What the Bartender says

Nick & Nora


In mixology, every glass has a purpose, whether designed for big, mixer-filled cocktails, short, spirit-dominated cocktails, fizzy cocktails, or anything else. In this blog, we focus on the Nick & Nora glass - a vessel that embodies sophistication and refinement, with an intriguing backstory and a design that has made it a favorite among mixologists today.



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The History of the Nick & Nora Glass

The origins of the Nick & Nora glass trace back to the 1930s - a period that marked the beginning of the reemergence of classic cocktail recipes after US alcohol prohibition in 1933. During this time, cocktail glasses began appearing in glassware catalogs again in the US, giving them more opportunities to influence bartenders and inspire cocktail-making again. However, while the end of US prohibition was undeniably crucial for the reemergence of cocktail glassware, it was decades later that the Nick & Nora glass truly stepped onto the big stage.
Drink specific glassware

In the 1980s, New York-based bartender Dale DeGroff was tasked with heading up the bar at the newly reopened Rainbow Room events venue. Big, glitzy, sweet cocktails were all the rage then, but DeGroff wanted to serve refined cocktails from elegant glasses. During his search, he asked a salesperson at an old glass and silvers house for a cocktail glass like the one he'd seen in the 'Thin Man' movie. DeGroff's request led to him finding a glass in a 1930s catalog called the "Little Martini." DeGroff chose to use this glass for his bar at the Rainbow Room, nicknaming it the Nick & Nora glass in recognition of the film that inspired his selection. This nickname stuck so well that it eventually became the glass's official name, which it has remained to this day.


the Nick & Nora glass

How to use

As its backstory suggests, the Nick & Nora glass suits cocktails you may associate with a Martini or Coupe glass - spirit-forward drinks, shaken or stirred with ice but served without, including the Martini, Vesper, Manhattan, and Daiquiri. Where the Nick & Nora glass excels is in its ability to develop and contain the aromatic compounds of these cocktails thanks to its high-sided design (which also has the bonus benefit of making it less of a spill hazard than the Martini glass). The RIEDEL Nick & Nora glass from our Drink Specific Glassware collection takes this functionality a step further, featuring a tapered bowl and inward-curving lip, giving a narrower opening that helps contain your cocktail's aromas even more effectively and deliver each sip seamlessly to your palate for an optimal sensory experience. Here are a few popular cocktail recipes that will look and taste the part in your RIEDEL Nick & Nora glass:
  • The Martini is a classic, easy-to-make cocktail that allows you to enjoy your RIEDEL Nick & Nora glass even when you don't have the energy to put a great deal of effort into making cocktails.
  • The Vesper utilizes gin and vodka, taking the decision-making out of the equation for anyone who struggles to decide which base spirit to use for their Martinis.
  • The Espresso Martini is the relatively new, trendy kid on the block that has quickly become one of the most popular cocktails in the world.

Drink Specific Cocktail Glasses

Why have drink-specific cocktail glasses?

You may already have a couple of long drinks and old fashioned tumblers in your cupboards and wonder if there's any need to add a Nick & Nora glass (or any other cocktail glass) to your collection. We believe that having a variety of glasses is essential for maximizing the quality and presentation of your cocktails, as well as your enjoyment of them. A few benefits of owning a range of cocktail glasses include:
Drink specific glassware
  1. Aroma and flavor enhancement. Different cocktails require different types of glassware to showcase their flavors and aromas effectively. Your highball glass may be perfect for refreshing long drinks, but a well-stirred Martini's floral notes would be muted and wasted in such a glass.
  2. Presentation. Nick & Nora glasses are perfectly sized to accommodate the cocktails we've noted above and allow subtle garnishes like olives to stand out rather than being overwhelmed by an overbearing glass. This, in turn, makes your cocktail more enticing and appealing to the senses, resulting in a better experience.
  3. Entertaining ease. Hosting a cocktail party becomes a breeze when you have a variety of glassware on hand. Guests can choose their preferred vessel based on their drink of choice, adding an element of personalization to the experience. Plus, having a mix of cocktail glasses on such occasions is just more fun!
  4. Authenticity. While many people may not know in-depth details about cocktails and glassware, many cocktails have, over time, become synonymous with specific glasses. People may not know the history of a cocktail glass or how you make an Espresso Martini, but they'll recognize that it looks at home in a Martini, Coupe, or Nick and Nora glass.



The Martini goes right at the top of the list of classic and classy cocktails, and it's perfect for enjoying from a Nick & Nora glass. The Martini is one of the easiest cocktails to make out there, giving you the perfect opportunity to keep getting your RIEDEL Nick & Nora Glass out of the cupboard.


If James Bond is familiar with the Vesper cocktail, we're sure it's right up his street. This cocktail shakes things up slightly compared to a traditional Martini, using a cocktail shaker rather than a mixing glass. Using a cocktail shaker means the ice dilutes the cocktail more than with stirred cocktails, but given this drink includes gin and vodka, that's probably a good thing.


  • 45ml gin (1.5 oz)
  • 15ml vodka (0.5 oz)
  • 15ml Lillet Blanc white vermouth (0.5 oz)
  • Lemon zest to garnish


Pour all liquids into an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake thoroughly for about 20 seconds. Strain into your RIEDEL Nick & Nora glass, express the oils of your lemon zest into your drink by pinching it skin-side down, then place the zest in your Vesper to garnish.


Espresso Martini

Introduced in 1983 by London bartender Dick Bradsell, the Espresso Martini has gone from strength to strength in recent years and looks right home in our RIEDEL Nick & Nora Glass.