Collins Glass Vs Highball- Which is Best for Serving Drinks?

Last Updated on July 27, 2023 by Amanda P. Brown

Collins glasses stand tall, holding more for Collins drinks, highlighting layers and garnishes. Highball glasses are shorter, versatile for different beverages, focusing on overall appearance and accommodating ice and garnishes.

When you enter the tall drinks world, Collins and Highball glasses are great options. These legendary glassware choices boost your drinking experience while enhancing the craft of mixology.

This article will help pick the best among them: Collins Glass Vs Highball, including their definition, comparison, pros-cons, uses, and specialty.

What is Collins Glass?

Collins glasses are basically made to serve Collin drinks. Not only Collin drinks, but they are versatilely used to serve different drinks also. Their unique design and elegant attire enhance the experience of refreshing drinks.


In the 19th century, Tom Collins became the most wanted drink in the town. It had successfully captured the hearts of cocktail enthusiasts and gained huge popularity. Tom Collins was served in a glass known, which got identification later as Tom Collins glass. 

Over time that glass has been formed, the name skipping ‘Tom’ as Collins glass only. However, as the drink’s fame spread, the name “Collins glass” soon encompassed the vessel itself, solidifying its place in the cocktail world.


Everyone loves the timeless elegance of the Collins glass. Its unique and graceful design distinguishes it from other drinking glasses. It is a slender-sized tall glass that embraces the art of mixology. 

These glasses’ height is usually 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm), which is alluring to look on any tabletop. Its narrow diameter allows a comfortable grip. Moreover, it enhances the drinking experience, making each sip a moment to savor.


It was invented to fulfill a specific purpose, that is, to serve Collins drinks. The renowned Tom Collins is the leading candidate for this glass. However, for other long drinks, these glassware are significant options. Moreover, those drinks which are served with lots of ice cubes and comprise more than one mixer demand these tall glasses.

However, these classic blends of soda, lemon, and simple syrup with the glassware’s generous capacity and slender form allow the flavors to harmonize and dance on the palate. 


The Collins’s specialty is its unique and elegant structure which assists in boosting the drinker’s visual allure and refined taste. Its tall stature offers sufficient chamber for a large amount of ice. Thus it ensures that each sip is cool and refreshing.

The slender design not only points to the elegance of the glass but also maintains the delightful carbonation of the soda water. Thus it creates a lively fizz that dances on the tongue.

Some Non-alcoholic Drink Options to Serve in Collins Glass

  • Iced tea
  • Virgin Mojito
  • Gin-free tom collins
  • Shirley Temple
  • Fruit Punch
  • Raspberry Lime Rickey
  • Sparkling Lemonade
  • Cucumber Cooler

The Pros and Cons of Collins Glasses

Every tool/appliance has some pros and cons; nothing is totally perfect. Let’s discover at a glance; what pros make it a unique choice and what cons you need to adjust during its use.

  Pros   Cons 
1. Elegant and visually appealing design
2. Ideal for large servings
3. Showcases vibrant colors and garnishes
4. Enhances the drinking experience
5. Maintains the effervescence of fizzy cocktails  
1. Fragile and prone to breakage
2. Takes up more storage space
3. Requires larger liquid volume
4. May not be suitable for shorter or stirred cocktails
5. Cleaning and storage challenges    

What is Highball Glass?

Highball glasses are used traditionally to serve highball drinks. Their taller, distinctive design and shape have made them popular. You can pick this glassware for a wide range of timeless, refreshing liberation.


The story of the highball glass intertwines with the evolution of cocktails and the quest for simplicity and elegance. The concept of the highball cocktail emerged in the late 19th century. It responded to the desire for a lighter and more approachable drink.

As the popularity of this refreshing libation grew, so did the need for a glass that would perfectly complement its character. Thus, the highball glass was born, becoming an enduring symbol of classic mixology.


The sleek simplicity of the highball glass enchants admirers with its classic style. It typically features a straight and slightly tapered profile, standing tall at around 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm).

The glassware showcases clean lines and subtle curvature. Thus it creates an understated elegance that effortlessly blends into any setting.

Its beautiful shape and light weight make it a pleasure to hold and drink from. Thus it enhances your overall drinking experience.


The highball glass is a versatile vessel that caters to various libations. Its primary purpose is to serve highball cocktails, a delightful fusion of a base spirit and a non-alcoholic mixer. 

Classic examples include the invigorating Whiskey and Soda, where the rich flavors of whiskey mingle harmoniously with the enthusiasm of soda water.

Another beloved highball creation is the timeless Vodka Tonic, uniting the smoothness of vodka with the crisp bite of tonic water. However, the highball glass doesn’t limit itself to alcoholic concoctions alone.

It graciously embraces non-alcoholic mixed drinks like iced tea, lemonades, and refreshing mocktails, offering a refreshing and satisfying experience.


The highball glass excels in elevating the presentation and enhancing the flavors of its libations. Its slender yet accommodating form allows for a balanced ratio of spirit to the mixer. And enable the ingredients to mingle and infuse harmoniously. 

