How to Choose Glassware for Your Home Bar

How to Choose Glassware for Your Home Bar
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When I was looking for bar glassware for my very new home bar, I didn’t know what to start with after the two Martini glasses I had in my possession. There were so many and what were they all for?

Glassware for your home bar

I always loved a martini glass – the shape, the hold, the feel, the sexiness of it.  For every celebration I attended, my present of choice was two Tiffany martini glasses.

It can be super confusing if you don’t know the different between a low ball and a high ball? Hopefully this list of the different bar glassware out there will help you decide what are the most versatile cocktail glasses that you need at home.

You choose and if you feel like having your Old-Fashioned in a Collins Glass well go for it – there are no rules! (I’m leaving beer and wine for another day!)

Bar Glassware for your home bar

Martini Glass / Cocktail Glass

We’ll start with my favorite – The Martini Glass – so chic, so glamorous with its V shape – I just don’t feel right drinking my martini in any other glassware. The whole aim of a cocktail glass was that the cocktail stay warm as you would use the stem to bring it to your mouth. As there is no ice in cocktails in this shape, you want to try and keep it as cold as possible. Also the v shape lets you smell the drink before sipping it!

Balloon/Coupe Glass

Have you ever had a Gin and Tonic in Spain? It’s served in a Balloon Glass and I don’t see why we should serve them that way here. It looks much more summery than a highball glass (coming to that one soon). I wouldn’t think of serving my Pomada (Mahon Gin and Lemonade) in any other glass!

Rocks Glass / Tumbler/Old-Fashioned Glass

These are pretty much all the same thing. For that drinks that is served “on the rocks!” like an Old-Fashioned, you’ll need a tumbler. This time, as the cocktail inside is full of ice, you can hold it with both hands.


Ever enjoyed a Tom Collins – gin, lemonade and soda water? Then you drank it out of a High Ball glass. It’s the soda water that is key here. Highballs usually contain cocktails with a bit of soda water added to them. It’s perfect for tall drinks with mixers that are served with a straw (only paper ones please!) such as mojitos! Technically, the collins and the highball are different but for your home bar, it doesn’t really make that much of a difference!

Shot Glass

I’m sure you’ve done many a shot in your time. My new favorite is the Lebanese shot which I had in Cyprus recently: ¾ shot vodka. ¼ shot lemon juice. 2-3 drops of Tabasco sauce and a single pitted olive. They are usually made with thicker shot glasses so you can slam them down on the bar once you’ve finished shooting the shot!

Nick & Nora Glass

I find this one so romantic. If you don’t know the Nick and Nora glass, it’s just a smaller martini glass. They became popular in the Prohibition era – adding even more romanticism to it!

Julep Cup

Can’t dink a Mint Julep without a Mint Julep Cup. Technically not glass, but copper. Moscow mules also deserve a copper mug. Cold to the touch for those hot summer days!

Tiki Glass

An umbrella is home in the Tiki Glass. We all love to hate them but they are so much fun. Every bar needs to have one.

Single Drinking Glasses:

Margarita Glasses

Dip in salt and filler up. It’s a party glass!

Hurricane Glass

New Orleans’ born cocktail has its own glass! Curvy and overly tall.  Looks like a hurricane lamp, thus the name!

Irish Coffee Glass

Always with a handle, so your hands don’t burn when you grab an Irish Coffee on those cold snowy nights!

If you are looking for more home bar ideas, these posts might be useful:

Love one of these glasses?

Follow me on Pinterest for loads of other home bar suggestions! Or tag me on instagram at @alushlifmanual.

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