What is the best and most versatile type of barware/glassware?

Highball? Lowball? I have specialty glasses (martini, flutes, coupes, mugs, etc) but I desperately need a glass for all seasons and spirits. Any suggestions?

Amanda Gibson


PHIL August 2, 2016
You found the square ones I see. Where did you get them?
Amanda G. August 2, 2016
I did! I love the heavy base. I found them at TJ Maxx. There was only one set or else I'd bought more!
Amanda G. August 2, 2016
Alright all, I went shopping and scored six Bormioli Rocco stemless wine glasses (to replace the few I've broken) and six square, wide old fashioned glasses (pictured). So excited to use them and thank you all for your input!
Greenstuff June 27, 2016
I'm looking forward to hearing what you decide. Years ago, I worked hard to find attractive, basic bar ware. I went through a lot of crystal, losing the usual amount to breakage but also having them get cloudy in the dishwasher. I don't mind doing wine glasses and other specialty glassware by hand, but for a lot of drinks, I've decided that Picardie, in a variety of sizes, works fine.
Amanda G. June 27, 2016
Thank you, Chris! I am excited to go shopping now. I will let you all know what I pick when I find it!
PHIL June 27, 2016
HA! I like the boots! . I think I got the square ones in Home Goods. They always have a nice selection.
Amanda G. June 27, 2016
Home Goods trip tomorrow! :) The boots were at the insistence of my husband after our trip to Munich. :-D
Amanda G. June 27, 2016
Yes--I have many specialty glasses, and this isn't even the extent of it (and we even have some novelty Solo cups with stems that we use as a joke for street parties) and quite a few stemless wine ones--I have been using those for serving spritzers and such. I think I'm actually trying to go away from the single use glasses and invest in ones that are all-around versatile. Are there any specific brands that are worth an extra expense? Is crystal worth the investment, in your opinions? I do like the idea of a short, heavy old-fashioned glass.
702551 June 27, 2016
Personally, I don't think it's worth it to spend top dollar on some premium brand based on my track record of breaking glassware. I'd rather spend the money saved on booze. ;o)

If I were to buy new bar glassware, I'd definitely stick with something relatively easy to replace, something from either Crate & Barrel or IKEA. No reason to stick to one brand though.
PHIL June 27, 2016
BTW Amanda, I like a modern square glass, clean with no etching that can work in a formal setting as well as outside on the deck. That said , I found a great hand blown set at a yard sale that I use only for me and my wife. I drop a huge round ice cube , some orange vodka and an orange slice and I am good to go.
Amanda G. June 27, 2016
Sorry Phil, was replying while you sent your last reply. I haven't seen square glasses but I like the sound of that!
702551 June 27, 2016
Some would say it depends on the drink, some would say it depends on the drinker. Ultimately, the answer comes down to whomever is answering the question and how choosy they are.

Remember, in college, one probably drank all these cocktails out of a red or blue plastic Solo cup.

Your average bartenders bible or recipe book will have recommendations on glassware for specific drinks. Pretty much every book will state that you need some highballs, some lowballs, and at least a few martini glasses to provide adequate glassware for a wide range of cocktails.

It's really up to you and your budget to decide what sort of variety to have.
PHIL June 27, 2016
Amanda already has a variety of specialty glasses, but wants that versatile all around glass that she can use, hence my suggestion of a lowball glass
PHIL June 27, 2016
I think an old fashioned or lowball glass. I have used them successfully to serve rocks drinks, frozen drinks (margarita / pina colada) even a short vodka tonic or mojito. made moscow mules , dark and stormys in them They have a nice heavy feel and are durable. also, because they are short , they don't get knocked over as easily . I have lost many a good martini and wine glass that way.
Nancy June 27, 2016
Agree with Rae on aesthetics and versatility of stemless wine glasses (though purists would object for some/most wines because of hand heat).
To inject an economic note. There will be breakage.
One way to decide is to get glasses at that wonderful balance point - aesthetically pleasing, functional, but not too expensive to cause tears when the inevitable happens and you have to replace them.
Rae June 27, 2016
Stemless wine glasses. We have a variety of glasses, but these are the ones I reach for the most. I use them for everything (except beer) and they're lovely to drink out of.
Susan W. June 26, 2016
I think it may depend on what you serve. Rocks glasses are good if you often serve liquor on the rocks. Highball is good if you serve drinks with soda or tonic. I think having both would be ideal.
Amanda G. June 26, 2016
We do both. I'm looking for more specifics, though, really. Currently we have a set of French Picardie tumblers, which are great for juice and such, but I feel funny serving cocktails in them. I guess what I'm asking is what style of highballs/rocks glasses. Cut, ridged, straight sided? Does it make a difference to the cocktail or the drinker?
Susan W. June 27, 2016
Amanda, these are similar to what I have. I think they even may have come from Crate and Barrel. They are sturdy, stylish and I love the square sides. My favorite is the double old fashioned. I can use it from a vodka rocks to a fresh lime margarita rocks. I'm also fond of the chimney.
Susan W. June 27, 2016
Oops...here's the link.

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