Complete Guide to Glassware

Bar trolley with glassware

Martini glass? Highball glass? Champagne flute? Whilst it’s obvious what type of glass some drinks should be served in, it’s less clear for others. Do certain drinks taste better when served in certain glasses? Take a look at our guide to glassware for everything you need to know.

What are the Different Types of Glassware?

If you’re setting up a home bar, you can build up a collection of different glasses over time. Start with ones to serve up your favorite drinks in, and then you can expand to other types if you feel like completing the set, or you like to host guests

Wine Glasses

Most people have wine glasses in their collection, but do you serve all wine in the same type of glass? The shape of the glass can affect the taste of the wine, as it changes how much the wine can ‘breathe’ and the vapors it lets off.

Red wine glasses are taller and have a larger bowl than glasses for white wine. This gives the wine enough space to interact with the air, allowing the big, bold flavors to develop. There are even different styles of red wine glasses which are better suited to different wines. The Bordeaux glass has a wide bowl, allowing maximum space for the wine to interact with oxygen in the air, whilst a Burgundy glass has a wide brim which is perfect for light-bodied reds.

The longer stem in white wine glasses puts distance between your hand and the bowl of the glass, meaning the wine will stay cooler for longer.

Champagne Flutes

Tall and slender, champagne flutes keep the bubbles in the glass for longer. The champagne coupe is also a rising trend. Popular in France from its introduction in the 1700s until around the 1970s, and fashionable in the USA between 1930 and 1980, this shallow saucer-shaped glass has seen a resurgence in the last few years. Coupes work well for champagne cocktails as well, especially if you want to serve them with an edible flower or other embellishments on the side.

Highball Glasses

Highball and collins glasses are both tall, slender glasses for long drinks. They’re very similar and can be used interchangeably, although collins glasses are typically a little narrower than highballs.

Traditionally, collins glasses are used for the cocktail of the same name - the Tom Collins is made from gin, lemon juice, sugar and sparkling water, although it can also be made with vodka or tequila. These glasses are essential for any home bar.

Short Tumblers

Blue Pheasant

Short and stout, these glasses are great multi-taskers. They work for serving drinks on the rocks or a neat dram of whiskey (with enough room to add a little water to your taste). It’s also perfect as an old fashioned glass. Go for a thicker glass with a heavy bottom - it’s more durable and feels good in your hand, perfect for slowly nursing your drink.

Beer Glasses

Think that beer is only served in pint glasses? Think again. Just as with wine, there are several different types of beer glasses, designed to serve different kinds. Pint glasses shouldn’t be overlooked, though as they’re a must-have in a home bar if you’re a beer lover. They hold a full bottle or can of beer, and even double up as a cocktail shaker. Pilsner glasses have a fluted shape, mainly used for lager and pilsner, and beer mugs are perfect for warm days as you can hold the glass without warming it up with your hands.

Shot Glasses

Whether you use it to knock back a neat vodka or as a measure for long drinks, every bar needs a couple of shot glasses. These are usually made of thicker glass and come in a variety of different shapes and styles.

Cocktail Glasses

Richard Brendon

The number of different cocktail glasses is as numerous as the cocktails themselves. Martini glasses are a classic choice for any bar, whether you use them to serve a martini or another cocktail of your choice. Goblets are a great choice for cocktails, as are champagne saucers, which suit daiquiris, negronis, and any other cocktails you might whip up in your home bar.

Ultimately, it all comes down to your preferences as to what glasses you fill your cupboards with and what drinks you decide to serve in them. No matter the occasion or your home’s style, we have all the glassware you need.