The Guide To
The 5 most important and versatile glassware shapes to have for your home.

This story was originally published on GQ as part of our series, “Homework with TRNK”.

We’ll admit, the countless variations of glassware to choose from seem pretty arbitrary. Do you really need both a Burgundy and a Bordeaux glass? Should a highball be used differently than its lower counterpart? Probably not. But matching the shape of a glass to suit a beverage certainly isn’t random. Whether to enhance aroma or to maintain just the right level of fizz, glasses can make a huge difference when it comes to the drinking experience. But even the most seasoned drinkers wouldn’t want a library of glasses cluttering their cupboards. To help streamline your personal bar, we’ve identified the five most important and versatile shapes to have for your home. From red wine to tequila shots, we’ve got you covered. Drink responsibly.

 How to Properly Set a Table | TRNK

1. For Sipping and Savoring

Whether you like ‘em neat, on the rocks, stirred, or shaken, you’ll need a nice set of glasses for beverages worth savoring. For a gentleman’s bar, rocks or whiskey glasses are the first and foremost essential.

 Hand-Blown Crystal Whiskey Glasses, $90

2. For Aroma

For dark and aromatic drinks (think red wine and brandy), half the taste is in the smell. For these you’ll need a wide, bulbous glass with a tapered mouth—allowing the drink to properly breathe and fully capture the aromas.

Glasses with height are good to have on hand, but if you drink brandy as much as red wine, a stemless wine glass can double up as its appropriate vessel, the snifter. They’re also just right for dark beers, like Belgian Ales and IPAs—a quick swirl in a stemless glass will awaken amber scents better than any bottle. Believe us when we say a good ‘ole IPA will never be the same.

3. For Volume

For drink recipes that require five parts mixer for every one part alcohol, your short and stout rocks glasses may not be sufficient. If you enjoy a good mojito or Michelada, have some tall glasses on hand so that you’re not reaching the bottom too soon.

Highballs or large tumblers are great for cocktails you want to spend a little more time enjoying, plus, they double up as water glasses for everyday use. It’s worth going for a set that’s durable, inexpensive, and dishwasher safe.

4. For Effervescence

If you enjoy a little bubbly, then your bar needs a set of sleek and slender flutes. While champagne coupes may win points for style, their wide and shallow shape will leave your drink flat after just a few minutes (they’re actually much better suited for cocktails). When it comes to effervescence, go tall or go home.

5. For Taking it Back

Sometimes, we’re simply too impatient to sip—or maybe that tequila isn’t anything you’d prefer to savor. Either way, you’ll need a set of shot glasses to help cut to the chase.

Hold onto those souvenir shot glasses from Mexico (in case they’re the only thing you remember from that “wild and crazy” trip), but keep them out of sight. For your bar, consider a set of sake glasses or miniature tea glasses as alternatives to the traditional shooter. Any material or shape can really work, so long as it’s small enough to help moderate the bottle.

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