At first it is okay if you are sticking with basic glassware but with passage of time when you seriously want to expand the value of your home bar, you must increase your glassware variety. It is easy to go crazy and or obsess over having the proper glass for every occasion. My advice is to start small. This is a home bar, after all. No one’s going to write a nasty review if you do not serve the Champaign in a Flute Glass.
Each glassware is for a different occasion and by using them correctly at the appropriate moment, it will upgrade the party mood and bring out a different kind of event impression for your guests. So always think about what sort of event you are going to have like party, official or romantic and then stock up your glassware according to that event. Examples of some the glassware are short glass (tumblers), stemware, martini glass, beer mugs, wine glass, rock glass, tall glass, and of course Beer Pilsner Glasses.
You have the Home Bar. You have the liquor and the mixers and your new entertainment area is ready to go. Now you need to pick out what glassware that you will need to start.
You have the hardware. Your home bar is almost complete. Now you just need glassware. Over time you can build a collection (glass sets make great gifts), but do not feel like you need to be fully stocked right out of the gate. Still, it is a good idea to have a few of the following glasses in your cupboard.
Tumblers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Also known as rocks or old-fashion glasses, a good set of these will get a lot of use at your Home Bar. They are perfect for serving spirits neat or cocktails like Whisky Sours and Old Fashions. A lot of people prefer thick-bottomed tumblers that have some weight to them — they don’t easily tip and spill and they feel good in your hand. People also like them larger than the classic style so they can double as a highball for gin and tonics and the like. In addition, they are easily placed in the dish washer for cleaning.
Coupes have a classic look that makes your at-home cocktails look as professional as anything you will find at a New York high end bar. (Fun fact: According to legend, the design was modeled on the breast of Marie Antoinette.) They are also super versatile. Not only are coupes an acceptable alternative to flutes for champagne, but they also work for most classic “up” drinks like Sidecars, Manhattans, and even Martinis.
Again, coupes are more professional, but if you are a big mimosa drinker, you might want some deeper flutes for brunch-time entertaining. Champaign and cool drinks are also served in these Flutes. Just drop in a cherry or a wedge and you are good to go.
While the coupes work simply fine, it is hard to argue with the iconic look of a martini in a tall cocktail glass. Tall, thin stem, and ice rolling down the side. Just try to resist the urge to buy those ridiculous gigantic glasses; you know it will not end well. Martini glasses are delicate, so they need to be handled gently. Do not put them in the dishwasher because they will be broken. However, hand washing will keep your glasses safe and clean for the next use.
This is your classic mixed drink glass. If your tumblers are big enough, you probably do not need these guys. Still, their tall, skinny design makes a great presentation for everything from vodka tonics to a Mojito.
Unless you are a big-time enophile, or a person who really loves, understands and drinks wines, do not over think wine glass etiquette. Invest in a set of at least six wine goblets and pour away. You can also find a set of stemless wine glasses that work for both red and white. They hold just the right amount of wine without worrying about the stems being broken.
Ditch those branded pint glasses you have been stealing since college and pick up a respectable set of pilsners. With all the great beer out there, it is a shame to waste it in generic glassware. There is probably nothing better than a cold beer served in a chilled Pilsner glass.
A decent sized pitcher is good to have when you are making batches of cocktails. Be sure to get something sturdy, but not too heavy, since it will be moving around a lot. The ideal pitcher should hold up to 20 oz. and not allow the drinks within to get too watered down from ice.
As much as you might resist, there will always be a night when shots are in order. So be prepared. But since we are adults now, you should have something classier than those random glasses you brought home from Cancun during spring break six years ago. Get a cheap set of 4 or 6, and you are good to go. Shot glasses are also very helpful in mixing the correct amount of ingredients to make the best drinks.
These copper mugs might not be worth the expense, but it really is the best way to drink a Moscow Mule. But do not stop there; the cold metal is great for any mixed drink on a hot summer day or an ice cold beer.
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