We have updated our Privacy and Cookie Notice to keep you informed where we may process your personal data. See more here or contact us for more information.

You wouldn’t serve a gourmet meal on a paper plate, and the same rule applies to great cocktails. If you want your serve to scream perfection, there is nothing more important than the glass it is served in! Check out our top tips to ensure you never miss the mark when it comes to glassware.

Make an impression

Glassware is where the anticipation of a great drink begins. The eyes are the window to the stomach, and research has revealed beautiful glassware not only enhances a customer’s perception of quality but even has an impact on taste. Customers see glassware long before they taste a drink’s contents, and inventive or attractive glasses might catch the eye of other customers, promoting the cocktail and providing a useful upselling tool. The modern customer is increasingly au fait with cocktail culture, so serving a martini in a rocks glass would raise more than a few eyebrows!Guests expect their cocktails in clean, “correct” glassware, making your glasses an essential feature to maximise your customers’ experience in your bar.

With such a huge range of glassware now available, there are countless styles out there to suit each and every occasion. By putting a little thought into your choice of 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 grips with the various types of glassware will not only improve your cocktails, but it can also make your venue’s serves stand out from the competition! Great glassware can also encourage people to post your serves on social media and spread the word online enticing more customers to appear at your door. Read more tips on using social media in your venue here

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 creations. If you’re aiming to impress, take note…

Six top tips for perfect glassware

Hands off – Never touch the rim of a glass! This is not just for hygiene reasons – the less you handle the glass, the colder the drink will be. Always hold glasses at the base, leaving the top two thirds for the customer.

Size matters – There are subtle differences between the sizes of different glasses and these distinctions are very important. Think wine glass vs copa glass: we all know they look very similar so it’s important to know the distinctions. The size of the glass also has implications on the quality of the serve, as the glass needs to accommodate the right amount of ice and liquid to achieve a great tasting drink.

Squeaky clean – Before serving a drink, always double 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.

Cool it – 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. 76% of consumers say that, aside from taste, presentation is what makes a drink perfect (PMA Spirits Survey, January 2012). With this in mind, let’s get you up to scratch on your glassware.

Click here to download our glassware cheat sheet.

Alternative glassware

You can also use unusual and bespoke glassware for you venue to make a statement. Read leading bartender, Alex Kratena’s article here on some of the current innovations in glassware here.

Some glassware ideas to get you started:

Looking for more top tips to get your bar skills up to scratch? Sign up to Diageo Bar Academy today for unlimited access to all the latest industry news.