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What are small martini glasses called?

Martini glasses come in a variety of sizes, from large to extra small. The smallest martini glasses are often referred to as miniature martini glasses or cocktail martini glasses. Despite their diminutive size, these tiny glasses pack a lot of style and are perfect for serving small, strong cocktails like martinis.

In this article, we will explore what the smallest martini glasses are called, examine their origins and history, look at how they are used today, and provide tips on how to buy and use them. Whether you’re a martini aficionado looking to expand your glassware collection or simply searching for the perfect vessels for bite-sized cocktails, read on to learn all about miniature and cocktail martini glasses.

Names for Small Martini Glasses

As mentioned above, there are two common names for the smallest martini glasses:

Miniature Martini Glasses

Miniature martini glasses are just what their name implies – martini glasses that are miniature sized. They typically hold around 1.5-3 ounces of liquid, compared to a standard martini glass which holds 4.5-6 ounces. Other names used interchangeably with miniature martini glasses include:

– Small martini glasses
– Petite martini glasses
– Baby martini glasses
– Martini shot glasses
– Bite-size martini glasses

The key unifying feature of all these glasses is their diminutive size while still retaining the iconic triangular or cone shape of a traditional martini glass. The miniature proportions make them perfect for single sip martinis and other tiny cocktails.

Cocktail Martini Glasses

Cocktail martini glasses also refer to small martini glasses, usually ranging from 3-5 ounces in capacity. These glasses are intended for cocktails with just a bit more volume than miniature martini glasses can accommodate.

Other common names for cocktail martini glasses include:

– Medium martini glasses
– Half-size martini glasses
– Coupe martini glasses

The key difference between cocktail martini glasses and miniatures is their slightly larger size, though they still remain daintier than a standard sized martini glass. Their elegant slope downward from a wide rim still mimics the conical shape that makes martini glasses instantly recognizable.

History and Origins

Now that we’ve covered the various names for tiny martini glasses, let’s look at where they come from and how they evolved over time:

1800s – Early Martini Glasses

The earliest martini glasses appeared in the late 1800s and were known as “cocktail glasses.” They had wide, shallow bowls perched atop a delicate stem. These glasses were used for all types of cocktails, not just martinis. They offered a stylish alternative to other short mixed drink glasses like tumblers.

1925 – Emergence of the Martini

By the 1920s, martinis rose to prominence as a popular cocktail. The conical cocktail glass was quickly associated with the martini more than any other drink. Its shape was ideal for holding the martini’s iconic ingredients – gin and vermouth – while looking sleek and elegant. This cemented the cocktail glass’s transition to the official martini glass.

1940s-1950s – Miniature Versions Emerge

Over the next few decades, miniature and scaled-down versions of the conical martini glass emerged. Tiny 1 and 2 ounce martini glasses became available as novelty barware items and collectibles. Their creation arose from the post-Prohibition cocktail culture in America.

1960s – Popularity Rises

By the mid 20th century, small martini glasses gained widespread popularity in the United States. They were no longer just novelty items but became readily available as everyday glassware. Their dainty proportions and cuteness made them ideal for serving individual, bite-sized cocktails at parties.


Nowadays, miniature and cocktail martini glasses are staples in every well-stocked bar. They can be purchased in sets of 4 or 6 at many retail stores. Specialty cocktail bars also use them to serve miniature drink flights so customers can sample several cocktails. Their timeless conical bowl shape makes them perfect for today’s martini drinks and other mixed cocktails.

How Small Martini Glasses Are Used

Miniature and cocktail martini glasses may be tiny, but they make a huge impact on the cocktail experience. Here are some of the most common ways small martini glasses are put to use:

Miniature Martinis

Naturally, the smallest martini glasses are perfectly suited to serve individual, mini martinis. The glasses are filled with just 1.5-2 ounces of martini for a petite serving. Popular versions are tiny Cosmopolitans, Appletinis, and classic gin or vodka martinis.

