Restaurant Glassware Guide


The glass you serve your drink in is just as important as the drink being served inside of it. Different glassware helps to maximize the aroma, body and flavor of your beverages, and some research says your choice of glass can even impact how much and how quickly you drink.

Research aside, nice glassware gives your customers a superior drinking experience. Using high quality and appropriate glasses for each drink allows you to increase your price point since you’re providing more to your customers.

Do you know the different types of glassware your bar or restaurant should have in stock?

MCIC rocks glassTumblers: From highball to rocks glasses, shots, shooters and juice glasses, tumblers range from modern to classic designs. Your bar should have different glasses for manhattans, martinis and mojitos since each drink is a different size, flavor and aroma.

  • Highball glasses are the cup of choice for carbonated cocktails due to having a small opening at the top. This helps prevent the carbonation from evaporating in your gin and tonics.
  • Rocks glasses, also known as lowball glasses, have a solid base and hold around six to eight ounces of liquor. Great for drinks on the rocks or a classic Old Fashioned.
  • Juice glasses are a necessity for brunch service as they are smaller than other beverage glasses and help you regulate over-pouring fresh juices.
  • Shot glasses can be used in two ways – serving single shots or measuring liquor for a cocktail. Shot glasses come with a thick bottom to help keep them durable when slammed on a counter with rowdy crowds.

Stemware: Serve wine, champagne, martinis and margaritas in unique stemware specific to each type of drink you offer. Typically ranging from 10 to 22 ounces, each glass needs to pair with the right drink considering that the size and shape of the stemware determine how the wine and spirits are perceived by your customers’ senses.

  • Libbey Martini GlassMartini glasses have their distinct cone shape to prevent your drink from separating. Although stemless martini glasses are an option, the long stem help protect your drink from changing temperatures after holding it.
  • Wine glasses come in all shapes and sizes. Stemless glasses are becoming more popular due to their clean design and easy shape. White wine glasses have a smaller tulip-shape to them to help slow down temperature changes while red wine glasses are larger, bowl-shaped for aroma release.
  • Champagne flutes have their narrow shape to both show off the signature bubbles and retain the carbonation.

Beer Glasses: Pilsners, pints, steins, mugs and more make up the beer category in glassware. Break down your glassware so that you have specific types for IPAs, ales, lagers, etc. This gives your bar service a unique look and way to differentiate beers.

  • Pint glasses are 16 oz, easy to drink from and made for lagers and ales.
  • Pilsner glasses have a tall, tapered shape to capture carbonation and allow a foamy head to form.
  • Snifters (also used for brandy) have a wide base to release strong aromas in heavier craft beers.
  • Mugs and steins are made of thick glass with a handle to help insulate your beer. They are also great for durability in a busy sports bar.

Miscellaneous: Often overlooked, your coffee mugs, pitchers, carafes and decanters are still an important component of your glassware collection. For example, you need coffee mugs that coordinate with the rest of your glassware and dinnerware, but don’t forget coffee glasses for Irish coffee and other dessert drinks. Or what if a customer orders a bottle of red wine but wants to let it breathe? You need to have decanters that correspond with your wine glasses.

Need help picking out glassware for your bar or restaurant? Let one of our experts help guide you to the right products at your price point. Call us at 1-800-901-5051!

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