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Starting a Home Bar: Glassware - Part 4

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

With a home bar fully stocked with spirits, ingredients, and tools, naturally, we will need some vessels to contain the delicious drinks you will prepare. With a laundry list of glassware in the world of cocktails, from brandy snifters to hurricane glasses to even copper mugs for Moscow Mules, there are just too many to list. However, here are three essential glassware types and the cocktails that suit them to keep in your home bar. I've broken these down by stemmed, lowball, and highball glasses because a couple of types of glasses will do the job in each category.

Stemmed Glass: Martini Glass/Cocktail Glass or Coupe Glass

Stemmed glasses are glasses that have long stems from the base up to the vessel. These would include wine and champagne glasses, but we will be focusing on those used primarily in cocktails. Cocktail glasses or more popularly known as the Martini glass, are most recognizable by the conical shape. Usually designed with a stem, this keeps the drink chilled as our warming hands don't need to touch the glass's part containing the liquid directly. Used for drinks between 3-6 ounces (90-180ml) are most often served "straight up" without ice. I've also included a coupe glass, famously known to be designed from the shape of a certain French Queen's breast because nowadays, these are becoming more and more popular for cocktails.

Here are some cocktails served in a stemmed cocktail glass:

  • Martini

  • Daiquiri

  • Cosmopolitan

  • Manhattan

Lowball Glass: Old Fashioned Glass/Rocks Glass

Lowball glasses or more commonly known as Old Fashioned or "rocks" glasses are short tumblers that hold between 6-10 ounces (180-300ml). These are typically used to serve anything neat or over ice, including short mixed drinks and whisky neat. Designed to be held in hand, this type of glass can even be used for martini-style cocktails mentioned before, with or without ice. Of course, this won't be a traditional way to serve those cocktails; an Old Fashioned glass's versatility makes it essential for the home bar.

Here are some cocktails served in an Old Fashioned Glass:

  • Old Fashioned

  • Negroni

  • Sazerac

  • White Russian

Highball Glass: Highball or Collins Glass

Lastly, here is the other end of the lowball glass, a highball glass. There are two types of glasses in this category, highball and collins glasses, both designed to serve long drinks, which have larger quantities of liquid. Even though these two glasses hold the same volume of 8-16 ounces (240-480ml) and can be used interchangeably, they are different in shape. Collins glasses tend to be taller and narrower, while highball glasses are typically more stout and top off at 10 ounces (300ml). These are handy glasses to have at the home bar for two reasons. First, the cocktails are often built directly in the glass, removing the need for other cocktail tools. Secondly, these glasses are great for everyday home use, serving water, soda, juice, and other non-alcoholic drinks. Designed to be filled to the top with ice, this ensures that your cocktails will stay cold while you drink them.

Here are some cocktails served in a highball glass:

  • Tom Collins

  • Bloody Mary

  • Cuba Libré

  • Screwdriver

With these three types of glassware you will be able to make plenty of different types of cocktails in your home bar. There will be some temptation to immediately expand into other types of glasses, but trust me when I suggest for you to start with these three. Buy a set of 4-6 of each type, depending on how many people you plan to entertain. There is no need to splurge on expensive glassware, but do keep in mind that these will be an investment for the future. Note: All glassware used in the photography in this article are from Schott Zwiesel Indonesia, find the link to their online store here.

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