Choosing the Right Glassware for Your Bar
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Stocking a bar is different than stocking a dining room. Bars tend to use more glasses per person than a typical dining room, and the variety of glasses needed is much larger than with other operations. Below is a breakdown of the type of glassware a bar would need to serve cocktails, wine, beer, shots and other drinks.
Bars, pubs or taverns should stock up on a variety of beer glasses. Use pint glasses for most traditional beers, and pilsner glasses for lager beers. Keep plenty of glasses handy for both tap and bottle beers alike. For cooling or frosting glasses, consider buying a glass chiller.
Beer Mugs and Steins
If you need glasses with thick bottoms and handles for lifting, beer mugs are the ideal choice. The thick bottoms on these glasses allow them to sustain more abuse than other beer glasses.
Stock up on plenty of shot glasses, which work with a variety of liquors. These glasses have thick bottoms, since they are likely to be slammed on the table after the shot has been taken.
Simply put, whiskey glasses are shot glasses specially designed to serve whiskey. The thick bottom will prevent the glass from breaking on the table.
For one to five ounce shots or liquor cocktails, shooter glasses work perfectly. They are generally taller than shot or rocks glasses. If you run out of these in a rush, use a small rocks glass or old fashioned glass.
For serving liquor "on the rocks," go with rocks glasses. These short tumblers will produce the perfect “clink in the glass” sound to satisfy your customers.
Old Fashioned Glasses
Use Old Fashioned glasses to serve small cocktails such as White Russians or an Old Fashioned cocktail. They are also perfect for serving shots on the rocks, and can be interchanged with rocks glasses.
For cocktails that have a higher ratio of mixture to liquor, use highball glasses. They are taller than an Old Fashioned glasses, but shorter than Collins glasses. Keep plenty of these around, as they can work as a water glass in a pinch.
When serving Tom Collins cocktails or other mixed drinks, use Collins glasses. These tall glasses are very similar to highball glasses, but are generally taller and narrower.
For serving frozen drinks like a hurricane or a daiquiri, hurricane glasses are both decorative and functional.
Cosmopolitan glasses are fun, stemless cocktail glasses that are great for holding cosmopolitans and other cocktails.
When serving margaritas, whether frozen or on the rocks, serve them in margarita glasses. These glasses are perfect for serving margaritas of any size, from small, seven ounce margaritas all the way to sixty ounce super margaritas.
Brandy snifters are balloon-shaped liquor glasses ideal for serving brandy. The width of the glass allows the brandy to breathe, and a narrow top concentrates the aroma inside the bowl of the glass.
If you serve coffee cocktails, you should stock up on coffee glasses. These glasses are ideal for serving coffee mixers, Irish coffee or even non-alcoholic iced coffee.
Usually tall and narrow, cordial glasses can be used for serving a variety of sweet liqueors. In a pinch, they also work well for serving beer samples.
Champagne and Wine
Red Wine Glasses
Bars that serve red wine should have plenty of red wine glasses specifically designed for red wine. A wide rim will allow the aroma to open up in the glass. Ideally, wine glasses will have an extra thin rim so that the glass will deliver the wine to the right spot on the tongue, but this is not always practical, since thin rims break easily. Try to find the right balance between durability and the perfect glass to match the wine.
White Wine Glasses
White wine glasses usually have a smaller rim than the red wine glasses. Also, only serve wine in glasses with stems, as your guests can hold the stems instead of the bowl of the glass. By not touching the bowl their hands won't warm the chilled wine.
For champagne or sparkling white wine service, keep a stock of champagne glasses. These glasses are also great for mimosas. Sparkling wine glasses come in both flute and bowl shapes. Either is fine, but flute glasses will maintain the carbonation in the champagne.
Use sherry glasses to serve aromatic or fortified wines, like sherry, port and Madeira. They can also be used to serve aperitifs, liqueurs or layered shooters.
Multipurpose Bar Glassware
Keep an extra supply of beverage glasses around for soda and water orders. These are great for serving designated drivers or patrons who want a water or soda in addition to their cocktail. Also, if you run out of pint, double rocks or highball glasses, beverage glasses can be used in a pinch.
Glass goblets can be used to serve a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, from wine, to water, to brandy, to cocktails.
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