Our Essential Guide to Drinkware and Bar Accessories

Stocking your bar cart or filling your registry? Find out exactly what glasses to add to your registry with our guide to everything drinkware and bar accessories.

By Maggy Lehmicke

drinkware on a tabkle
Photo by LSA International

Whether you're in the market for upgraded versions of your favorite drinkware or your just building your first at-home bar situation, we got you! Beer lovers, wine drinkers, and mocktail makers unite over a few things: drinkware and bar accessories.

Set yourself up for sipping success no matter what you like to drink with our essential guide to drinkware and bar accessories. Find out exactly what types of glasses you need to make your favorite beverages taste their best. Plus, finally figure out what all those bar tools really do—and why you need them.

Wine Glasses

wine glasses drinkware guide

Pinot Noir and Burgundy

These glasses have a wide, “balloon” shape and are ideal for light or medium-bodied red wines. The larger bowl allows room for swirling while the narrow rim captures the wine’s aromas. This set by Schott Zwiesel is not only chip-resistant but incredibly sharp and stylish.

Cabernet and Bordeaux

Designed with full-bodied reds in mind, these glasses are incredibly versatile and can be used with most wines (aside from the lightest). The tall, straight sides provide more air contact, allowing the wine to breathe, which is ideal for complex wines that are high in tannins.

Sauvignon Blanc

This all-purpose white wine glass should be used for lighter, crisp wines. The smaller bowled glass maintains cooler temperatures while holding floral and citrus flavors well. Riesling, Muscat, Chenin Blanc, and Pinot Grigio would all work well with this style of glass as well.

Chardonnay and Viognier

Ideal for full-bodied whites, the wider rim of this glass opens up aromas and emphasizes the creamy texture of the wine.

Rose

These glasses come in two distinct styles: flared or tapered. Consider the flared shape for younger, crisper roses and opt for the tapered shape for more mature, full-bodied picks. We love the elegant appearance of the flared rims in this crystal set.

Champagne

Also considered “flutes,” champagne glasses have narrow bowls to capture the carbonation, which is gradually lost when exposed to oxygen. The flutes also push the bubbles to the surface, which adds to the presentation. Note that these glasses can be used for other types of sparkling wines as well.

All-Purpose

If you’re looking for something more universal, glasses that fall somewhere between a cabernet glass and a light white glass in shape and size can generally be used for all types of wines (including sparkling). Most brands have an all-purpose glass as part of their drinkware collection, much like this one from Crate & Barrel. Stemless glasses are another versatile, less formal option that can be used for most wines (and even water).

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Cocktail and Spirit Glasses

cocktail glasses drinkware guide

Martini

These versatile glasses—with their cone-shaped bowl and pulled stems—can be used for most classic cocktails, including martinis, cosmopolitans, and gimlets. This set by Crate & Barrel is a basic essential for any bar.

Coupe

One of the most versatile glasses, coupes can be used as an alternative to serve many classic cocktails that are shaken or stirred, including martinis, gimlets, Manhattans, and daiquiris. They’re also a more traditional way to serve champagne and straight gin.

Nick and Nora

An alternative to coupes or martini glasses, these are both functional and elegant with a touch of retro appeal. Nick and Nora glasses are slightly bell-shaped, often resembling a small wine glass, and work well with most cocktails served in a coupe.

Margarita

Featuring the typical, wide-shallow bowls with thick rims for applying the salt garnish, these glasses can be used to serve margaritas of all types, whether it be frozen, straight-up or on-the-rocks. We personally love this stemless set made from recycled glass by artisans in Guatemala.

Highball Glass

These can be used for any liquor drink mixed with ice or carbonation, including bloody marys, mojitos, gin and tonics, and more. Their versatility makes them great for everyday drinkware as well. These highball glasses by Orrefors are an elevated alternative perfect for upscale, urban affairs.

Double Old Fashioned

Also called the “rocks glass,” this simple vessel is essential for any bar. Named after the classic drink, the double old fashioned glass is usually 12 ounces–the ideal size for drinking whiskey with water or on-the-rocks. It can also be used for other cocktails or everyday drinking.

Neat Glass

Smaller than the rocks glass (about 6 or 7 ounces), this alternative is for drinking whiskey “neat,” with no ice or water. We especially love this etched crystal glass by Riedel which is not only beautiful but also dishwasher safe.

