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Bar Glasses Checklist

by Staff Writer

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Toasting champagne flutes

Before you purchase a generic bar glass set, you should know the many different shapes and sizes that bar glasses come in, plus the traditional uses for each kind. This type of knowledge will surely impress your friends and help make your gatherings truly special. Once you have collected the right glasses and barware in your home, you'll entertain your guests in style.

Bar Glassware Essentials:

  1. Pint glass: The pint glass is exactly what its name implies -- one standard pint. Traditionally, these glasses have been used for beer, although they also work well for tall mixed drinks, such as rum and cola or a spicy bloody mary. When purchasing your pint glasses, remember that the American pint glass contains 16 fluid ounces while the British pint contains 20 fluid ounces.

  2. Highball glass: The highball glass holds 8 to 12 fluid ounces, and it is generally used for mixed drinks or actual highballs. People use these glasses for drinks that don't include much water or mixer.

  3. Shot glass: There are a number of shot glass sizes and shapes to fill your bar's glassware area, but the standard shot contains 2 fluid ounces of distilled alcoholic beverage, though some prefer to add a tiny splash of soda to top it off.

  4. Martini glass: The martini glass is recognizable by its long stem and wide, cone-shaped opening at the top. Martini glasses hold around 250 milliliters, approximately 8.45 ounces, of liquid, although the double martini glass, of course, holds twice this amount.

  5. Old-fashioned glass: The old-fashioned, which is also known as a rocks glass or a low-ball glass, contains between 6 and 10 fluid ounces of liquid, usually in the form of hard liquor with ice (for "on the rocks" drinks) and a finger or two of soda to cut the flavor.

  6. Brandy snifter: The brandy snifter is stemware that is designed with a wide, curved reservoir base for comfortable holding and warming of the brandy, and a narrow opening at the top that helps trap the brandy aroma inside the glass. Brandy snifters hold from 6 to 8 fluid ounces and are traditionally used exclusively for brandy.

  7. Wine glass: Wine glasses come in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles, but the three main types are the sherry glass, the white wine glass and the red wine glass. Each type is shaped differently in order to focus the bouquet, or aroma, in a different way that is generally thought to enhance the wine drinking experience. Sizes generally range from 6 to 14 fluid ounces.

  8. Champagne glass: Champagne glasses range in size from 6 fluid ounces to 9 fluid ounces and come in the form of a flute -- a tall, skinny stemware glass -- or a coupe, which looks similar to a rounded martini glass. Many drinkers use champagne glasses for drinking specialized beers, typically of the fruited variety, in addition to a variety of champagnes and other sparkling wines.

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