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We talk a lot about ingredients in cocktails, but what about the glassware you're using? Does this affect the flavor? Leading bartender, Alex Kratena shares the importance of glassware and the latest glass trends and innovations you can use in your bar.

As customers show growing interest in trending spirits, premium serves and the look of their drinks, bars should pay attention and update their glassware too. Pre-made drinks, batched beverages and drinks to-go have added a unique twist to the glassware game. Bartenders are finding themselves filling cool new options, anything they could source; mason jars, coconuts, cans — with pre-made cocktails.


Glassware trends follow alcohol trends. Whiskey is on the rise and there are lots of whiskey glasses on the market. There are a lot of opinions when it comes to the best whiskey glasses, but many bartenders say the Glencairn Crystal glass is ideal for showcasing the spirit aromas and flavors. Others prefer a classic Old Fashioned or a rocks glass for sipping whiskey or rum.

Whatever you pick, a glass can change your whole drinking experience. Some are designed to highlight the spirit, while others are versatile enough for cocktails, neat pours and beyond. A well-stocked bar should carry a few different types of glass.

Here are the trending whiskey glasses:

This glass concentrates on the aromas, something that a rocks glass doesn't. It lets you fully appreciate the notes on the nose and the layering of the flavors.

TIP: Add room-temperature water to the Glencairn glass to help open up the spirit.

Rocks glasses are great for drinking an Old Fashioned or classic whiskey cocktails on the rocks.

TIP: The larger size allows for a few cubes of ice to a single shot of whiskey


Glassware has an impact on how the customer will enjoy the serve. It's not just the impression glassware creates; the physical elements are equally important. Glass affects how the liquid hits your palate, how it will taste and plays a huge role in whether you enjoy it, or not. It also controls the physical properties of the cocktail; keeping the liquid cold, or warm.

When choosing glassware always look at design, functionality, durability and cost before making any decisions. Investing time and money into good quality glasses means bars can enhance the experience of a drink and have an impact on the taste. Getting it right will set you up for success.

Cutting-edge glassware INNOVATIONS

The trend of over-the-top drinks is declining but it was a key reason the bar industry began to focus on quality glassware. As the industry develops, so have trends in drinks and in glassware. Gone are the days when there was one major trend, bartenders are now checking out different glassware trends and styles.


Over the last few years, simplicity has become more popular with the bar industry and trends are focusing on elegance and minimalism. This trend is really obvious in the restaurant world now dominated by beautiful, but simple plating styles. This trend in food and drink highlights the importance of quality ingredients, flavors and texture underneath, rather than what’s on the surface. There's a lot happening behind the scenes – techniques and skills needed to create a drink that's neat, flawless and functional.

Fine glassware

Matt Whiley, bartender and owner of British seasonal cocktail bar Scöut likes using fine glassware. Matt tells us that fine glassware enables him to work with the element of surprise. Elegant glassware leads the guest into thinking it is a delicate serve. That moment when the guest discovers the drink is actually packed with flavor is magical.

Specialized SERVE WARE

A lot of the service ware at Operation Dagger in Singapore is used specifically for one serve. Luke Whearty often opts for a unique piece for one particular drink. He adds: ‘I really love using ceramics as I like the texture as well as certain glazes and finishes and how they contribute to the drink. I’m surprised more people don’t use ceramics to be honest because you are only limited by your imagination in terms of colors, shapes and sizes.’


  1. Glassware trends follow wider, drinks industry trends
  2. Glassware shapes and styles are suited to different serves and different purposes. Some styles are good for nosing and tasting while others are suitable for mixed drinks
  3. Enjoyment of a drink can be impacted by the glassware as it influences taste, temperature and textures
  4. Simplicity is a key trend in mixed drinks and serves and comes from restaurants
  5. Fine glassware can offer a particular impression of a drink, which can be different from the actual end drink

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