When it comes to glassware, the sexier vessels — a coupe, a flute, a wineglass — seem to get all the glory. Truth is, though, when it comes to drinking water or juice (or, yes, a G&T), what you really need most is a simple water glass. So we asked a few of our favorite restaurant, beverage, and design experts how they take their H2O. Below, 11 experts weigh in with their favorites.
“I actually just got a new set of water glasses for my country house in Water Mill, and will likely get another set for my Brooklyn apartment, too. They’re perfect for water or a cocktail — it’s a set of two sizes, but both are relatively shorter and more modern. Thinner, hand-blown glasses are all the rage now, but these aren’t scary thin where you feel they could break in your hand at any moment. I love the soft, rounded edge, too.” — Katrina Hernandez, designer, Hernandez Greene
“For water, I use Riedel H2O Classic Bar Highball glasses. The thin glass keeps them lightweight, they feel good in the hand, and I love feeling the temperature of the water through the glass. They’re also not obscenely expensive, so it’s not overly precious.” — Kelly Behun, designer
“I discovered my favorite glass in Japan a few years ago. They’re these insanely thin glass tumblers used at Rocking Chair Bar in Kyoto. The ones I bought have pinch points for your fingers, but you can get versions without them online. The thin glass makes them a pleasure to sip from, and the pinched glass makes them easy to grasp. I like smaller glasses so that the water can be refilled more frequently.” — Jim Meehan, owner, Mixography
“Anchor Hocking make great inexpensive and durable glasses. I started using these types of glasses because they hold enough water to wash something down, but they’re not so big to be obtrusive on the table next to everything else.” — Joshua Goldman, co-owner, Soigné Group
“At the restaurant, we prefer a 9 oz. Old Fashioned Endeavor rocks glass, which has a V-shape for easy stacking. They’re a little better-looking than a traditional drinking glass, and are versatile enough for water or a soft drink, or even a hard beverage.” — Paul Malvone, co-founder, Boston Burger Company
“The CB2 Marta glass has clean, straight lines, and is made of ultrathin glass [editor’s note: Ken Fulk likes these, too.]. The price is deceiving — they look and feel far more expensive than they really are. Definitely a crazy-good bang for your buck! They look as good sitting around on the table as they do on open shelving, which is helpful because that’s what I have at home.” — Athena Calderone, founder, Eye Swoon
“I use Libbey’s highball glass at home. I just think it doesn’t make too much sense to overthink your water glass — it should be durable and not look cheap. This one still looks and feels elegant. Plus, the heavy base makes it easy to carry on a tray, so it’s perfect for breakfast in bed.” — Vincent Mauriello, managing partner, Mr. Purple
“This is the classic tumbler we actually use at Narcissa. The glasses stack, which is a plus, and sit nicely relative to accompanying wine glasses. They also have a nice feel when you hold them in your hand, and are strong without feeling clunky. We’re lucky to have an amazing tabletop stylist who spent hours sourcing these perfect glasses.” — Susan Buckley, EVP of Food and Beverage Operations at Standard International
“I use mint-julep cups by Reed & Barton with that classic julep shape in silver and beading around the base. I think water is always more refreshing when you can pretend it’s bourbon and mint.” — Bronson van Wyck, event designer
“We use the 9 oz. highball glass by Libbey at home, which is stackable, and is a must for a tiny New York apartment. It’s actually the same glass we use at Employees Only, too. They’re thick enough to eliminate breakage, which is especially important for a glass that is most frequently used.” — Igor Hadzismajlovic, co-owner, Employees Only
“At home, I use these 12 oz. Collins glasses. A Collins glass is a tall, handsome vessel for a cocktail — like a Tom Collins, gin fizz, or mojito — but they’re multipurpose enough to use for just plain water, too. I like that it can do double or triple duty.” — Nick Rancone, owner, Corner Table
Note: These Longdrink glasses are sold out, but Spiegelau has some nice classic lager glasses available.
Get the best of The Strategist delivered to your inbox.
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeans, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, ultra-flattering pants, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.
Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.