ESSENTIAL BAR SKILLS: GLASSWARE
If you want your serve to scream perfection, there is nothing more important than the glassware it is served in! Have a look at our top tips on how to ensure your glassware is always at the top of its game in your venue.
First impressions count
Glassware is where the anticipation of a great drink begins. Research has revealed beautiful glassware not only enhances a customer’s perception of quality but even has an impact on taste! A great drink requires a great glass, and customers are demanding this more and more. They expect their cocktails in clean, correctly differentiated glassware, making your glasses an essential feature to maximize your customer's experience in your bar.
With a varied range of glassware now available through many different suppliers, there are countless styles out there to suit each and every occasion. Every style of serve has specific needs from the glassware it is served in. By using the right glassware, you can be more creative and playful with your serves, ingredients and garnish creating an opportunity to promote appealing seasonal drinks in your venue.
Getting to know the various types of glassware will help improve your knowledge and the advice you can give your customers. When drinks are served perfectly, customers will feel more satisfied and be more likely to come back for more. Eventually they may even encourage their friends to come to your venue via word of mouth and posting on social media. Our guide not only outlines the fundamentals of glassware, but it will also take you through the different glasses to use for each of your cocktail serves. If you’re aiming to impress, take note…
Top six tips for perfect glassware
Don’t Touch the Top of the Glass - This is not just for hygiene reasons—the less you handle the glass, the colder your drink will be and we all know that means a better serve! Always hold glasses at the base, leaving the top two thirds for the customer.
Size Variations of Glassware - There are subtle differences between the sizes of different glasses, and these distinctions are very important. Think Wine glass vs. Martini glass: we all know these look very similar so it’s important to know the distinctions. The size of the glass also has implications for the quality of the serve, as the glass needs to accommodate the right amount of ice and liquid to achieve a great tasting drink.
Always Check Glassware - Before serving a drink, check the glass for marks, lipstick or cracks. Even if the glass has been washed, there is a chance that some traces of detergent may remain. To ensure this is removed, polish glassware with paper towels after washing. You only get one chance to make a good first impression.
Allow Glassware to Cool - Chilled glasses keep drinks colder. If glassware has been freshly washed, a cold substance can cause the glass to shatter. Take care when using washed glassware and allow time to cool.
Stock Up - To maintain high levels of service throughout the shift, make sure there are a sufficient number of glasses washed and polished. Regularly prep glassware throughout your shift to ensure service levels are maintained. In every bar, there’s always a quiet period—use this to your advantage.
Storage Is Key - Take care with glasses that have delicate rims as these are more likely to shatter. All shelving for glassware should be lined with matting and cleaned regularly.
The right glass for the right serve
With a glass for every occasion, it’s time to get your head around which cocktails go in which glasses. 76% of consumers say that, aside from taste, presentation is what makes a drink perfect (PMA Spirits Survey, January 2012). With this in mind, it’s time to get up to scratch on your glassware.
You can also use unusual and bespoke glassware for your venue to make a statement.
Some glassware ideas to get you started: