Buying Bar Glassware? Here’s What to Know

Art of the Cocktail, Beer & Cocktails, Beverages, Drink, Home, Live, Weddings & Events


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.


Try these glassesEdward Double Old-Fashioned Glass, Williams-Sonoma Open Kitchen Tumblers 


Make these cocktailsBarn Nail, Maple-Bourbon Smash





HighballThis 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.


Try this glassEdward Highball Glass, Square Highball Glass


Make these cocktails:Thyme for a DrinkCrème d’Irie




MartiniThe 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.”


Try this glass: Dorset Crystal Martini GlassWilliams-Sonoma Martini Glass


Make these cocktails: Apple Cidercar, Limoncello Dirty Martini




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.


Try these glasses: Riedel Grape Coupe Glass, Dorset Champagne Coupe


Make these cocktails: Harvested Apple, Sparkling Brew


Right now, we’re also running our Win Your Registry Sweepstakes. Simply create your own registry in one of our stores or online, and you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win your entire registry! See more details here.

One comment about “Buying Bar Glassware? Here’s What to Know

  1. Callum Palmer

    Wow, I don’t do a lot of drinking, so I had no idea that there were so many different kinds of glasses depending on the drink. While it may be a bit excessive, I can’t deny that the right glass really sells the look and atmosphere of the drink. Not to mention that collecting all of those different kinds of glasses must be pretty fun.


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