History of the Coupe Glass

by Richard Peristere

The Coupe glass or champagne coupe is perhaps the most iconic craft cocktail glass. While the Champagne coupe was designed with champagne in mind, the champagne coupe glass has evolved from just serving champagne or sparkling wine and has become elegant staple of any high end bar.

What's behind the Champagne coupe style?

The Champagne Coupe has rounded edges to keep the liquid inside while you cheers another patron. The glass was designed with a longer stem in order to prevent your hand from warming up the cocktail. The glass is designed to be served for cocktails up or a drink without ice. The shape behind the coupe glass is up to much debate as well. The French say it was designed with Marie Antionette's breast in mind or perhaps modeled after the ancient greek ceramic bowl.

queen, marie antoinette, woman

Unlike the Champagne Flute, the Coupe has a Wide Mouth

The Champagne coupe unlike the champagne flute, has a wide mouthed shape. The shape is designed to allow for a more open nose. The wider the nose the more aromas we are able to pick up. While the difference between the flute and coupe may appear to just be aesthetic, there is in fact more involved. Whether or not you choose the champagne flute or champagne coupe both are perfect to enjoy champagne, however only one is perfect for cocktails.

flûte, champagne, cava

The Cocktail Era

As the United States emerged from World War 1, the country experienced a massive decade of prosperity. Flooded with newfound wealth and leisure time, the middle and upper classes went straight to the bars. The only tricky part, was alcohol was forbidden due to Prohibition.

The Speakeasy

As American's were forced to hide their drinking from the authorities, many underground bars began to emerge, otherwise known as the speakeasy. The Speakeasy generally required some time of password or secret entrance to get in. Once you were inside the club, then all bets were off and you could drink as much as your heart desired.

bar, lounge, cocktail

The Craft Cocktail

As friends and other revelers began pouring into speakeasies, the started to demand a better and more sophisticated beverage and glass. The coupe glass was a popular choice in Paris at the time, so naturally the stylish class would prefer their cocktails served with the best design. After all, sipping in style is important. Many of our finest cocktails emerged during this era, from the Manhattan to the French 75.

After the 1920's

The Coupe would dominate the inspired 1920's flapper/jazz era as the epitome of class. As time progressed and the United States emerged from the long great depression and World War II, Americans were once again ready to drink. Unfortunately the era of the craft cocktail began to fizzle out and it took America's brightest movie stars to bring back the class and elegance that was lost. A tall order no doubt.

vintage, antique, flapper girl

Hollywood Glitterati

Americans of all era's have always been enamored with the Hollywood Class, whether it be for their good looks or talent, the point is moot. Americans love their movie stars.The Hollywood Glitterati of the 1950's could only be seen drinking out of this exquisite glass. They wanted to reclaim a bygone era and enjoy an old luxury. Sophia Loren famously drank champagne and other cocktails out of the coupe glass.


See Sofia Loren

Craft Cocktail Bars

Following the lull in sophistication that dominated the late 60's and 70's, new bars began to emerge that were dedicated to craft of a fine drink. Alongside the emergence of new bars, the Coupe has experienced a welcome resurgence with the advent of craft cocktail bars. While other beverages were served their focus shifted to mixology. The glassware became elevated and many bars pursued a vintage look. The coupe glass took many different shapes, from stemware to the size of the lip.

cocktail, drinks, bar

The At Home Surge

When the Covid Pandemic of 2020 forced all of us inside and closed our favorite bars, we were forced to adapt. We started to learn to create our own drinks. We craved something bubbly or something with big flavor. The inner drinker in all of us emerged but we wanted to it better. Demand for alcohol surged across the country and people began shopping for the best glassware to adorn their table. The Champagne coupe re-emerged as a favorite among glasses.

drink, cocktail, glass

Different Styles of the Champagne Glass and Coupe

Champagne glasses and Champagne coupes have manny different styles, ranging from the traditional champagne flute to the tulip glass. The Art Deco style usually involves a short stem with etched design towards the lip.

Art Deco Coupe

The higher end crystal designs will usually have design built into the glassware itself.

Tulip Glasses

The tulip glass has a shape thats well, similar to a tulip. The Tulip glass is perfect for sparkling wines or any other drink with bubbles. Tulip Glasses are slightly different from the flutes but in our opinion is a more elegant piece of glassware. Take a look.

The Champagne Flute

The Champagne Flute generally needs to introduction. Perhaps the most common glass to serve either sparkling wine or prosecco. These stemmed glasses are as essential piece of glassware. At a Champagne brunch or lunch you will generally find these delightfully shaped glasses.

wine, white wine, sparkling

From Champagne Glasses to Coupes to Martini Glasses?

The coupe would eventually evolve into our familiar cousin, the martini glass. If you're interested in learning about the martini glass, check this out.

Whichever of the styles you choose, whether it be a champagne coupe or champagne flute, the glasses you choose to sip on should be fun and dazzle the room. However, we prefer coupes!

What's the Difference between Champagne and Sparkling Wine?

It's actually quite simple. Champagne has to be sourced from the Champagne region of France. Prosecco, like Champagne, has to be sourced from Italy. Some wine producers in recent years have gotten in trouble for using the brand name, Champagne, and we're forced to account for their mistake and go back to labeling their beverages properly.

Do you want to become a star bartender?

Add the Coupe to your collection. Dining with champagne sophisticates and looking for champagne flutes or other champagne glasses?

Need a starter set?

Be sure to check out our mixed set or other pieces in our collection as well. AFewCocktails Starter Set, is the best place to start.


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