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Bar Glassware: 7 Facets of Bar Glassware History and Use

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Learning about bar glassware goes hand in hand with, well, everything to do with a bar business. Whether it’s a wine bar, brunch cafe, or classic restaurant, bar glassware is involved. If you’ve been learning about types of wine glasses, cocktail ingredients, or the top 10 summer drinks, bar glassware is something you should learn about. It can, in many cases, go hand in hand with liquor bottle sizes and pours.

The seven facets of bar glassware, from the historical use of bar glassware to common glassware you’ll find today, run the gamut. Read through this BinWise blog to learn everything you need to know to serve up drinks in a bar and enjoy them too.

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Bar Glassware Types

The range of bar glassware types is vast and varied. There is, effectively, a glass for every type of drink, from wine and beer brands to cocktails of all shapes and sizes. We’ll walk you through 15 common bar glassware options in this blog post. 

As you’re buying bar glassware, it’s important to keep the basic types in mind. That way you can serve up the drinks customers are looking for when they walk through the door. 

Home Bar Glassware

If you’re buying bar glassware for your home bar, you’ll have some more specific needs. For a standard bar, you want to have a fair amount of every type of glassware you might need.

When it comes to home bar glassware, the main thing you need to focus on is the types of drinks you want to enjoy at home. You should also plan for who you want to enjoy them with. 

You’ll likely find that four of five types of glasses work for your home setup. You’ll want to have a set of six for each type. If you’re entertaining large groups, that may change to 12 glasses of each type. 

Antique Bar Glassware

Antique bar glassware can be a separate type of glassware. It can also be a more ornate version of the glassware you can buy from a restaurant supplier today. If you’re opening a cocktail bar or luxe lounge, investing in some antique bar glassware can help enhance your style. Some of the best ways to source it are vintage stores, or estate sales. 

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Bar Glassware and Their Uses

These 15 types of bar glassware are named aptly for the drinks they are most commonly used to serve. Some, like a rocks glass, a coupe glass, or a snifter, are designed for specific styles of drinks, as opposed to a specific drink. They can even be used for mocktails, for those times a teetotaler visits your bar. 

  1. Highball
  2. Martini
  3. Old Fashioned
  4. Rocks
  5. Red Wine
  6. White Wine
  7. Champagne
  8. Irish Coffee Mug
  9. Pilsner
  10. Pint
  11. Shot
  12. Shooter
  13. Margarita
  14. Coupe
  15. Snifter

Bar Glassware Cabinet: Storage Solutions

A bar glassware cabinet or other shelving unit is something to think about as you’re stocking up on bar glassware. You can look into a wine bar cabinet and shelf storage setup for your crystal glassware. General liquor storage advice will also come in handy. Hanging shelves for stemmed glassware is common and extremely practical. 

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Disposable Bar Glassware

Disposable bar glassware is a specific sub-section of bar glassware and supplies these days. With the importance of sustainability being top of mind for many in the industry, especially with eco-friendly restaurants, disposable options can be rare. They are, however, perfect for any bars and restaurants hosting pop-ups. 

There will be instances where you won’t be taking dishes back to the restaurant with you. For those times, disposable cups or specialty cups customers can bring home and use time and again, are the way to go.

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Bar Glassware Brands

Choosing the right bar glassware goes beyond picking enough of the right styles. You also need to choose your brands. Some common, high-quality bar glassware brands include:

  • Bormioli Rocco
  • NUDE
  • Chef&Sommelier
  • Bodum
  • Waterford
  • Zwiesel
  • Libbey
  • LSA International
  • Spiegelau
  • Urban Bar
  • Fortessa

These brands have different specialties. Depending on your needs, you may want a mix from a few different brands. 

"Key Takeaway: There is, effectively, a glass for every type of drink, from wine and beer brands to cocktails of all shapes and sizes."

Frequently Asked Questions About Bar Glassware

Bar glassware is a broad topic. There will always be new terms to learn, and even new drinks to enjoy in classic glassware. Our answers to these frequently asked questions will give you more information about bar glassware. From here, keep enjoying drinks and learning about the role glassware plays in the hospitality industry.

What Do You Call a Glass In a Bar?

When you’re ordering a drink in a bar and you want a specific type of glass, you can use the term you know. That will likely be a term that your bartender is familiar with. If not, you can check out the glasses they have on display for use, and ask for the right one. 

Usually, when you order a drink you’ll either receive the traditional glass for it, or a bar-specific one if the bar does something unique. For instance, there are bars that serve drinks strictly out of mason jars. Remember, a cocktail, served in any glass, still tastes just as sweet. 

What are the Four Types of Glassware Needed In a Bar?

The four types of glassware you need, at minimum, in a bar are:

  • Wine glasses
  • Beer glasses
  • Cocktail glasses
  • Shot glasses

Within those categories there are so many specific types of glassware. If you’re just opening for business, those four basics will get you started. From there, you’ll find what you need depending on the drinks you serve. 

What Is a Jigger Shot?

A jigger shot is the standard jigger size of 1.5 ounces. This is the larger side of the jigger, with the smaller side being known as the pony shot. The pony shot is .75 ounces. The larger side of the jigger is a standard shot amount in most bars, and for most types of alcohol.

Why Do Bars Wet the Glasses?

Bars wet their glasses for three reasons:

  1. To rinse any dust and residual cleaning residue from soap. This is important for safety and taste.
  2. To have a better pour, because the glass is already wet. This is especially important for beer, as a beer pours better when poured on and into a wet surface. It helps reduce foam.
  3. To cool down the glasses after the dishwasher, to avoid uncomfortable heat when handling them.

When it comes down to it, if you see a bartender or mixologist wetting the glasses, it’s for customer satisfaction. It’s one of those small things bars do to make the experience better for customers. Whether they’re hosting brunch or working hard at guest retention, wetting the glasses is a part of that goal.

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Bar Tools and Glassware: Gather Your Glassware 

Bar glassware and tools are a critical part of the success of bars, restaurants, country clubs, enterprise hotels, and everywhere else drinks are served. They’re a part of your inventory. They should be looked after and tracked with the same care you give to mixed drink ingredients and garnishes. 

If you’re looking for inventory or order management support for your bar glassware and related supplies, reach out to BinWise and BlueCart. The BinWise Pro inventory program, paired with the BinScan mobile app, gives you peace of mind when you take inventory. BlueCart’s order management software makes your order management system that much easier to work with. 

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