Types of Glassware & Their Uses

By Natasha Gilani

The term glassware is typically used to refer to the wide range of glass containers used for drinking. There is a wide variety of glassware of different sizes and shapes, each one serving a different function. Among other things, glassware is used to serve water, cocktails, punches, beer, liquor, coffee and tea.

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Empty shot glass
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There are numerous types of glasses that serve alcoholic drinks—ranging from fragile, expensive pieces to rough tumblers. Common barware includes shot glasses, beer mugs, rocks glasses, beer goblets, snifters, champagne flutes, Plisner glasses and pint and martini glasses. While some, such as beer mugs, tumblers and rocks glasses, are on the generic side, other glasses including champagne flutes, martini glasses and Plisner glasses are exclusive to champagne, martini and beer, respectively.

Crystal glassware

Wine glass
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Crystal Glass

A highball glass is a tall, slender crystal glass that is commonly used for iced or mixed drinks. The fine crystal Darice highball glass is a blue colored, 24 percent lead glass used to serve a variety of mixed drinks, shots, rocks and liquor. A Darice glass is typically used to serve cocktails, such as the screwdriver, the piña colada and the Long Island ice tea. The Devonna highball glass is a mouth-blown, hand-cut, cobalt blue crystal glass. It weighs twice as much as a typical glass and is popular for its durability and strength. Other luxurious crystal glassware includes the Earwine highball (available in azzurro light blue, amethyst purple, dark ruby red, cobalt blue and emerald green hand-cut glasses), Hathora highball (black crystal glass typically used to serve cocktails), Lorella highball (available in six colors of 24 percent, mouth-blown lead crystal), Luperca highball (cobalt and opal blue crystal glass that is formed by binding together three layers of crystal) and the Marsala Collins glass excelsior (available in six colors and used to serve alcoholic drinks).

Stemware Glassware

Stemware on shelves
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Wine Glass

Stemware is a type of glassware that sits on a base. It is typically used for formal occasions, such as family gatherings and holidays. There is a wide range of stemware, each different in function, style and appearance. Most commonly used stemware includes clarets or Bordeaux, cocktail glasses, wine glasses, cordials, sherbet glasses, chalices and goblets. Water goblets, for instance, function to serve water. Red wine glasses are typically served in stemware that have wide, open bowls. White wine is served in a stemware glass with a narrower drinking bowl.