GLASSWARE make a clear impression
Your glassware is a reflection of your establishment.
By Lauren Kramer
Make a Clear
OPPOSITE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: 1) & 2) Go for diversity in glassware with Libbey’s Master’s Reserve premium glassware
collection, top, and Master’s Reserve Prism. 3) Nachtmann’s cut crystal tumblers, each with a different design, accentuate
spirits on the rocks or colorful cocktails. 4) Master’s Reserve Renaissance from Libbey.
As diners, we eat first with our eyes, absorbing the beauty of a culinary presentation and setting our taste expectations accordingly. The same is true for what we drink. A finely crafted cocktail served
in an exquisite piece of glassware justifies its price tag and sets the tone for the dining-out experience.
“Bartenders spend hours crafting perfect, Instagram-worthy cocktails, but if they aren’t
presented well, none of it matters,” says Derek Hodges, spokesman for KaTom Restaurant Supply,
Kodak, Tennessee. “For bars, where the drinks are the primary focus of the business, the glassware
should be at least as significant a consideration as the drinks you choose to offer.”
Hodges says many operators are going for classic designs in their glassware choices, selecting
glasses with straight sides, heavy bases and clean lines. There’s been a rise in the use of stemless
glassware and glassware designed to look like laboratory equipment. He’s also seen increased
interest in the use of drink-specific glassware.
“You have an opportunity to impress guests with diversity in your glassware, but your menu
should guide your purchase,” he says. “For example, you may not need different glasses for
burgundies, rosés and merlots, but you could use red- and white-wine specific glasses that will
enhance not just the flavor of your wines, but add a touch to your presentation that customers will
appreciate. You may not need schooners, belgians and pilsners for beers, but diversifying beyond
the pint glass is something an ever-growing contingent of customers appreciates.”
If your bar focuses on craft beer or your goal is a great wine menu, you may want to invest
more in that kind of specialty glassware, Hodges adds. Some market research is also advisable. “If
customers in your area expect fuller glasses, a smaller wine glass will keep them happier while
protecting your bottom line. If your bar gets more college parties than dinner parties, then heavy-
based glassware that isn’t as easy to knock over could help save some drinks and glasses.”
The size of your wine glasses can have a significant impact on your diners’ consumption of
alcohol, says Maximilian Riedel, CEO, Riedel Crystal, with U.S. headquarters in Edison, New
Jersey. “In a test program for American restaurants, we’re introducing an oversize wine glass with
a thick bowl. We’ve learned that modern, young wines are highly concentrated in fruit and alcohol,