The Double Old Fashioned Glass: A Quintessential Piece of Barware

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When it comes to sophisticated drinking, the double old fashioned glass (DOF) stands out as an essential piece of barware. Its roots and versatility make it a staple in both home and professional bars. This article delves into the history, design, usage, and cultural significance of the double old fashioned glass.

Historical Background

The double old fashioned glass has an intriguing history that intertwines with the evolution of cocktail culture. The term “old fashioned” originally referred to one of the earliest known cocktails, the Old Fashioned, which dates back to the early 19th century. This drink traditionally combines bourbon or rye whiskey, sugar, bitters, and a twist of citrus peel. As the cocktail became popular, so did the glass that best suited its presentation and consumption.

Over time, the original old fashioned glass, also known as a rocks glass or lowball, was adapted to meet the growing demand for larger cocktails and mixed drinks. This evolution led to the creation of the double old fashioned glass. While the classic old fashioned glass holds about 6 to 10 ounces, the double old fashioned glass typically accommodates 12 to 16 ounces, making it perfect for drinks that require more volume.

Design and Features

The double old fashioned glass is characterized by its distinctive design:

1.Size and Capacity: The most defining feature of a double old fashioned glass is its size. With a capacity that ranges from 12 to 16 ounces, it provides ample space for both the drink and the ice, which is crucial for maintaining the right dilution and temperature of spirit-forward cocktails.

2.Shape: The glass is short and wide, which not only makes it stable but also enhances the visual appeal of the drink. The wide mouth allows for easy muddling of ingredients, a common technique used in preparing drinks like the Old Fashioned and the Mojito.

3.Thick Base: The glass often features a thick, heavy base. This not only adds to its durability but also provides a satisfying heft that feels substantial in the hand. The thick base also helps to keep the drink cold by providing insulation against the warmth of the hand.

4.Material: High-quality double old fashioned glasses are typically made of crystal or heavy glass. Crystal glasses are particularly prized for their clarity and brilliance, enhancing the presentation of the drink.

5.Design Variations: While the classic double old fashioned glass is plain, modern designs may include etched patterns, colored glass, or even personalized engravings, catering to a variety of aesthetic preferences.

Uses and Versatility

The double old fashioned glass is not limited to just serving Old Fashioneds. Its size and design make it incredibly versatile for a wide range of beverages:

1.Cocktails: It is ideal for cocktails that require a generous amount of ice, such as the Negroni, Whiskey Sour, and Manhattan. The large size accommodates ice cubes or even a single large ice sphere, which is popular for minimizing dilution while keeping the drink cold.

2.Straight Spirits: For those who enjoy spirits neat or on the rocks, the double old fashioned glass is perfect. Its wide mouth allows the drinker to appreciate the aroma of the spirit, enhancing the overall tasting experience.

3.Mixed Drinks: Beyond cocktails, the glass is suitable for mixed drinks that benefit from a larger volume, such as a Rum and Coke or a Gin and Tonic. The ample space allows for a balanced mix of spirit and mixer without overcrowding the glass.

4.Non-Alcoholic Beverages: The versatility extends to non-alcoholic beverages as well. It can be used to serve iced tea, lemonade, or any other cold beverage, making it a practical addition to any household.

Cultural Significance and Popularity

The double old fashioned glass has a notable place in popular culture and the world of fine dining and entertainment. Its association with classic cocktails and refined drinking habits makes it a symbol of sophistication and timeless elegance.

1.Cinema and Television: The double old fashioned glass frequently appears in movies and TV shows, often held by characters to signify wealth, class, and a taste for the finer things in life. Iconic scenes featuring this glass can be found in films like “Mad Men,” where it complements the mid-century modern aesthetic.

2.Collectibles and Gifts: Due to its stylish design, the double old fashioned glass is a popular collectible item and a favored choice for gifting. Sets of these glasses are often given as wedding gifts, housewarming presents, or corporate gifts, especially when paired with a bottle of fine whiskey.

3.Bar and Restaurant Use: In bars and restaurants, the double old fashioned glass is a go-to for serving premium cocktails and spirits. Its ability to showcase the artistry of a well-crafted drink makes it a favorite among bartenders and mixologists.


The double old fashioned glass is more than just a vessel for beverages; it is a piece of art that enhances the drinking experience. Its rich history, thoughtful design, and versatile applications make it an indispensable part of any barware collection. Whether you are a casual drinker, a cocktail enthusiast, or a professional mixologist, the double old fashioned glass offers a perfect blend of functionality and elegance. It is a testament to the enduring appeal of classic design and the timeless enjoyment of a well-made drink.

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