Home Bar Setup & Tools
8 Glassware Types for Your Home Bar
There is no greater way to exhibit an appreciation for fine cocktails than creating a home bar. Stocking it with quality liquor is a given. But before spending money on high-end booze, remember: the type of glassware your cocktails are served in can enhance or detract from their quality. When building an exceptional cocktail, the proper glass serves as a foundation supporting preparation, presentation and most importantly, perception.
Perception? Yes (here comes the science), thanks to two molecules called tastants and odorants. The tongue and nose detect these molecules, and our brains perceive ‘flavor.’ Specific bar glassware is designed to get those molecules where your brain can perceive them best. Using the wrong glassware reduces these elements of taste resulting in a not-so ‘sensational’ cocktail for you or your guests.
There are dozens of types of bar glassware to choose from. So where do you start? Fear not, you don’t need to go overboard when outfitting a new bar. These 8 glassware types will cover most of your cocktail serving needs, and make a fine impression on guest in the process.
A ‘highball’ is any drink made with a measure of liquor, mixed with larger amounts of soda, juice or both. At between 8 and 12 ounces, and having a tall profile makes these perfect for many mixed cocktails.Perfect for:
Named for the famous cocktail served in it, and sometimes called ‘lowball’ or ‘rocks’ glasses (used for drinks served ‘on the rock’ or over ice), at 8 ounces with a low profile, these glasses are perfect for three fingers of any spirit.Perfect for:
Perhaps the most recognizable cocktail glass, at 3 to 6 ounces, these are perfect for Martini variations, classic cocktails or any drink served ‘up’ (chilled without ice). The long stem helps keep the cocktail cold.Perfect for:
The pint glass is an important back bar tool. Combined with a bar tin, it’s referred to as a Boston Shaker and used for ‘shaking’, mixing and building many cocktails. It’s also great for serving beer or non-alcoholic drinks.Perfect for:
Part serving glass, part measuring tool, the famous shot glass usually comes in 1 or 1.5 ounces, and are used for serving small quantities or measuring spirits when mixing cocktails. They tend to get a lot of use so usually have thicker bottoms. Several on-hand is a good idea.Perfect for:
At 6 to 20 ounces, the bowl shape makes these perfect for festive frozen drinks, and the wide mouth allows for easy rimming with salt, sugar, coco or any other accent ingredient.Perfect for:
Because it’s shaped like a stemless Martini glass, the Cosmopolitan has been mistakenly considered a variation of the classic. But at 8.25 ounces, these short-cousins to the Martini glass will make any cocktail look and feel more chic.Perfect for:
Originally created for Champagne, the Coupe glass has found new life serving up mixed drinks, sans ice. This shallow, broad-bowled glass typically holds between 4.5 to 9 ounces and makes for a classy-looking cocktail.Perfect for:
TIP: Heat-treated glasses are more durable than non-treated glasses
TIP: Liquid & ice reflect light like facets in a diamond. High-clarity glass helps colors pop and cocktails shimmer with light.
TIP: Lipped glasses are stronger than non-lipped glasses.
TIP: Unless you’re hosting a poolside or outdoor party, always choose glass over plastic,always.
TIP: Quality trumps quantity, so add as you can afford with a few pieces at a time.