A Guide to Bar Glassware & Drinkware

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Following up on “World Cocktail Day” we wanted to do a rundown of the ever-important vessel that holds all our favorite beverages! Cut crystal, fine long-stemmed wine glasses, hand-friendly goblets — glassware is a beautiful topic to get lost in. The glassware you choose for every drink, from beer and wine to cocktails, is a primary identifier of the drink itself. It is still debatable if there is any scientific merit to how glassware affects the sensory experience of the drink itself. But here’s a quick list of the most common drinkware and glassware so that you can decide for yourself.


The designers created this drinking vessel with a stem, so the user can hold the glass without affecting the temperature of the drink through skin. This category includes the Martini glass for aromatic cocktails, Margarita glass in both saucer or welled type, Coupette glass, Hurricane glass, cordial glass, copita nosing glass and Glencairn for whisk(e)y, poco grande, snifter for brandy, and whiskey sour glass.


Flat-bottomed glassware (more commonly known as tumblers) have a wide range of intended use and volume capacity. Some common types include Cosmopolitans which are similar to cocktail glasses but lack the stem, rocks glasses for drinking spirits, old fashioneds (specifically named after the classic cocktail), high balls (a taller version of rocks glasses), Zombie glasses for fruity cocktails, Collins glasses for long drinks, shot glasses, and shooters.

Beer Glasses

Depending on the beer style, experts recommend different beer glasses as the right choice. The most common is the Pint glass. The pint is a standard conical shape that makes it easier for bars to stack the glasses. A Pilsner has a long, narrow shape with a tapered base to support delicate heads of pilsners and other lagers. A tulip is bulb-shaped, commonly used for ales, barleywines, and aromatic lagers. Similar to a brandy snifter, a beer snifter is ideal to enjoy the aromatics of ales. And like champagne flutes, beer flutes maintain the carbonation while pushing the aromas on top.

Wine Glasses

Wine glasses have a variety of shapes & sizes. Yet, they all have three primary elements: the bowl, the stem, and the base or foot. Usually, wine glasses are categorized according to shape: standard, flute, tulip, coupe, hock, and tumbler. Additionally, they can be categorized based on the type of wine, including red, white, sparkling, and dessert. The most common glasses for red wine include Burgundy, Bordeaux, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Glasses for whites come in standard white and Chardonnay. As for dessert wines, there are specific glasses such as port, sherry, and Sauternes. And finally for sparkling wines, glasses designed to maintain carbonation are the flute, tulip, and vintage.

Whether you are setting up your own bar, professionally or at home, it is never wrong to be familiar with the diverse shapes & purposes of different glassware. Knowledge is power- what better way to impress your guests with knowledge of the vessels that hold our favorite drinks! We love working with our couples on details like this. So, of course we would love to connect with new couples to maximize the details on their big day! Reach out for more information!