Everything You Need to Know
About Choosing Drinkware

The drinkware you choose is going to be something you'll reach for many times a day, a week, a year. And it should give you simple but noticeable pleasure each and every time you do. It should be beautiful to look at, comfortable to hold, a delight to sip from, and a breeze to care for. It should catch the light, play with color. It should be both a work of art and hardworking. And most of all, it should never sit idle in your cabinet. Use our Guide to Types of Bar Glasses to help you select drinkware from our extensive collection, which includes more than 200 different types of bar and drinking glasses.

Handmade Drinkware

For more than 50 years, we have worked closely with several generations of the finest glassblowers in Europe. There is an art to mouth blowing glass, especially to our specifications. To make a more discriminating choice, train your eye. Look for a flawless attachment at the bowl and stem, or find a bowl with a fine continuous pulled stem. Inspect the rim to make sure it is finely cut and polished. Smoothness and balance are also hallmarks of the finest drinkware.

Bar glasses

Care: Handmade Drinkware

Hand washing is recommended for most handmade drinkware. Use warm, soapy water, and avoid abrasive detergents. Dry with a soft cloth.

Machine-Made Drinkware

Today's machine-made drinkware is created with such precision and clarity that it's almost indistinguishable from handmade pieces. At Crate and Barrel, we work with glassmakers who use the latest technology to produce drinkware that resembles handmade quality at an everyday price. Look for wine glasses with thin, finely-finished rims and a bowl that is taller than it is wide.

Red wine glass

Care: Machine-made Drinkware

Machine-made drinkware is able to handle slightly more rigorous care than handmade drinkware. Most are top-rack dishwasher-safe. Avoid abrasive detergents that could scratch the surface.

Essential Drinkware

Everyday Glasses

We recommend building your drinkware collection by first choosing all-purpose glassware that can accommodate a variety of beverages, including juices, sodas, smoothies and mixed drinks. Look for short old-fashioned or double old-fashioned glasses for fruit juices during breakfast and brunch. Highball glasses are perfect for drinks with lots of ice or volume, such as sodas, iced teas and coffee drinks, shakes and smoothies.

Stemless wine glasses

Barware and
Cocktail Glasses

A good cocktail deserves an impeccable presentation. We recommended stocking the bar with at least two each of the most common types of glasses: highball, double old-fashioned, margarita, martini, champagne, and red and white wine glasses. Besides showcasing the drinks they’re designed for, you can use barware and cocktail glasses for different purposes. A pilsner beer glass is perfectly shaped for an iced latte. Try serving individual fruit salads in champagne coups or sorbet in a brandy glass. For a fun way to dish up nuts or candy, consider a martini glass.

Whiskey glass

Wine Glasses

On first glance, many wine glasses appear almost identical. However, small nuances in design provide a more enjoyable experience for different types of wine, including merlot, chardonnay, zinfandel and sparking. Red and white wine glasses are shaped to optimize temperature, aroma and breathability. Fluted stemware keep champagne bubbly for longer periods of time. We suggest choosing four or more glasses for each type of wine.

Wine glasses

Beer Glasses

From stouts and ales to pilsners and home brews, pour your favorite beer into the glass specifically designed for each variety. We’ve paid careful attention to the shapes, curves and details of our beer glasses so the aromas, carbonation and taste stay crisp and clear.

Craft beer glasses

Choosing the Perfect Barware


To decide what types of bar glasses you’ll need, think about the beverages you serve when entertaining guests and relaxing at home. Old-fashioned glasses work well for aged dark liquors, such as bourbon, scotch and whiskey. Choose Tom Collins glasses, which are taller and narrower than highball shapes, for any drink served with a lot of ice, including Long Island iced teas and mojitos. A well-stocked collection should also include martini and margarita glasses. Classic drinkware shapes are shown below. We recommend stocking the bar with no less than two or three types of bar glasses.

Barware and drinkware

How Much

For stemware, you'll need at least as many red and white wine glasses and water goblets as you have dinnerware place settings. Then, add four extra of each in case of accidents. For everyday drinking glasses, figure out how many your dishwasher can hold, then add a few more so you always have a clean glass on hand. Specialty glasses for bar drinks should number six to eight each.

Textured drinking glasses
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