I inherited a bar set. It has a wide variety of glassware, all of which I recognize except this piece

enter image description here

The bottom portion holds a 1/2 cup. There is a small hole connecting the top and bottom. The top section is about 2in in diameter with a 3/4 inch opening between the top and the bottom. It is awkward to pour out of it and impossible to drink out of it. There are 12 of them, along with all the other glassware.

There are no markings on the glassware or the bar itself. The bar only contains liquor glasses (Collins glass, cordial glass, old fashion glass, shot glass) and no wine glasses or beer glasses.

What is its purpose?

  • 1
    What a fun vintage piece! Are there any marks or stamps on them?
    – elbrant
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 2:25
  • It looks like an oil lamp to me - like these things. But Gloriaz' link makes me doubt. What's the size of the hole?
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 7:44
  • @elbrant see edits
    – StrongBad
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 15:59
  • @moscafj I rolled back your edit since I am not convinced the "glass" is actually a glass. One answer has proposed it is a vase and another a decanter.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 16:44
  • @StrongBad From an editorial perspective, I'm not sure that "(???)" is the best way to signify your concern, but it's your question...so, no problem here.
    – moscafj
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 18:41

3 Answers 3


It's a double bubble shot glass designed for a shot (on top) and the chaser of your choice on the bottom. It is just a novelty and fancy way of presenting special drinks.

Picture of a double-shot glass filled with two differently-tinted liquids

Here's a video showing how it's used.

  • 3
    Are you intended to just pour the chaser into another glass in order to drink it, or drink it out of the double-bubble glass, or what? Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 4:28
  • 1
    I have never personally had a drink from it, but it seemed like they would drink the entire shot and chaser at once. The two stayed separated until you tipped it over and drank it.
    – GloriaZ
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 4:50
  • 6
    This definitely calls for confirmation. Time to look up a nice double bubble shot and try it out.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 12:15
  • 2
    I've gotten one of these from a Dave and Busters, called an Over Under or the likes. Buy the drink, keep the glass is part of the deal.
    – agweber
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 18:48
  • 3
    @GloriaZ I've used one of these, and can confirm that's how you use it (or, at least, that's how I was told to use it). There's too much liquid to drink the whole thing in one gulp, but in my limited test cases, the first gulp finishes most of the shot, and there's two or three gulps left of chaser. There's a bit of mixing, but it's negligible. Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 20:38

It looks exactly like a vase for growing hyacinths to me.

Edit: This is wrong. As noted in comments, a hyacinth vase has a larger hole. Search for "bubble shot glass" images to see the OP's object. Previous answer continues below...

The bulb sits in the top and roots grown into the water below (you have to let the water touch the bulb until the roots grow).

See this advert on Amazon

Row of hyacinth vases

  • 8
    Interesting, but it seems the narrow part is narrower on the glass in question.
    – Luciano
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 11:47
  • 5
    @Luciano is right - hyacinth glasses are wider to ensure that the whole root plate is free and the roots can grow unrestrictedly.
    – Stephie
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 12:22
  • 2
    Is the hyacinth typically used in alcoholic drinks? OP got this in a bar set, so I'm just curious if these are typical in drinks?
    – BruceWayne
    Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 16:19
  • @BruceWayne No. I am sure GloriaZ has it right. Searching for "bubble shot glass" finds lots of hits. Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 16:56
  • @BruceWayne just because an item comes with others designed for a certain use does not necessarily mean that this is true for said item as well: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/90239/…
    – Stephie
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 7:21

I haven't come across one for single servings, but this looks very much like a red wine decanter, used to improve the flavour of a red wine by aerating it.

The top bulb is to pour your freshly opened red wine into. The wine passes through the intentionally narrow neck and flows down the inside of the glass in the lower bulb. This exposes as much surface area of the wine as possible to air, allowing it to breathe. This improves the flavour and gives the wine a smoother feel in the mouth.

Aeration is usually done by passing the wine through an aerator - a device with two or more openings, allowing the wine to pass through, or which passes bubbles through the wine - or a decanter which uses a large surface area to do the trick. Without one of these devices, a wine drinker will typically swirl the wine in the glass to reproduce the effect at a smaller scale.

The scale of yours, coupled with it belonging to a bar set, implies that it's intended to be used for a single serving/glass at once.

When turned upside down, it should fit fairly neatly into the mouth of the red wine drinking glasses in the rest of the set. This allows a second aeration, offsetting the relatively small bulb, and gives the pourer a chance to show off.

  • That was my thought, but the bar set has no wine glasses, just liquor glasses.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 15:56
  • @J... thanks, I've corrected the text. Please edit or let me know if there's something else that should be improved.
    – pbeentje
    Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 8:39
  • @StrongBad how odd. A quick search for liquor aeration returns a mixed bag; does the glass fit into the neck of your liquor glasses? I couldn't imagine that the double bubble shot suggestion was right, given you had already stated it was impossible to drink out of and the narrowness of the neck, but let us know how that double shot went!
    – pbeentje
    Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 8:51

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