Many of us don’t think much about the drinking glass we use at home. However, different types of drinking glass were created to suit specific purposes (or beverages).
Here are 17 types of glass used in various places, from home to bar and restaurant.
Faceted Water Glass
Faceted water glass is one of the “classic” drinking glasses, popular for home use. The glass is usually slightly wide at the top, with a faceted surface that forms visible vertical lines. The lines are useful for blind or poorly-sighted people to feel the actual height of the glass before pouring a drink.
Soda-lime glass is a term for cheap, widely-available glass that only contains 60 to 75 percent of silica. The rest is 5 to 12 percent of lime and 12 to 18 percent of soda. This glass is cheap and often purchased in bulk for household needs, but it cannot handle sudden temperature change.
A mug is a large cup with handle, preferred for hot beverages like coffee, hot chocolate, or tea. A standard mug holds around 350 ml of liquid (twice of coffee/tea cups). Mug comes in various shapes and colors, but it is not popular for formal scenes.
A highball glass is a “tumbler” type, which means it has a flat bottom. Highball glass has a smooth surface, with a slightly widened top and thick bottom. The typical height is 15 cm (6 inches), with 240—350 ml of volume. A highball glass is common at homes and restaurants, but bartenders often use it to make mixed drinks.
Another tumbler glass, the Collins is slimmer and taller than highball glass. The silhouette is also straight instead of slightly wide on top. The glass is popular to make a mixed drink or cocktail.
Lowball glass is shorter and wider than highball and Collins glass. The glass is famous as “whisky on the rock” glass (whisky with ice cubes). Lowball glass may have a smooth or engraved surface, but the base is usually very thick.
A staple among restaurant and bar glasses, the pint glass is a beer glass without a handle. The shape makes it easier to collect and stack quickly, especially during busy hours. The word “pint” refers to its use for serving standard British or American pint sizes (568 or 473 ml).
Pilsner is a tumbler beer glass with taller size than a pint glass. Pilsner has wider top and narrower middle section, creating a slim and inwardly-curved silhouette. This glass is used to enjoy light craft beer. The wide top gives space for more foam, and the narrower middle part helps drinker appreciating the drink’s color.
Beer mug has a larger size than standard mug for hot beverages. Beer mug has a thick surface and bottom with large handle. The design was created to prevent the beer from getting warm. The beer mug is ideal for outdoor setting that exposes the drink to the sun, such as beer garden.
The champagne glass is usually tall and slim, perfect to keep the soft bubbling action last longer. Champagne glasses consist of various shapes, such as flute, tulip, or coupe. The slim shape also reflects the elegant nature of champagne.
A staple among liquor glasses, the shot glass is small and thick. The glass is used to drink liquor or spirit in one gulp (“taking a shot”). The shot glass is made in small size and thick base to balance the high alcohol level poured into it.
Coupe glass is a cocktail glass with a broad, round top and tall, thin stem. This glass is common for cocktail drinks. The more classic version of it is Martini glass, which has a triangle-like profile on the top.
Snifter is one of the most popular alcohol glasses for brown alcohols. The glass has short mouth and stem but large, round top. The shape allows drinkers to sniff and appreciate the drink’s aroma. Craft brandy and whisky are common drinks to enjoy with a snifter.
Irish Coffee Glass
Irish Coffee glass is one of the “purposeful” cocktail glasses, designed to hold specific drink characteristics. Since Irish Coffee is a hot cocktail, the glass has a handle and can contain the heat. The drinker can hold it without burning his or her hand.
Red Wine Glass
The red wine glass has a wide, deep top with a tall stem. The design allows the drinker to appreciate the wine aroma before sipping it slowly. Tall stem keeps the hand from affecting the glass temperature, which can alter the wine quality.
White Wine Glass
Unlike red wine glass, the white wine glass is a bit narrower. This is because white wine is appreciated for its light flavor. Narrow glass means a little oxidization process, which keeps the wine’s delicate taste.
Hurricane glass is one of the most unique cocktail glasses. It is tall and slim with a curved middle part. With the short stem and slightly curved rim, the glass creates a hurricane lamp-like silhouette. Typical volume is 590 ml.
Tips to Buy and Keep Drinking Glass
All houses need glassware for specific purposes. Generally, you should have regular tumbler glasses and mugs for daily use, plus coffee or tea cups for formal occasions. However, if you keep bartending glasses, make sure you buy them based on your drinking habits. Store them in a dry place without direct sunlight exposure.
You can buy a “mug tree” to store regular mug and wall rack to hang cups. They can help saving space, especially in a tiny kitchen. However, bartender glass must be kept in a dry space without direct sunlight exposure. Top cabinet is a good storage place for fragile glassware.
Many household glassware, such as regular coffee/tea mugs and cups or thick tumbler glasses, can handle dishwashing machine. However, fragile bartender glass like champagne flutes and wine glasses must be handwashed. Use a soft cloth to wipe them dry instead of paper or rough towel.
Various types of drinking glass are created for specific functions, not just styles. Match your glassware with your drinking habits for better use of your glass sets.