The drinkware used can be a mixture of marketing, function, tradition, and very real aromatic science.
Rocks glasses can take a pounding with the muddle, are very masculine and heavy (marketed to dudes) but also draw a fair amount of heat from a person’s hand – making a drink that is meant to sip over time change and evolve as you drink it. The straight sides also cause the boozy aromas of ethanol to gather just above the drink – sometimes making a drink seem boozier than it is….
Coupe or cocktail glassware, on the other hand, is meant to be held by the stem – and the warmth of your hand is meant to be kept away from the drink. These drinks are (nearly) always served up, and are shaken or stirred with ice to chill, and should be drunk cold – leaving them vulnerable to warming up if your hand is on the glass.
Collins or Highball glasses are traditional for drinks that are 1 part spirit and 3 parts bubbly mixer, served on ice. They are usually not shaken or stirred but built in the glass – there are exceptions, we serve Margaritas in them because we like the aesthetic, and because we like a tart Marg – these straight-sided glasses can sometimes trick our brains into perceiving acidity. Plus they’re easy to rim with salt.