Knowing which glass to serve which drink in can get confusing. Which glass do you serve gin in? Can you put wine in tumblers? Which wine glass is used for red and which is used for white? Serving drinks in the correct glasses can be a complicated and expensive business however can really improve the experience for your customers. We’ve put together a guide on the main groups of glassware and what to use them for to help in choosing specific styles for the correct beverages in hope to make this process easier..
All the ranges below can be found in our glassware category, or click the images for a direct link to that glassware range and view all our available options.
Standard Wine Glass
There are hundreds of variations within this group, but your usual wine glass has a stem. Holding the glass by the stem transfers less heat to the wine, so your hand isn't warming it up as fast. Aroma is one of the most important elements with wine, which is why your wine glass should have a large opening. If you can't fit your nose in it while you're drinking, you need yourself some new glasses.
There are different size wine glasses. The basic rule of thumb for wine glasses: broader openings for reds, narrower for whites. That should get you through most situations just fine.
Again, we've got stemware here to control the temperature of your alcohol. Why? Because drinks served in this glass will not have ice in them. They will be shaken or stirred with ice first, and then strained into it. That's what ordering a drink "up" means. It's chilled and up in that tall glass (don't confuse it with "neat"). The cone shape serves to help maintain temperature, keep the ingredients pushed together (olives, spirits of different specific gravities, etc.), and it provides a nice large surface area for the aroma since you're typically drinking gin and smell is 90 per cent of flavour.
The coupe glass is a wide rimmed glass featuring a shallow bowl and stem. The stem helps to prevent heat transfer from hands heating up the drinks. The coupe glass is a great option for serving mixed drinks although originated as a vessel for serving champagne. Typically coupe glasses are used to serve "up" drinks referring to chilled drinks that are shaken or stirred but served without ice including Margarita's, Daiquiri's, Cosmpolitan's and more.
The Hurricane glass is a wave shaped glass that is typically 20oz and used to serve cocktails especially the Hurricane from where the name originated. Pat O'Brien began serving the Hurricane at its bar in New Orleans in the 1940's. Where most luquor was scarce during war time Rum was not effected so much as supplies in the Caribbean Islands was plentiful. Mixed with passion fruit this rum based drink became a hit in New Orleans and remains so to this day.
Mainly for champagne and other sparkling wines, the goal is to make the bubble last for as long as possible. There's often a bead etched at the bottom in an attempt to give the bubbles a single point of nucleation. Aroma isn't as important with these wines as they would be with a red wine, so the opening is smaller in an attempt to minimise the exposure to air.
Rocks Glass (a.k.a. the Old-Fashioned Glass)
Want your drink on the rocks? This is probably the glass you want. It's especially good for cocktails. The glass can accommodate large cubes of ice, and they're still plenty of room to stir within the glass. It's also got a nice big opening so that you can smell the aromatics in your cocktail.
This is often considered an all-purpose glass. Tumbler and hi-ball glasses are the most commonly used glass in restaurants and bars, being widely used for serving a variety of drinks from soft drinks to beers and cocktails.
There are an extensive range of glasses used for beer glasses including conincal, nonic, steins, pilsner and much much more and so we have created a separate article to go into the specifics on the types and styles of beer glasses.