What is the best bar glass to have? Well, I’m gonna give you some ideas ranging from the bare necessities to create a most excellent bar. Most of the glasses I’m going to recommend in this post are going to be quality. You can definitely keep spending some cash to get better and better. If there’s something you’d prefer, why not send us a note? We’ll write it up and give you some credit!

The Bare Minimum

Some of the best bar glasses are the ones you need at very minimum to be able to whip up most cocktails and serve a wide range of other drinks. First on the list is the rocks glass. It’s about 12 ounces typically for cocktails with just a handful of ingredients.

empty rocks glass
A humble rocks glass.

You might also see these as Old Fashioned or tumbler glasses. There’s some variations here, so shop accordingly. Some say the Old Fashioned is a bit shorter than a rocks, and perhaps it is a bit wider as well. I’d choose a solid glass that I’m not afraid to stir in with a heavy spoon and a heavy bottom version to help keep the temperature consistent. The next best bar glass you’re going to need – of course – is the shot glass! This is going to be handy not just for shots, but if you get one with a 1 ounce level line, you can do some measuring too.

empty shot glass

Personally, I also like the simple versions which have a heavy bottom and no marks to show off the shot. There’s a few layered shots I like to do which are very attractive in a simple round glass. You’ll want a set of 4 at minimum since most shot rounds are going to be all poured out at once. Don’t be stingy though, having even more shot glasses means more rounds of shots between washing them out.

The last best bar glass of the bare minimum list to have is the Collins or Highball glass. This one is great for those drinks that have quite a few ingredients, like the Long Island Iced tea, or my favorite, the Holy Water.

highball glass

This glass runs about 16 ounces or more. You might think this is pretty close to one of your water drinking glasses in the cabinet, but there can be some differences in size. This oftentimes can be a glass you’ll do some stirring in so quality is going to matter here. Sets of 4 won’t set you back very much.

Specialty Glassware

Now we get into some of the fancy stuff. I’ll tell you now, once you get down a rabbit hole of glassware you can go nuts. The following are glasses that I have had and gotten a lot of use out of over the years. The first one is the martini glass, and you’re going to find a couple interesting versions when you go looking. The two big differences are the standard and stemless.

martini glass
The Martini Glass
stemless martini glass
The Stemless Martini Glass

There are a bunch of different drinks to go in a martini glass and you’re really going for presentation here. If you want to show off an olive, a slice of citrus or something else, one of these might be your go-to.

So far, I’m guessing you’ll say I go for the stemless here, and you’re right. I just like the style and it’s a bit different. Makes a decent glass for a layered drink that has more volume too. The last one I want to mention is the pint glass. It has some real versatility, which is why I think it’s one of the most important specialty glasses to have.

The last one I want to mention is the pint glass. It has some real versatility, which is why I think it’s one of the most important specialty glasses to have.

empty pint glass

One of the most important for me is to be able to shake more than one serving at a time. Most shakers have the cup and a strainer lid. This is fine for 1-4 servings for rocks glasses. If you need to crank out more that that at a time, using your shaker cup and a pint glass increases your volume quite a bit!

In this case make sure you have a good strong glass to take a bit of a beating. The glass can suction to your shaker cup pretty hard and might take some effort to pull apart without slinging your drinks everywhere.

Never hurts to have a good beer glass around as well, which this one fits the bill for if you have need. Thanks for reading our Best Bar Glass post! If you have any questions, comments or just want to share your favorite glassware, please let us know!