Moscow Mule

One of the more unique cocktail glasses is the Moscow mule mug. Though aesthetics come into play, the primary purpose of the copper mug is to keep the cocktail cool through insulation. This double-walled version from Old Dutch has a smooth copper surface and full layer of stainless steel to keep your taste buds refreshed.

Grappa

Made from the leftover skin, seeds, pulp and stems after wine production, this Italian aperitif is best enjoyed after dinner in its own special glass. More of a brandy than a wine, grappa is generally served in tulip-shaped glasses that encourage the aromas to develop.

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Beer Glasses

beer glasses drinkware guide

Pint Glass

The most commonly found beer glass in the U.S., the pint glass typically holds 16 ounces and is used for many types of beers. Commonly used in restaurants and bars, it’s a great staple to have on any bar cart. We love the fun Dia de Los Muertos theme of these glasses, making them a great fit for a fall celebration.

Beer Mug

With thick glass and a handle to prevent a cool beer from warming up, beer mugs have an effortless, casual appeal. Amp things up a bit with these elegant Waterford mugs for your big day.

Goblet or Chalice

A great choice for heavy, malty brews (particularly Belgian styles), the tulip shape and wide bowl allow you to fully enjoy the beer’s aromas. This budget-friendly set is great for Belgian ales and will convey a level of appreciation to the beer lovers who visit your home.

Pilsner Glass

Primarily used for lighter beers such as ales and lagers, the pilsner glass typically holds slightly more than a pint and is fairly simplistic in style. This Crate & Barrel set is sleek with subtle contours, adding a sense of class to a brewery staple.

Wheat Beer Glass

Similar to pilsner, the wheat beer glass is generally slightly larger in size with a large mouth and narrow body, making it great for serving most pale and blonde styles as well as wheat beers.

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Bar Accessories

bar accessories drinkware guide

Wine Decanter

A necessity for any wine connoisseur, wine decanters allow the wine to breathe and the flavors to expand through air contact. For this reason, decanters are ideal for when you have time to let the wine sit for a minute before drinking. This sculptural decanter by Schott Zwiesel is as much a decorative accent as a bar necessity.

Wine Aerator

Like the decanter, an aerator allows the wine to breathe but is particularly useful if you are shorter on time. Bubbles are sent through the aerator as your pour, exposing the wine to air and allowing it to oxidize, which can help soften flavors and release aromas.

Spirits Decanter

The primary purpose of a spirits decanter is aesthetics, but it is also a great way to show off the clarity of your spirit. Just make sure the decanter is air-tight and your liquor will last just as long as it would in the bottle. We particularly love the details on this whiskey decanter by Godinger.

Pitcher

Great for serving your favorite sangria or margarita, pitchers can also be used for pouring iced tea, soft drinks, and batch cocktails. This mouth-blown glass pitcher by Luigi Bormioli is both durable and budget-friendly, making it a great fit for special events and more casual summer festivities.

Jigger

A bar staple, this little tool helps you measure pours of liquor for your mixed drink to achieve the optimal proportions. Consider this sophisticated, stainless steel option from Crate & Barrel.

Shaker

Another cocktail necessity, this is used to shake the drink once proportions have been measured and poured. Typically shaken with ice to chill your drink before serving, shakers can be used for a number of drinks, including martinis, gin and tonics, Tom Collins’, and more. A mixing spoon is another great alternative.

Strainer

The ultimate purpose of the strainer is to pour your cocktail while leaving behind ice and other unnecessary ingredients. If your shaker doesn’t already have a strainer built-in, this one by Fortessa is a great option to consider.

Muddler

Commonly used to crush sugar cubes for an old fashioned and mint for mojitos, the primary purpose of the muddler is to mix and infuse citrus fruits, herbs, and other flavors into your cocktail. This professional-grade muddler by OXO is easy to use and won’t scratch or damage your glasses.

Whiskey Stones

For those who want to cool down their drink or spirit without watering down the flavor, ice can easily be swapped with whiskey stones. These matte-black beverage cubes made from soapstone are a favorite of ours.

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Build your ideal at home bar set up with the drinkware you'll use the most. Whether you're a beer lover, a wine lover, or make a mean mocktail, there's a type of glass or glasses that belong on your registry.