For a bar and foodservice operation, commercial barware glasses are essential. There is a wide variety of options on the market today. However, it is crucial to isolate glasses for specific needs. Glassware can be grouped into different categories depending on the purpose and type of operation. If the focus is on serving food, basic beverage glasses such as all-purpose glasses, iced tea glasses, tumblers, and water glasses are appropriate.
For a bar specializing in wine selection or beer, you need an appropriate glass for each specialty. The different types of glassware on the market are designed to optimize your guests’ drinking experience. Before stocking up on barware glasses, it pays to understand the different types of restaurant supplies for your bar. Note that the shape and design of these glasses make them ideal for different restaurant drinking situations.
The following are nine types of barware glasses commonly found in restaurants:
Type #1: Martini Glasses
The original martini glass was designed to serve a stronger cocktail. These types of barware glasses are known for their downward sloping conical bowl, wide rim and a long stem. Martinis are best served chilled. The conical bowl and long stem help retain the temperature, so the drink doesn’t warm too quickly. When serving with the traditional martini glass, watch out as it can be clumsy. The outward-facing rim makes it easy for drinks to splash out. For this reason, martini glasses are only ideal for stationary drinking.
Type #2: Flights and Sampler Glasses
Wine and beer flights are types of barware glasses that have become a popular menu item, perhaps fuelled by the explosion of wineries and microbrews. Guests are usually eager to sample in-house beers. With these barware glasses, a restaurant can offer small portions of their popular drinks. This is a great addition as it allows an establishment to showcase its top sellers. They also allow guests to try out different types of wine and certain brews before they commit to a whole glass or pint.
Type #3: Margarita Glasses
Serving margaritas in different cocktail glassware is common. You can choose from schooners, goblets, wine and stem-less martini glasses. However, a standard margarita glass, which goes by the name “Welled Margarita Glass,” features a top-wide bowl that sinks down to a smaller well, enabling a heftier fill. The overall stemmed design offers a comfortable grip while the wide top allows customers to add more sugar or salt along the rim.
Type #4: Brandy and Cognac Glasses
Brandy and Cognac are sometimes categorized as the same drink, but they have one key difference. Cognac must be from Cognac, France. Brandy could be from anywhere in the world. The same concept applies to champagne and sparkling wines. Champagne originates from France while sparkling wine could be from anywhere.
Brandy and Cognac glasses are also known as snifters. These are stemmed, traditionally smaller glasses. They feature a wide balloon-shaped bowl. The stem allows a user to swirl the drink so it can aerate and release the flavours. The wide tapered bowl directs the aromas to the nose. Brandy and Cognac glasses also make good bourbon. Cognac is a great after-dinner dessert drink that is best served warm to increase the intensity of the vapours.
Type #5: Moscow Mule Mugs
The Moscow mule is a cold refreshing beverage. It’s a mixture of lime juice, ginger beer and vodka. It’s traditionally served using copper mugs. Moscow mule mugs increase your drink’s carbonation and keep it extra cool.
Type #6: Irish Coffee Mugs
Irish coffee is an alcoholic beverage reserved for the cold seasons. It comprises Irish whiskey, coffee, and whipped cream. Irish coffee is usually served using an Irish coffee mug, which is different from the traditional coffee mug in that it is manufactured using clear glass and sits atop a short stem. They also feature a handle that makes drinking the beverage comfortable as it is served hot.
Type #7: Shot Glasses and Shooters
Shot glasses are a bar staple. They’re traditionally designed to hold one to two ounces of smaller cocktails, stronger spirits, straight liquor, or a liqueur. Shot glasses are in some cases known as shooters. They serve the same purpose, but shooter glasses are longer than the traditional 1.5 ounces shot glass, allowing them to hold more. They are a common choice for double shots.
Type #8: Plastic Bar Drinkware
These glasses are great for outdoor areas like pool bars and patios. Though plastic constructions vary, they are virtually unbreakable. Before purchasing plastic bar drinkware, ensure it is safe for use in the dishwasher. Some plastic melt under high heat while others tend to become murky with frequent use. A popular choice for this type of drinkware is polycarbonate plastic, which is dishwasher-safe and highly durable.
Type #9: Specialty Glasses, Schooners and Mason Jars
Most establishments use specialty glassware for their signature cocktails to give them a unique twist. They also include schooner glasses that feature a short stem and a tapered bowl. It’s often used to serve dessert drinks such as sherry or pints of beer. Mason jars are used to serve long islands and other soft drinks since they add a farm-to-table rustic appeal.