Between shooters and snifters, navigating the world of cocktail glassware can be a confusing one. Thankfully, you don’t need dozens of glass types in order to build out a complete bar. In fact, several all-purpose types of bar glassware will more than cover you when it comes to serving cocktails in style.
A well-stocked bar cart might be what you’re after, in which case we’d suggest four basic bar glass shapes that can be tailored to just about every kind of libation. If you’re registering for pieces, we’d recommend selecting 8 to 12 of each of the below to serve a crowd in style.
Old-fashioned glasses, also known as whiskey glasses, rocks glasses or lowball glasses,are ideal for drinks that you want to mix in the glass, such as a Negroni or an old-fashioned, or for serving whiskey or scotch neat or on the rocks.
This tall, narrow glass is great for fizzy drinks like gin and tonic, or ones that require plenty of ice, such as a Tom Collins or a Bloody Mary. Pair it with classic refreshers, like a Pimm’s Cup or a Long Island Iced Tea, as well.
The elegantly thin-stemmed, funnel-shaped cocktail glass, perhaps the most well-known of all barware, is often used to serve its namesake drink, but also lends itself to other libations that are served “up.”
This glass, which was fashionable beginning in France in the 1700s, was originally used for serving Champagne. It’s not just ideal for serving bubbly, though; its dramatic shape lends itself well to small but strong drinks served straight up, like a Manhattan or daiquiri. If you’re short on space or budget, a deeper coupe like the one pictured at top can stand in well in place of a martini glass.
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