Crazy Drink Containers: Cups are out. Baby bottles and drink floaties are in.

This popular drink trend, using crazy and unusual drink containers, is constantly growing and evolving due to no shortage of business owners’ creativity. It’s led by a deluge of giant baby bottles, floating drink holders and other uncommon drink vessels.

crazy drink containers flamingo unicorn drink floaties

What kinds are there? | Where can I get them?

What is a crazy drink container? 

Crazy drink containers are pretty much self-explanatory.  They are drink containers or holders that are not your average cups and drink holders.  Now, we’re not just talking about coconuts at a tropical resort, or mason jars at your local hipster joint.  These containers range from the cute & creative to the weird and bizarre.

crazy drink containers unicorn floatie
a crowd favorite, the unicorn drink floatie

Types of unusual beverage containers


Beakers give a fun science experiment feel to drinking. They can be used as glasses for drinks, cocktails and shots.

Buy beakers on Amazon

Buy beaker shot glasses on Amazon

Big plastic baby bottles

Big plastic baby bottles have often been seen at many food-themed festivals for serving “value size” drinks. They are also a fun option for baby showers and baby birthday parties.

Buy pink baby bottles on Amazon

Buy blue baby bottles on Amazon

bowls (e.g. fish bowlspunch bowls, etc.)

Bowls are a popular choice for island or water-themed events. They can be found in the form of fish bowls, punch bowls, tiki bowls and even spheres.

Buy fish bowls/punch bowls on Amazon

Buy ceramic tiki bowl on Amazon

Get sphere bowls on Amazon

cookie shot “glasses”

Cookie shot glasses are a perfect way to enjoy cookies and milk. The cookie is baked in the shape of a shot glass and milk is poured inside.

Buy cookie shot glass tins on Amazon

hand grenade glasses

Hand grenade glasses are a great drinking container for military, video game or action themed parties.

Buy hand grenade glasses on Amazon

hollowed fresh fruits (e.g. apples, melons, etc.)

Almost any rigid fresh fruit can be hollowed out and turned into a drink container. These include apples, oranges, watermelons, cantaloupes, honeydews, pineapples and (of course) coconuts. Even smaller fruits like lemons, limes, and strawberries can be hollowed out for shots. (Tip: make sure to prepare them just before being served so they don’t brown or get soft.)

hollowed fruit drink container
hollowed out coconut are a classic drink container

ice shot glasses

Ice shot glasses are a fun and useful container to keep your liquor ice cold while taking a shot. (Tip: for clear ice, boil the water before freezing it in the mold.)

Buy ice shot glass molds on Amazon

floating drink holders (e.g. inflatable flamingo floatiesunicorn floaties, etc.)

These floating drink holders are the ideal accessory for beach, pool and summer parties. Enjoy a dip in the water while keeping your drink close at hand.

Buy inflatable drink floaties on Amazon

glass bears

Glass bears are a great drink container for animal themed events and school mascot themed parties (only if your school’s mascot is a bear, of course).

Buy glass bears on Amazon

glowing cups (or any drinking vessel with light cubes)

Glowing jars are great drink containers for night parties, especially for a glow-in-the-dark theme.

Buy glowing cups on Amazon

Buy light-up ice cubes on Amazon

IV bags/pouches

IV bags are a unique option for Halloween or medical themed events.

Buy IV bags on Amazon

Buy pouches on Amazon

crazy drink containers iv bags pouches
IV bags at a night market

light bulbs

Light bulb glasses are a fun option for any party. Throw in some light up ice cubes for an added effect. 🙂

Buy light bulb glasses on Amazon

large syringes (needle-less of course)

Large syringes are a really fun way to administer (jello) shots. Pair them with some IV bags for your next Halloween party.

Buy large syringes on Amazon

skull shot glasses

Skull shot glasses are a great addition to any Halloween or Dia de Los Muertos event.

Buy skull shot glasses on Amazon

shotgun shells

These go well with the hand grenade glasses mentioned earlier in the list.

Buy shot gun shells on Amazon

small sand buckets

Small sand buckets are great for beach themed parties. These are BPA-free so they’re safe to drink out of. And after you’ve cleaned them out, the kids can play with them too.

Buy small sand buckets on Amazon

test tubes

These test tube shot glasses would be a great addition for any Halloween party and pair perfectly with the beakers at the top of the list.

Get test tubes on Amazon

When did this trend of crazy drink containers start?

It’s difficult to pinpoint the origin of crazy drink containers since people have been drinking out of all kinds of containers like shells, stones, or their own cupped hands since the beginning of human existence.   Vikings have drunk out of animal horns since c. 500 BCE.  Germans have been drinking from das boot since the early 19th century.  Tiki mugs and volcano bowls have been in American tiki bars since the mid-20th century.  Bennihana made drinking out of unique ceramic mugs like cats and Buddhas a dining ritual since the 1970s.  Plus, many tourist cities known for imbibing, like Las Vegas and New Orleans, have had collectible drink containers in many of their bars for decades.

saxophone drink container in Las Vegas

This most recent wave of creative containers, however, can be attributed to the widespread fervor of mason jars around 2014.  These nostalgic yet versatile containers became ubiquitous, appearing in every eatery and bar appealing to the trendy crowd.  Now, they are the trite grandfather of this latest wave of drink containers.  It’s worth noting that Dominique Ansel (the inventor of the cronut) also invented the first cookie shot in 2014, further bolstering the crazy container trend.

How did unusual drink containers become a craze?

Out of the ordinary drink containers like these have become popular mostly because they’re “Instagrammable.”  These eye-catching vessels make people naturally want to share it on their social media.  They are often sold by vendors at various outdoor festivals and events . Also, many places provide free refills with their reusable drink containers and holders so people are more willing to buy them (like that ol’ giant theme park mug collecting dust in your cupboard).

Now, especially in the era of social distancing, these drink containers aren’t limited to large events. People frequently look for unusual things to drink out of for their own events and parties to delight their guests. Also, they can still be found at many bars and eateries.

crazy drink containers light bulbs hand grenades
light bulb and hand grenade drink containers

Where can I get unusual drink containers?  

If you scroll through our list of unusual beverage containers above, you’ll find links to buy each type of drink container online.

You can also find different types of crazy drink containers at annual fairs, night markets and large farmer’s markets like NYC’s and LA’s Smorgasburg.  There are certain trendy and themed eateries and bars that serve drinks in unique containers as well.  Some places you’ll want to check out include…

Los Angeles, CA: LuckyBall Korean BBQ
—drink floaties (unicorns, flamingoes, etc.)—

crazy drink containers flamingo unicorn floaties
photo: Glutto Digest

Philadelphia, PA: Mad Rex
—IV drip bags for drinks—

crazy drink containers iv drip bag philadelphia
photo: Mad Rex on Facebook

New York, NY: Taiyaki
—unicorn drink floaties—

crazy drink containers unicorn floatie nyc new york
photo: @foodmento on Instagram

San Diego, CA (multiple locations): Square Bar Cafe
—light bulb drinks—

crazy drink containers light bulb drinks
photo: Square Bar Cafe on Facebook

Hello! I'm Kristina

Kristina Reynolds is the Founder & CEO of Glutto and an alumna of the University of California, San Diego. She writes articles & posts for Glutto Digest with insights from fellow industry experts. Furthermore, she is the author of The Fittest Food Lovers: How EVERY BODY Can be Incredibly Fit and Still Enjoy Food, a collaborative philanthropic book with proceeds going to charities that fight world hunger.