The martini glass is such an elegant looking cocktail glass. There is something very sophisticated in the sexy stem opening up into a large inverted cone.
The style came about because cocktails are usually served with ice or cold; when drinking a martini you hold onto the stem so that your hands will not warm up the drink.
Other reasons for the shape of the martini glass that have been heard are that it brings out the bouquet of the gin making for a more enjoyable taste sensation, it makes it easy to show off extras like olives or onions, and that during Prohibition it was easier to dump the drink out when the police showed up. It’s up to you which reason you want to believe.
When the martini was first served, in 1862 in San Francisco, it was just served in a regular bar glass. In the 20th century designers went to town. There are lots of different martini glass styles now, ranging from 6oz glasses to over 12oz glasses. They come in lots of colours too. Some designs tend to overwhelm the drink and sometimes the simpler the better is the way to go.
Another use for martini glasses is for serving appetizers or desserts; the usual shrimp cocktail comes in a martini glass so that the shrimp can hang over the side.
It is always a good idea to use the proper glass for a cocktail, having a martini in a regular bar glass or say a wine glass is sacrilege.