The glassware’s tall structure ensures that there is ample space for ice, keeping the libation chilled while minimizing dilution. Moreover, the highball glass expertly maintains the carbonation of soda water, preserving the effervescence. And thus, it provides a delightful sparkle to each sip.

The specialty of the highball glass lies in its versatility. Its simple yet elegant design and wide range of uses make it a staple in bars, restaurants, and home cocktail setups.

Whether you’re enjoying a classic highball cocktail or exploring the realm of non-alcoholic delights, the highball glass stands as a dependable companion, ready to enhance your drinking experience.

Some Non Alcoholic Drink Options to Serve in a Highball Glass

As the Highball and Collins glasses are quite similar, you can serve the same mentioned drink in both glasses. However, below, you will get some more alternatives for highball glasses.

  • Pineapple Ginger Cooler
  • Classic Lemonade
  • Watermelon Mint Fizz
  • Peach iced tea
  • Cranberry Spritzer
  • Ginger Mint Lemonade
  • Passion Fruit Cooler
  • Honeydew Lime Fizz
  • Blueberry Basil Smash
  • Lavender Lemon Fizz

The Pros and Cons of Highball Glasses

Let’s check at a glance the highball glasses’  pros and cons.

Pros  Cons  
1. Sleek and versatile design
2. Comfortable to hold
3. Enhances cocktail presentation
4. Versatile for a wide range of drinks
5. Maintains carbonation in fizzy beverages
1. Limited liquid capacity compared to larger glassware
2. Garnishes may not stand out as prominently
3. Not ideal for certain cocktails or specific glass shapes 4. Potential for breakage if mishandled
5. Size limitations for storage and dishwasher use  

Collins Glass Vs Highball

Collins and Highball are quite similar, but according to the capacity, size, and traditional use, history may be different. The below table will show you the key differences between them.

FactorsCollins GlassHighball Glass
Size Taller and slimmerSlightly shorter
CapacityTypically 10 to 14 ounces (300 to 410 ml)  Typically 8 to 10 ounces (240 to 300 ml)
Intended UseSpecifically for Collins drinksVersatile for various mixed drinks
Typical DrinksCollins, Gin Fizz, Vodka Collins, etc.Highballs (e.g., Whiskey and Soda, Vodka Tonic, etc.)
Similar Applications   Used for highball cocktails Used for Collins-style cocktails, non-alcoholic beverages, etc.
Presentation   Showcases layers of ingredients and garnishesHighlights the drink’s colors and allows for ample ice and garnish
Glassware StyleOften associated with classic and elegant aestheticsEmbraces a modern and contemporary look
MaterialMade from glass or crystalTypically composed of glass, but other materials like as stainless steel or acrylic can also be applied.  

Which is Best: Highball Vs Collins Glass?

Choosing between a Highball glass and a Collins glass depends on personal preference. The Highball glass offers a sleek and versatile design, ideal for cocktails with balanced ratios of spirit to the mixer. It can also accommodate non-alcoholic beverages.

With its elegant and elongated shape, the Collins glass is specifically designed for Collins drinks, showcasing their enthusiasm and allowing for ample ice and garnishes. 

Consider your preferred aesthetic and the type of drinks you enjoy to determine which glass suits your taste. Both glasses have their own unique charm, so the “best” choice is subjective.

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How Do I Properly Clean and Maintain Collins Glasses and Highball Glasses?

To clean and maintain Collins and highball glasses:

  • Rinse with warm water
  • Use mild dish soap and a soft loofah to clean inside and out, avoiding abrasive cleaners to preserve clarity and shape.
  • hand washing more preferable
  • Rinse thoroughly, and dry with a lint-free cloth
  • Store upright, and avoid stacking 


Is Collins Glass Same as Highball?

Considering the slender shape, the Collins and Highball glass looks the same. But Collins ones are usually taller in height and wider in diameter. The capacity of it is nearly 10-14 ounces. On the contrary, highball glassware is tall, slender, and has a small capacity which is an average of 8 to 10 ounces. 

What Can I Use Instead of Collins Glass?

You can use highball glasses instead of Collins as they have similar shapes to contain drinks. They both can hold tall drinks. Moreover, the volume of the drink remains the same in both glasses. Though highball capacity is lesser than Collins glass, you can still interchangeably use them.

Can I use a Collins glass or highball glass for other purposes besides serving drinks?

Yes, you can use them for different purposes besides serving drinks. For layered desserts, breakfast creations, and appetizers, you can go with them. Additionally, you can pick them for decorative purposes like miniature terrariums or candle holders. Thus it will add a touch of elegance to your space.

Are Collins Glasses and Highball Glasses Dishwasher Safe?

Yes, they are dishwasher-safe. But for safety and to ignore any damage, you can confirm by checking its instruction book. Usually, Delicate or hand-painted designs may require hand washing. However, you can use the dishwasher for its cleaning considering safe placement. And you need to avoid overcrowding while storing.

Final Verdict 

You may understand the Collins Glass Vs Highball comparison from this article. Now, you can evaluate their features with your demand and pick the best one.

You can go with the classic charm of Collins glasses or the versatile appeal of highball glasses; both will elevate your drinking experience significantly.

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