Essential Glassware For Your Bar

A proper cocktail requires the proper glassware.

Every glass is designed with a purpose in mind, and matching your cocktail to its ideal glass is a vital step in creating any good drink. Some glasses are designed to keep cocktails cold, while others are intended to capture the aromatics of the ingredients.  Below are the essential pieces you’ll need in your bar to have your cocktail bases covered.
 

 
  • Champagne coupe – the Champagne coupe was designed in England in the 17th century specifically to enhance the qualities of Champagne. This glass is typically 4.5 - 5 oz. Like its cocktail glass cousin, the stem protects the contents of the bowl from warm hands, and the wide mouth promotes aromatics. Allegedly modeled after a particularly curvy body part of Marie Antoinette, the Champagne coupe is another iconic staple for short, cocktails served strait up.

  • Cocktail glass – the iconic cocktail glass (sometimes mistakenly called a martini glass) is perhaps the most recognizable piece in any bar. The standard cocktail glass is 4.5 oz., and it is designed with a stem to keep your hands from warming the contents of the glass.  The wide mouth enhances the aromatic elements within your cocktail, and the distinct V-shaped silhouette lends it an assertive style.

  • Rocks glass – also known as a low ball or Old Fashioned glass, the rocks glass is a tumbler that usually holds 6 - 10 oz. The heavy, wide bottom is perfect for muddling ingredients like herbs or fruit. The low ball is a very versatile vessel for a number of cocktails, particularly those served on the rocks, or that call for muddling. 

  • Highball glass – the rocks glass’s big brother, the highball glass is a slightly taller version of the low ball. It has the same shape and tumbler base, but holds 8 - 12 oz. Perfect for highball cocktails (those made with an alcoholic base and a non-alcoholic mixer), this glass is a true staple if you like slightly taller mixed drinks like the gin and tonic.

  • Collins glass – the Collins glass is the tallest and most slender of the staple glasses in your bar. Designed specifically for a Tom Collins cocktail, the glass can also be used for taller fizzes and low alcohol coolers that call for the addition of soda. Because of its height, the Collins glass often calls for a straw.

  • Julep cup – while not necessarily a staple, the julep cup or julep tin is popular in the United States South. Julep cups are made from non-reactive metal – usually silver (or silver-plated) or pewter. They often have an ornate design along the rim, and have reached iconic status in the state of Kentucky, where the Kentucky Derby has become synonymous with the Mint Julep. An eye-catching addition to any bar, the julep cup deserves its spot next to your other staples.

  • Moscow Mule mug – also known as a Moscow Mule tin, this is the julep cup’s copper cousin. Similar in size and general style, the Moscow Mule tin differs from the julep cup in that it has a handle, and is almost exclusively made from copper, which ensures the contents stay very cold.  The Moscow Mule mug combined with your julep cup adds a sexy bit of elegance to your bar’s glassware arrangement.

  • Punch Bowl – a large volume bowl (1 - 4 gallons) used to serve a punch in a communal style. Often ornate and made of glass or porcelain, punch bowls serve not only as reservoirs for punches, but also as a gathering location for the party wherein they're served. Often referred to as a "flowing bowl", punch bowls are meant to encourage conversation and personal interaction at events and parties.