11 June 2012

Stocking the Bar {Start With the Glassware}

Good Monday morning, y'all!   I've got my cup of coffee goin' on & I'm ready to start the day off with the first of three posts in my little series on how to properly stock a bar.  I did a lot of research yesterday {rainy Sunday's are the best for that} & had so much fun gathering up data.  I hope you enjoy & will comment on what you believe are great additions to the conversation!

{Remember Mr. Rid Jid?  we'll see how he looks at the end, all dolled up & ready for a party.}


First, let me say that I love a great bar.  I love barware.  And I really love high quality glassware.  I habitually give glassware as wedding gifts - it's my gift of choice.  Forget the fine china, the heirloom silverware, & the expensive cookware.  If you have a great glass in your hand, the relevance of the aforementioned items seemingly fade away into trivial oblivion.  {Or it could be the contents within that glass that do that?}  Anyway, I believe every young couple should start off with a proper set  of glassware to establish their roll in future party hostings/family get-togethers/ & everyday celebrations of life in general.

So in this series, let us start with my favorite, the glassware.

Although your glassware doesn't have to be integrated into the bar itself, as some bars may be too small, the glassware is the "little black dress" to the cocktail it holds.  It needs to be functional & it needs to look great for any occasion.

When selecting your glasses, look for ones that are solid, balanced, & fit well in your hand.  Go for the best quality your can afford.  Trust me, it makes a difference.  But most importantly, chose ones that truly suit your personality.  Remember, it's the small details that really speak to who you are as a host/hostess.  And, for me, glassware is where it starts.  There's a subtle message which a well-made glass says about the host to the guest who holds it.  It suggests a host that appreciates quality but isn't pretentious, a host who is confident yet gracious, a host who is perfect in all things but never to a fault.  An educated host.

The Six Basic Styles of Glassware That Make a Well-Equipped Bar:

 The Highball - Tall & slender 12-14 oz glass, weighted on the bottom to prevent tipping.  Typically used for beverages that contain more mixer than alcohol and are served with ice.

The Lowball or Rock Glass - Short & wide 4-10 oz glass, weighted on the bottom.  Typically used for a single spirit poured straight over cubes, or for those cocktails using only a couple of ingredients & served over ice, i.e., scotch & soda or bourbon & water.


The Beer Glass - 16-20 oz glass in either a straight walled pint glass or the curved tulip glass.


The Cocktail Glass - Tall, thin stemmed, V-shaped bowl.  Typically used for cocktails served "up," those which are shaken and then strained into a glass, i.e., the martini & cosmopolitan.  These cocktail glasses are also used for "specialty drinks."

The Shot Glass - .9-1.8 oz glass designed to be hit back & swallowed in one gulp


The Wine Glass - Tall, thin stemmed, bowl shape, 10-14 oz.  This style is used for all types of wine & is a great basic.

A good rule of thumb for a party is to allow three drinks & three glasses per person for an average two-hour party.  Not written in stone, but a good rule of thumb.

Okay folks.  That wraps up the glassware basics.  What you see here is a well planned set-up consisting of the essential pieces needed for any cocktail your guests may throw at you.  Although others might prefer to refine their glassware to suit specific specialty drinks, I, for one, am happy with just these essentials.

Having a designated bar - one which is properly set up for the event - really sets the tone of a party and helps draw your guests into the mix.  As you welcome your guests at the door, take their coats, and lead them to the bar, they have a moment to mingle with you, the busy host, before you have to run off to your next duty.  But more importantly, it gives your guests a moment to relax, become comfortable in their surroundings, and say hello to new & old friends.

Your bar is your party's first impression, make it a great one!



  1. Hi Sarah, what a great post most people don't have this kind of hospitality related information. I like the design of your blog..the header the way it is broken up with a dash. Your style of writing is friendly. My daughter loves vintage things so would love some of the things in your shop.

    Catherine visiting from BYW 2.

    1. Catherine, thanks for stopping by & thank you for the kind words! It was a lot of fun writing this series. {There are two more to come before I show my Mr. Rid Jid, aka the bar cart, fully stocked.} Hmmm, my bar cart & your wonderful foodie ideas - sounds like a great party!

  2. great info! i learned A LOT! thanks so much :)


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