Building a home bar is exciting, fun, a little expensive, and sometimes confusing because there are so many things to think about when starting out. Of course building your the liquor, liqueurs, and wine collection will take time as you dive into specific spirits. and varieties. The bare ware is pretty straight forward and you can find my a complete list of what I use here. When it comes to glassware this is where I see people get stuck because there are several types of cocktail glasses and the question becomes, do I need every glass and my answer is no. The essential glassware for your home bar should be based on classic cocktails and your own personal preference. This is not a full and complete list but it’s a great list to get you started.
Flutes are designed to hold carbonated cocktails and sparkling wine such as our beloved mimosa, crisp Cava and Prosecco, sparkling rosé, and of course Champagne cocktails. The flute glass elegantly shows off the cocktail’s color and bubbly strength. More importantly, the flute shape helps gather the aroma for the nose.
Here are some cocktails best served in a fluted glass:
Rocks and Old Fashioned Glasses
Rocks and Old Fashioned Glasses are designed to hold ice, a spirit, and bitters. They are wide with a sturdy bottom and excellent for cocktails served neat, straight up, and on the rocks. You will mostly see Old fashioned cocktails, Negronis, and whiskey cocktails served in these glasses.
There are always exceptions based on preference and for me, I actually serve my margaritas in Rocks glasses. I don’t care for the style of the traditional margarita glass so Rocks glasses are my go-to. Check out my Mezcal Pineapple Margarita, it’s a great time!
In my opinion, you can never have enough coupe glasses; they are charming and hold the most beautiful cocktails. Coupe glasses are stemmed champagne glasses designed to hold sparkling wine and craft cocktails. You have probably seen coupe glasses stacked high at weddings creating a champagne tower but once the craft cocktail movement took over, bartenders started serving cocktails that are generally served up (shaken or stirred and strained into a glass without ice) in Coupe glasses.
Other cocktails that are normally served in a martini glass are commonly served in coupe glassware because the martini glass design can cause a lot of spills and become quite messy if not careful. Most people avoid drama and stick with the coupe.
Some common cocktails served in coupe glasses are Daiquiris, Side Car, Gimlet, and the Manhattan.
Highball and Collins Glasses
Highball and Collins glasses are very similar and can be used interchangeably especially when you’re just building your glassware collection. The Highball is a tall glass and a Collins is just a taller glass, that’s pretty much the only difference.
Highballs are great for Gin & Tonics, Vodka Soda’s, Rum and Coke, and non-alcoholic drinks.
Okay so some may argue that a Spritz glass isn’t an essential glass to have but the Spritz Cocktail is having a moment and I think a set of sexy spritz glasses will add a nice variety to your collection. Spritz glasses are designed to hold 4-6 oz of Prosecco, 2 oz of an aperitif, and sparkling water. The stem is long and elegant and the bowl is wide enough to accommodate the large amount of ice needed to make a proper spritz. The most common aperitif is an Aperol Spritz. You can also use a white wine glass for your Spritz cocktail.
Again, this is not a complete list of glassware but I do believe that these glasses are a great place to start for your collection. The best part of shopping for new glasses is discovering your style and your unique taste. Crate & Barrel, West Elm, Amazon, and vintage store are usually where I find my glasses. Happy glassware shopping and let me know what you find!