Autumn is the perfect season to start entertaining. And now that you finally have the home bar of your dreams, it’s time to plan for those Halloween cocktail parties, Thanksgiving toasts, and holiday Open Houses filled with cheer. The first step is stocking your bar cabinets with the essential glassware needed for entertaining at home. While there are many options to pick from, you really only need five (or four) basic types of glass for most any beverage.
Wine Glasses: Whether you select stemmed or stemless, wine glasses are a must when entertaining at home. Opt for clear glass (or crystal) that is elegant yet sturdy, as thinner styles tend to be fragile. If you are a serious wine connoisseur, selecting the proper glass is important, but if you are just starting out, keep one simple rule in mind —traditionally, a wider bowl is used for red wines, while a smaller bowl is used for white. With that said, we have four more essential glass styles on this list, and space is often limited in a home bar. Sometimes, it is smart just to settle for a style that is simple and all-purpose when hosting guests.
Champagne Flutes or Coupes: Celebrations often call for champagne, and a New Years Eve party wouldn’t be the same without it. There are two basic styles of champagne glasses to pick from. Flutes are tall and tapered, while coupes feature a wide, shallow bowl. Equally elegant, the choice is yours, however coupes can pull double duty for martinis and frozen drinks.
Highball Glasses: These versatile glasses are tall and wide, and are either straight or sometimes slightly flared at the top. They hold about ten to twelve ounces, and are perfect for cocktails that contain ice and a mixer or carbonated water, such as a Bloody Mary or Gin Fizz.
Old Fashioned Glasses: Short and wide, these classic glasses hold around six to ten ounces, and feature a heavy bottom. Like the Highball, Old Fashioned glasses are versatile, and are often used for on-the-rocks drinks like the Negroni, Margarita or Manhattan.
Martini Glasses: These distinct glasses have a flared bowl that tapers into a stem. They vary in size from large to small, but for home entertaining, select a middle of the road martini glass in the 6-ounce range. If your bar cabinets are on the small size, you can skip the martini glasses and champagne flutes, and stick to well-rounded coupes instead.
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