Chilled Shooters

The frosty chill of martini glasses makes them ideal vessels for serving chilled shooters. Vodka, vermouth, and other spirits are chilled until ice cold and served in mini martini glasses for a touch of sophistication.

Dessert Shooters

Sweet dessert shooters are also right at home in martini glasses. Chilled espresso, Irish coffee, limoncello, and other after dinner drinks are served in miniature glasses for easy sipping and indulgence.

Cocktail Flights

At specialty cocktail bars, customers can often enjoy a flight of different drinks served in a lined up row of miniature martini glasses. It’s a fun way to experience different cocktails and compare their flavors side-by-side.

Individual Serving

Small martini glasses allow for pre-batched cocktails to be portioned out individually. Large-format punches and pitchers of drinks can be served by the glass so each guest gets their own serving.

Garnishes & Presentation

The conical shape of martini glasses perfectly showcases elaborate garnishes and presentations. Olives, lemon twists, skewers, and other garnishes adorn the rim of the glasses. Their effect is enhanced by the mini glasses’ petite serving size.

Tips for Buying Small Martini Glasses

If you’re ready to buy some miniature or cocktail martini glasses, keep these tips in mind:

Measure Capacity

Pay attention to the stated capacity or ounce measurement of any martini glasses you purchase. Mini glasses may range from 1-3 ounces, while cocktail glasses are 3-5 ounces.

Consider How Many You Need

Think about how many small martini glasses you’ll need for your intended use. For parties, allow for at least 4 glasses per guest. For home use, sets of 4 or 6 glasses offer versatility.

Assess Durability

Martini glasses have delicate stems, so assess their sturdiness when buying. Look for quality materials like hand-blown crystal or thick, tempered glass stems.

Choose Style

Mini martini glasses come in a range of styles, from classic conical bowls to V-shaped or curved futuristic shapes. Pick whatever aesthetics suit your preferences.

Shop Smart

Check liquor stores, barware catalogs, restaurant supply stores, and online retailers to find the best prices and selection when shopping for miniature martini glasses.

How to Use Small Martini Glasses

Ready to start enjoying mini martinis and petite cocktails? Here are some serving tips:

Chill Thoroughly

Always chill martini glasses before use. Place them in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before serving so cocktails stay ice cold.

Portion Individual Drinks

When portioning out individual drinks from a batched cocktail, use a jigger or measuring cup for accuracy. Fill each glass with the desired 1-3 ounces.

Garnish with Care

Add garnishes to the rim of the glasses. Balance long garnishes like lemon twists carefully over the rim so they hang attractively without slipping.

Serve on Napkins

Provide cocktail napkins with mini martini glasses so guests can easily grab the tiny stems without warming the chilled glass.

Have Extras on Hand

When serving a crowd, have plenty of extra small martini glasses ready to replenish drinks quickly. You don’t want to keep guests waiting with empty glasses in hand!

Example Drink Recipes

To give you some inspiration for using miniature martini glasses, here are a few fun-sized cocktail recipes to try:

Projected Manhattans

Ingredient Amount
Rye whiskey 1 ounce
Sweet vermouth 1/2 ounce
Angostura bitters 2-3 dashes
Maraschino cherry For garnish

Lavender Lemon Drops

Ingredient Amount
Vodka 1 1/2 ounces
Lavender syrup 1/2 ounce
Lemon juice 1/2 ounce
Sugar For rim

Espresso Martini Minis

Ingredient Amount
Vodka 1 ounce
Espresso 1 ounce
Coffee liqueur 1/2 ounce
Simple syrup 1/4 ounce


Miniature and cocktail martini glasses offer the perfect blend of elegance and functional serving. Their petite proportions are tailored to crafting individual martinis and cocktails. When shopping for pint-sized martini stemware, look for quality materials and the right capacity range for your needs. With the proper techniques, these mini glasses can be used to bring joy to any cocktail party or bar cart. The next time you want to serve sophisticated sips, reach for small martini glasses and delight your guests with their charming size and style.