drop Cocktail via The Wanderlust Kitchen

All that summer cocktail color goes to waste as soon as you put it into a red cup or plastic tumbler. These drinks deserve to be showcased for their ingredients, so best to have your cabinets stocked with gorgeous old fashioned and high ball glasses that are just as good at holding an iced coffee as they are a very Pacific Northwestern marionberry & rosemary concoction. That vibrant and sweet purple of the marionberries with the deep green woodsiness of the rosemary sound like a match made in heaven.

Definitely whip this up in shorter old fashioned glasses, if you’re not adding much seltzer. If you want something more sparkly and spritzer-like, add more seltzer and put it in a larger high ball glass!


Bormioli Old Fashion and High Ball Glasses
Bormioli Glasses, $17.99 per S/6

These Bormioli glasses are on closeout sale at Macy’s, so for each set of six high ball or old fashioned glasses, the price is only $17.99 (was $50/$56). My grandma had the same drinking glasses for decades, and while I wouldn’t have made the same choices that she did, I want glasses that will make me happy for years and years. These Bormioli glasses are simple enough that they’d still be interesting without getting too dated. One color per set makes it look a little more grown up than a rainbow of paint dots.


Pink Panther Moonshine Cocktail via Country Living
Pink Panther Moonshine Cocktail via Country Living

I’ve always been drawn to moonshine as it’s just about as American as you can get. White dog or white whiskey (the clear liquid produced from corn mash that goes into barrels to become rich, dark whiskey) has become a boutique liquor product, and is now flavored with everything from watermelon to pumpkin pie. This recipe used Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine, but Junior’s Midnight Moon and Stillhouse also make great moonshines.

This would be perfect for an old fashioned glass due to the alcohol content of one serving (me-OW!), but if we’re being honest, this drink belongs in a mason jar. It’s freakin’ moonshine. (That being said, one of the blue dot glasses above would be kind of gorgeous, too…)


For a curvier cocktail glass option, I highly suggest taking a look at these Station High Ball & Old Fashioned Glasses from CB2. They have a really unusual and dramatic shape that makes them stand out, and you can easily see how gorgeous even the faintest colored drinks look are in these glasses. Plus, the old fashioned and high ball glasses are on sale for $0.97 each!


Cucumber Basil Gin and Tonic via Host the Toast
Cucumber Basil Gin and Tonic via Host the Toast

Gin & tonic is definitely mah drank, and I am known for my choice to exclusively drink them as a libation for the better part of a decade. The fact that my last name is Ginn also really helps the connection stick, and it’s true – I love gin. One of my top three favorite cocktails of all time is a Basil Collins from The Great Nabob in Seattle, it awakened me to the beauty of basil + gin, and I can only imagine that cucumber would add a freshness to combat the woodsiness of the gin. Yum!?! 

This drink would be beautiful in a shorter old fashioned glass, unless you can find a tall and slim high ball glass! That would allow those cucumber ribbons to move around (and stay away from your mouth every time you take a sip…)

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I love the tiny detail work on these Josie Old Fashioned & High Ball glasses from Crate+Barrel. The high ball glasses are $4.95 each and the old fashioned glasses are $3.95 each. There’s something very charming about this design. They must feel excellent to hold!  So elegant and dainty for a glass that’s gonna hold a looot of whiskey…


Southern Shandy via Pretty Plain Janes
Southern Shandy via Pretty Plain Janes

Beer people – I didn’t forget you. I don’t understand you, but I also didn’t forget you. If you’ve never tried a shandy, a mix of light beer and lemonade – I highly advise you grab your favorite light beer and try it out. I’m not a beer person, and I love shandies! This “southern” shandy also has the brilliant addition of peach brandy, and is perfect for long-term sipping. (Once you get over the fact that, yes, you are technically putting ice cubes and a childhood drink in your beer. Trust the system!)

These would be beautiful in a tall, high ball glass – also due to the volume of liquid involved, that would be the best choice!

Psst… Mason jars are always an acceptable cocktail vessel. They are perfect for everything always the end. 


Working Cooler and Old Fashioned GlassesDon’t these Working Cooler & Old Fashioned Glasses from Saks look like old homemade jam jars? There’s something so nostalgic and heartwarming about this utilitarian, wide-mouth glass design reminds me of being a kid in the summertime, and they’d look extra good full to the brim with a bloody mary. (I guess I grew up.) The best part is the price – you can get a set of 16 (eight of each size – 14oz. and 21 oz.) for only $24.99.


Iced Coffee Cocktail via Jelly Toast Blog
Iced Coffee Cocktail via Jelly Toast Blog

Who doesn’t love spiked coffee? But the traditional shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream in a mug of hot, black coffee sounds more like torture in this heat. Thank goodness for cheap, easy-to-make iced coffee – now serving the purpose of waking you up and fixing the problems you had throughout the day. Thanks, iced coffee! This recipe uses flavored vodka (caramel or vanilla – smart!) but I think a shot of bourbon would be pretty good, too.

Serve this in either a high ball or old fashioned glass – depends on how addicted to cold brew coffee you become!

Share your favorite summer cocktail recipe in the comments!

Lindsay Ginn

Livin' in your basement, eatin' your canned foods.