All the barware essentials you'll need to keep your at-home mini-bar fully stocked

Master the mini-bar with the 7 barware essentials every aspiring mixologist needs

barware essentials
(Image credit: Getty Images)

So, you've finally taken the plunge and invested in a bar cart, fully stocked said cart with liquor, only to realize that you're missing the proper glass to serve your newly perfected martini in?

Well, to avoid reliving any embarrassing situations, similar to #GlassGate on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (IYKYK), for anyone who's looking to make their homes their new "go-to" spot, you'll need to invest in all the barware essentials. But if you're someone who has had more experience drinking cocktails than serving them, you might be unaware of where or what to start with —which is where we come in.

Let's start with the good news: Glassware is not expensive, and most aspiring cocktail connoisseurs can (and will) achieve a fully stocked set of barware essentials without breaking the bank. 

The bad news? It's that most of us are unaware of which specific glasses or mugs we need versus which ones we can most probably do without, and if this sounds familiar and like you? We're here to help.

Prepare to sit back and relax, as our team has rounded-up the 7 barware essentials every host needs to consider their at-home mini-bar complete. Need some cocktail inspo? Check out the 7 classic cocktail recipes everyone should master. 

1. Beer mug

A certain glass shape can accentuate different parts of your beer, and it's crucial to keep that in mind. For example: Take the nose and how beer smells; if you're drinking a higher-alcohol beer, drinkers will want to receive a smaller glass so they can enjoy drinking their session-able beer.

For anyone who's looking for a universal suggestion, most mixologists would preference a beer mug. 

barware essentials

(Image credit: Pottery Barn)

Shop the Stein Beer Glassl Starting at $4.99 at Pottery Barn

A smooth-rounded beer glass is not only a classic choice but an essential. This type of glass will not only keep a drinker's beverage colder, but it will also allow them to enjoy the experience for much longer periods; most options can hold: 10oz, 12oz, 16oz, and up.

Plus, if you happen to find an option like this one, that also offers a firm, comfortable grip, you've hit a trifecta. Drinkers will enjoy a spill-proof experience all night long.View Deal

2. Cognac glass (aka: a sniffer, brandy glass or bowl)

A snifter (also referenced as a brandy glass, bowl, or ballon) is a type of glassware that features a short-stemmed glass; with a shorter top and wider bottom. Often, this stemware is paired with liquors such as whiskey, bourbon, or brandy. 

barware essentials

(Image credit: Saks Fifth Avenue)

Shop the Nude Glass Set of Two Vintage-Style Cognac Glass l For $31 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Reach for this vintage-style, set of two cognac glasses that will enhance every aroma and experience. View Deal

3. Flutes 

Flutes are commonly used for sparkling wine, and in some cases, can be utilized for beer (especially fruit beers, Belgian lambics, and gueuzes). Most flutes are designed to show off the alcohol's color and allow your senses to enjoy their aromas. 

Now, for those shopping for a champagne flute: There is one thing to consider, and that's this glassware can be distinguished from a pilsner glass, as it lacks a stem. 

barware essentials

(Image credit: Macy's)

Shop the Hotel Collection, Set of 4 Flute Glasses, Created for Macy's l Was $50, Now $20.99, at Macy's 

An essential for wine lovers, this timeless set of flute glasses from Hotel Collection is perfect for entertaining. Each glass has been imported from Poland and features an elegantly elongated bowl and slender stem. View Deal

4. Martini glass

Martini glasses are interchangeable for 'cocktail glass,' but either way, when ordering both, drinkers will receive a slightly smaller, more rounded glass that features a narrow rim and shorter stem. 

barware essentials

(Image credit: Target)

Threshold 7.6oz 4pk Glass Modern Martini Glasses l For $15, at Target 

Serve up your favorite cocktail concoctions with this four-pack of modern martini glasses. Every glass features a slim, elegant stem and a cone-shaped bowl, all of which are dishwasher safe and bound to be an entertaining go-to. Cheers to that! View Deal

5. Whiskey glass

Whiskey glasses are another excellent choice for any drinker who is looking to 'nose' their cocktail. If that's you, you will want glassware that will concentrate vapors and allow your senses to engage in the experience, a la the highball, below. 

barware essentials

(Image credit: Amazon)

KANARS Old Fashioned Set-of-4 Whiskey Glasses with Luxury Box l For $32.99, at Amazon

This set of sculpted glasses are impressively substantial, well-balanced, and will be comfortable in any hand. Each tumbler offers an amble capacity to savor multiple shots, as well as a wide crafted opening to put noses at the optimum angle to capture subtle aromas and flavors. Add an ice cube to enjoy the perfect temperature, or share the love by gifting this box to your loved ones this holiday season. View Deal

6. Coupe

A coupe  — or champagne coupe/saucer — is a stemmed glass featuring a broad, shallow bowl. It's essential for any champagne-lover or serving craft cocktails. 

barware essentials

(Image credit: Macy's)

Hotel Collection Coupe Cocktail Glass, Set of 4, Created for Macy's l Was $39, Now $16, at Macy's 

Wide bowls and slender stems create this classic 4-pair set of 9.7oz champagne coupes that are sure to be a timeless testament to good taste.  


View Deal

7. Margarita glass 

Before Margarita glasses burdened the reputation of being cheap, plastic curved bowls, this namesake, was formerly identified as a "nobler tradition." Back then, this glass 'coupette' was as sleek and sophisticated as a coupe. 

barware essentials

(Image credit: Bed Bath & Beyond)

Libbey Glass Margarita Glasses (Set of 12) l Was $34.99, Now $27.99, at Bed Bath & Beyond 

Reclaim that same sophisticated touch margarita glasses once added, with this 12-piece set. This traditional design pairs an easy-to-hold design with an elegant silhouette that will be impossible to resist.View Deal