The Types Of Drinks That Work Best In A Nick & Nora Glass

Think of the Nick & Nora glass as a when-worlds-collide fusion of the martini and the coupe. Its bell shape with tall rounded sides and narrower circumference allows for similar aeration, but at around just 5 ounces, it's much smaller than many other classic cocktail glasses. This makes the Nick & Nora an ideal vessel for richer cocktails in which a "snack size" serving is preferable, like the syrupy Bensonhurst cocktail made with maraschino liqueur and Italian Cynar. 

Cocktails served in Nick & Nora glasses are usually served without ice (aka "up"), so it's best to chill these glasses in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to ensure a cold beverage. When it comes to "up" drinks, your window for enjoying them in peak condition is much smaller, which makes Nick & Nora's petite size ideal. Better to get back in line for another cocktail than to force your way through a large one that's gone tepid. Nick & Nora glasses also boast a long stem to help ensure "up" drinks don't heat too quickly as you sip.

Bonus points: The slightly curved lip helps keep your drink from sloshing out of the glass as you cross the room. It's easy to hold or gesticulate with a Nick & Nora glass during fabulous conversation at your next cocktail party.

Elegant and up

As a general rule, any drink you might serve in a coupe glass, you can serve in a Nick & Nora. Perhaps the most popular Nick & Nora drinks are the classic Tuxedo, inspired by New York's Tuxedo Club, and the Topsy Turvy, a creative take on the Manhattan. The glass is a popular choice for ice-less amaretto and whiskey sours. This smaller glass is also suited for lesser-known chilled dessert cocktails like the 1950s Golden Cadillac (which combines white crème de cacao and Galliano L'Autentico) or the Stockholm Syndrome (think boozy blood orange coffee mousse).

If all of these cocktails seem glamorous, there's a reason why. The namesake of the glass comes from the protagonists of Dashiell Hammett's 1934 detective novel "The Thin Man," in which married couple Nick and Nora Charles navigate metropolitan New York as lively, penetrating socialites (which might be responsible for the glass's inherent elegance and enduring association with the Prohibition era). "The important thing is the rhythm. Always have rhythm in your shaking. Now, a Manhattan you shake to foxtrot time, a Bronx to two-step time, but a dry martini you always shake to waltz time," insists the character of Nick in the 1934 film adaptation (via The Alchemist). In a way, a shaken dry martini might be the most fitting drink of them all to serve in a Nick & Nora glass.