My favorite of all the cocktail glasses are the tall tumblers. As a child, my parents had a set of frosted Collins glasses that had circus animals on them. They would let us children use them for special occasions and there was always the discussion as to who would get the zebra or the lion glass. The glasses are tall and cylindrical and seemed to adult! They were always fun to drink from.
Highballs are the popular choice for drinks, whether it is alcoholic or not. They hold a good size drink, usually 8 - 12 oz. Typically highball cocktails -which are a mixed drink of one alcoholic base and a soft drink mixer (gin & tonic, Scotch & soda, rum & coke). Highball glasses can be found at most every store that sells drinking glasses and are quite common.
Collins glasses are a bit different than highballs, but only slightly different. Collins glasses are taller and more narrow, a bit more elegant than highball glasses. They hold between 8 - 14 oz. It is commonly used to serve soft drinks, Long Island Iced Tea, Mai Tai and Collin's drinks. Collin's drinks are alcoholic drinks made with sour mix and a splash of a soft drink. The added height gives room for the bubbles to rise up to the surface, presenting a refreshing effervescence to the user.
Old Fashioned Glasses are short tumblers that go by many names, lowball glasses, rocks glasses. They are designed to serve alcohol on ice. They usually hold 6- 10 oz and the double Old Fashioned glass holds 12 - 16 oz.
A Shot Glass varies by size according to each country with their specific and legal standards. But, in the USA a shot size is only regulated in Utah where it has to be 1.5 fluid ounces. Mostly in the US, it holds between 1.25 - 1.5 oz or 44 mL. A shot glass is used to hold a shot of alcohol that one will drink from the glass or to measure a shot of alcohol to be mixed into a cocktail shaker. (1.5 oz is also considered a jigger.)
A shot glass was used in the distant past at dinners where the main course was served soon after the hunt. Shot glasses were placed on the table so diners could place and lead shot found in their dinners, from the shotgun blasts to the bird, elk, deer or venison.
A Shooter is very similar to a shot in that it holds between 25 and 100 mL of alcohol. The difference being that a shooter is a mix of at least to types of alcohol. Shooters can be shaken, stirred, blended, layered or poured into the shooter glass.
In the last few years shooter glasses have become a popular use for tiny desserts served in shooter glasses. The desserts are served either as a trifle, pudding or cheesecake with only a few bites for the diner. Some places have a sampling tray with multiple shooters while other restaurants capitalize on miniature desserts for people with sweet tooths who do not want to overindulge.