Bar Glass Types

Last Updated on April 24, 2022 by Bill Allen

Types of Bar Glasses and Their Names

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 different bar glass types a bar would need to serve cocktails, wine, beer, shots and other drinks as well as a picture and description of each bar glass.

Beer Service

Beer Glasses

beer glass

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 mug

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.

Liquor Service

shot glass

Shot 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. See how many ml in a shot glass here.

Whiskey Glass

Whiskey Glasses

Simply put, whiskey glasses are shot glasses specially designed to serve whiskey. The thick bottom will prevent the glass from breaking on the table.

Shooter Glass

Shooter Glasses

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.

Rocks Glass

Rocks Glasses

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 Glass

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.

Highball Glass

Highball 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.

Collins Glass

Collins Glasses

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.

Hurricane Glass

Hurricane Glasses

For serving frozen drinks like a hurricane or frozen daiquiris, hurricane glasses are both decorative and functional.

Martini Glass

Martini Glasses

Keep cocktail glasses or martini glasses handy for serving martinis, cosmopolitans or other cocktails. Martini glasses are also good for serving champagne.

Cosmopolitan Glass

Cosmopolitan Glasses

Cosmopolitan glasses are fun, stemless cocktail glasses that are great for holding cosmopolitans and other cocktails.

Margarita Glass

Margarita Glasses

When serving margaritas, whether frozen margaritas 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. Check out our article on the best blenders for margaritas here.

Brandy Snifter

Brandy Snifters

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.

Coffee Glass

Coffee Glasses

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.

Cordial Glass

Cordial Glasses

Usually tall and narrow, cordial glasses can be used for serving a variety of sweet liquors. In a pinch, they also work well for serving beer samples.

Champagne and Wine

Red Wine Glass

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 Glass

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. This is true when making white wine cocktails as well.

Champagne Glass

Want to know the difference between red and white wine glasses? Check out White vs Red Wine Glasses.

Champagne Glasses

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.

Sherry Glass

Sherry Glasses

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

Beverage Glass

Beverage Glasses

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 Goblet

Glass Goblets

Glass goblets can be used to serve a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, from wine, to water, to brandy, to cocktails.

At a busy restaurant, things happen fast. Dinner plates come and go, tables are bussed, glassware is switched out, and the next patron sits down for a meal. At least one glass is used for every patron, and then gets washed and turned over to the next customer.

Durability is a must, but functionality and presentation are also important. Finding the balance can sometimes be tough.

Balancing Bar Glassware Between Style & Durability

Barware Durability

The thicker the glass, the less likely it is to break.

Beverage glasses or hi-ball glasses should be thick. Glasses with a beaded or rolled rim are less likely to crack or break than those without. Keep that in mind when buying.

Straight edge glasses are more durable than flared or curvy glasses.

For busy operations that have a lot of glass turnover, consider using straight edged glasses when you can. These are less likely to break than flared or curved glasses because their structure is more stable.

Treated glass is more durable.

Most commercial glassware goes through a series of processes after being pressed into its shape. They are made stronger through annealing, and some are heat treated for extra durability. While heat treating makes glasses more resistant to thermal and mechanical shock, they still have the potential to break. When treated glasses do break, they tend to shatter. Be aware of this if you choose to buy heat treated glass.

bar glassware

Bar Glass Functionality

Thinner rims are better when it comes to wine glasses.

Even though a thicker wine glass will not break as easily, the thick rim takes away from the taste of the wine. The thinner the glass, the less interference there is between wine and mouth.

Stemless glasses are great for red wine.

When serving red wine, you can use a stemless glass, or a stemmed glass. Stemless glasses are less prone to breakage since there is no stem or foot to worry about. When the glass is held, your hand warms the glass and keeps the red wine from cooling.

Sometimes glasses that are more functional may not be quite as durable. The trick is to find the balance that best fits your business or home bar.